I suggest you think of your safety program like a three legged stool. The first leg is the part most of you do well, attend safety classes. But some think going to classes is optional or it does not pertain to me. There are many classes that we only see the worker on the street show up to classes when other in your office would have benefited from the class. There are several classes you should be sending your office, library, management personnel, clerks and administrators.
The second leg is the written programs and processes. Many of the IAMU members have purchased the multiple IAMU model OSHA programs. But when is the last time you have reviewed and updated the programs; it should be annually. Or have you purchased the programs but never customized the programs to your utilities/cites? IAMU also has truncated versions of the safety programs; so if you have purchased the programs and have yet to request the bare bones program contact IAMU. Plus some of the programs require that processes be completed. For example, the Lockout / Tagout Program (LO/TO), you are required to have machine specific LO/TO procedures, for each piece of equipment that needs the procedure. Other issues with written programs are, does everyone know who is the Plan Administrator is for each program? Do the employee and the Plan Administrator clearly know their responsibilities under each plan? If not your utility/city are not in compliance.
The third leg is the safety culture. Culture is not developed by simply attending safety classes, it is much more. Ask yourself these following questions: Does your safety program -
1. Have the full support, by commitment and financial backing, of upper management? This could be the Mayor, Administrator, Directors.
2. Encompass all the employees within the organization?
3. Have a safety committee?
4. Require upper management, directors, supervisors, to also attend safety classes?
Culture in not created by simply sending some of your employees to safety classes. If you truly wish to see reduction in future insurance rates, you have to reduce your insurance experience modification rates (EMR). To reduce your EMR, you have to reduce the number of incidents and near hits you experience, have a sound safety program and culture that everyone in your organization takes seriously, believes in, and financially supports. Having a system and culture in place that believes that incidents just don’t happen, or if only the employee was more careful then things will get better.
This simple three legged stool, is not a safety concept you will find on the internet nor is it all the concepts or tools of a truly great safety program, but I think it is a great start to get you going on the path of a commitment to send your employee’s home, each and every day, whole and healthy.
The JT&S department at IAMU can help you with your safety education, program, and culture. If you wish to receive assistance, please contact us at 800.810.4268