Reduce OSHA Recordables


Reduce OSHA Recordables 

Begin each Shift with Safety Discussions

Taking time for safety discussions at the start of each shift is a proactive way to raise safety awareness and bring focus to each work day and therefore reduce OSHA Recordables.  Some companies call these safety discussions “toolboxes”, “tailboards”, or “safety focus”.

We come to work with a million things on our mind.  Whether it’s our day to day thoughts, concerns and ideas or larger issues that are even more distracting, the safety toolbox meeting gives us time to focus ourselves and our employees on how we are going to perform on the job here and now.   Shift start safety discussions don’t need to be long, maybe 5 to 15 minutes depending on what needs to be discussed.

It’s great if you can hold these discussions where the work is, like in the workshop or on the floor but if that is not possible, hold them in a break room, meeting room or other appropriate setting.

Begin Shift Safety Discussion – 3 Topic Method

Topic 1 – Off the Job Safety

Your team just came from the outside world.  They have all those thoughts and distractions in their heads.  Start your discussion by relating to “their world” as it pertains to safety with the topic of Off the Job Safety.

Off the job safety is important.  When an employee gets hurt outside of work, it is just as disruptive to their lives as if they were hurt on the job.  We have similar hazards outside the workplace.  Hazards such as slips, trips, falls, use of tools/ladders, outdoor equipment, hazardous chemicals and so on.  Relating what we do outside of work to what we do at work will help start the mental transition from outside the workplace to inside the workplace and will continue to change behavior toward better all-around safety.  Share or “tell on yourselves” about near misses or first aid issues, instances where we did not use PPE, rushed to get the job done or took a shortcut with an improper tool.  This will help the mind let go of general thoughts and help the mind to start thinking about general safety.

Topic 2 – Relating to other Industry Incidents

As you wrap up off the job safety and move into workplace safety, give examples of an instance or instances from similar industries for your team to think about and comment on.  This will get the mind sparking because your team will want to think better and do better than the example.

Whether shift duties change often or they’re repetitious, find incidents and examples from other similar industries to go over with your team.  It doesn’t take much time to search online and find related incidents.  Keep the topics informative and to the point.  While some industries are similar to yours, others may not be similar, but you can typically find the “morale of the story” that will relate to what you and your team do on a daily basis.

Topic 3 – Safety and Incidents specific to Your Workplace

Now you will bring the focus to your specific workplace by discussing matters directly related to the job.  Tasks, duties, issues and recent incidents will be your drivers.

  • Shifts with changing duties and tasks

Typically you want to start the discussion with regards to tasks for the shift, production or maintenance issues and any incidents from the previous shift.  Point out hazards for the day, ask the team how they can avoid such hazards and go over what is being done to correct/avoid incidents from the previous shift.  Have the team elaborate about the incidents from the previous shift by asking them to share whether or not they agree with the findings and if they have similar experiences, concerns or comments.  Keep the team involved by asking if they can think of any other potential hazards pertaining to the day and discuss how to mitigate those hazards.

  • Shifts/Jobs that are repetitious

If your shifts and work days are repetitious, you can start by going over the hazards of repetition and getting “too comfortable” in the environment.  When jobs are repetitious we get comfortable and too much of that type of comfort is cause for alarm when it comes to safety.  Even though the team “knows” the hazards of their repetitious jobs, have them talk about the hazards and challenge them to come up with ideas to overcome those hazards.  Have the team share their ways of dealing with the repetition and use the ideas to benefit everyone.  You will also want to share any incidents from the previous shift and what is being done to correct/avoid those incidents.   Have the team elaborate about the incidents from the previous shift by asking them to share whether or not they agree with the findings and if they have similar experiences, concerns or comments.

Taking the first minutes of the shift to focus on safety is a huge step to prevent injuries.  Let us know if you have questions or if we could help you further by making a comment below or call/email us directly.

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