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July 20, 2020
Powered by iReportSource We've teamed up with the Amplify folks once again to bring you an episode on emergency planning and response. Wesley Carter will cover the general industry requirements, what PSM says, and a bit about RMP's requirements. If you work at a PSM-covered facility, or in an industry where safety is essential, you don't want to miss this episode. CCPS Process Safety Beacon - Emergency Preparation - The Titanic Disaster (July 2012) Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
June 24, 2020
Powered by iReportSource In this very special episode, process safety and occupational safety worlds collide as Wesley teams up with Blaine Hoffmann from The SafetyPro Podcast to discuss incident investigation. You'll learn what OSHA's PSM standard says about incident investigations, as well as OSHA's requirements for the general industry, why an incident investigation is important, why root cause analysis matters, and more. Check out the Amplify Your Process Safety Podcast page! Mentioned in this episode: OSHA Recordkeeping Policies and Procedure Manual OSHA/EPA Root Cause Analysis Fact Sheet The SafetyPro Podcast, 082: SMS Pt 3 - What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
June 7, 2020
Powered by iReportSource As more states are taking steps to reopen their economies and workers are returning to their workplaces, OSHA is receiving complaints from affected workers in non-essential businesses. As a result, they have a new interim enforcement guideline. Click HERE for the interim guideline. OSHA also has new guidance with respect to the recording of occupational illnesses, specifically cases of COVID-19. Click HERE for the Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Check out the podcast episode for more detailed information. Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
May 19, 2020
Powered by iReportSource Do valves on respirators impact their effectiveness? The purpose of a respirator’s exhalation valve is to reduce the breathing resistance during exhale; it does not impact a respirator’s ability to provide respiratory protection. The valve is designed to open during exhalation to allow exhaled air to exit the respirator and then close tightly during inhalation, so inhaled air is not permitted to enter the respirator through the valve. While a valve does not change a respirator’s ability to help reduce a wearer’s exposure to bioaerosols, a person who is exhibiting symptoms of illness should not wear a valved respirator, because exhaled particles may leave the respirator via the valve and enter the surrounding environment, potentially exposing other people. Check out the CDC FAQ on this topic here. Take a look at the LinkedIn post that started it all here. Check out the podcast episode for more detailed information. Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
May 3, 2020
Powered by iReportSource More than three weeks into the pandemic-driven cascade of cancelations, closings, and social distancing, U.S. workplaces are experiencing unprecedented disruption -- and it's measurable. Here's what has changed in a stunningly short period of time (comparing Gallup Panel surveys conducted March 13-16 vs. March 27-29): The percentage of full-time employees who say COVID-19 has disrupted their life "a great deal" or "a fair amount" has jumped from 58% to 81%. 40% of U.S. employees say their employer has frozen hiring, and 33% say their employer has reduced hours or shifts because of COVID-19 -- up from 33% and 27%, respectively. The percentage of full-time employees working from home because of COVID-19 closures has increased from 33% to 61%. The percentage of parents working full time who have kept their kids home from school because of COVID-19 has increased from less than half (44%) to everyone(100%). The combined effects of frightening uncertainty about physical and financial health in the near future and the pressures of required self-isolation have led to record levels of stress and worry that far surpass those recorded in past years. Compared with 2019, reports of daily worry have increased from 37% to 60% among the full-time working population. Daily stress has increased from 48% to 65%. On March 23, Gallup reported on five key elements that organizations can influence and measure to gauge their progress. They have been tracking how well organizations are doing on each of these five elements. *Reprinted with permission from Gallup. Listen to the whole episode to get my thoughts. I will post an update on this topic. Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
April 22, 2020
NOTICE: Published April 22, 2020 - The information in this post/episode is subject to change. The new CDC face-covering recommendations do not change the MASK guidance. So what is new? What is the same? Let's talk about that in this episode. Essentially, the CDC recommends anyone going out in public wear a face-covering. These can be homemade cloth-type coverings. What is the intended purpose? Will they offer you protection? What protection do they offer others?  Also, I decided to add a healthy dose of "rant" for safety professionals that are commenting on others' LinkedIn posts celebrating efforts to stay safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In short; stop looking for problems! Curious? Listen to the whole episode to get my thoughts. What do you think? Masks or no masks? I will post an update on this topic as well as take all of your comments to heart! Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
April 8, 2020
100 Episodes! Thanks to all the listeners that helped make this happen - you are the reason I continue to produce this podcast. Here's to the next 100 episodes!
April 1, 2020
NOTICE: Published April 1, 2020 - The information in this post/episode is subject to change. All of the discussions about surgical masks got me thinking; what do we know about viruses (CVID-19 or others), and what are the EXPERTS saying? I wanted to explore this topic and share my thoughts. As of April 1, 2020, the WHO, CDC, OSHA guidance on wearing masks (if you are HEALTHY) is the same; you do NOT need to wear a mask except for specific circumstances. Let's read what they have to say. World Health Organization On the Questions and Answers page: Should I wear a mask to protect myself? Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is sick, then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. WHO advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks  (see Advice on the use of masks). The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing (the rest of us use 6 feet). See basic protective measures against the new coronavirus for more information. CDC What does the CDC say about wearing asks? Wear a facemask if you are sick If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick. If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply, and they should be saved for caregivers.   OSHA Surgical masks are used as a physical barrier to protect the user from hazards, such as splashes of large droplets of blood or body fluids. Surgical masks also protect other people against infection from the person wearing the surgical mask. Such masks trap large particles of body fluids that may contain bacteria or viruses expelled by the wearer. Surgical masks are used for several different purposes, including the following: They are placed on sick people to limit the spread of infectious respiratory secretions to others. They are worn by healthcare providers to prevent accidental contamination of patients' wounds by the organisms normally present in mucus and saliva. Worn by workers to protect themselves from splashes or sprays of blood or bodily fluids, they may also keep contaminated fingers/hands away from the mouth and nose. Surgical masks are not designed or certified to prevent the inhalation of small airborne contaminants. These particles are not visible to the naked eye but may still be capable of causing infection. Surgical masks are not designed to seal tightly against the user's face. During inhalation, much of the potentially contaminated air can pass through gaps between the face and the surgical mask and not be pulled through the filter material of the mask. Their ability to filter small particles varies significantly based upon the type of material used to make the surgical mask, so they cannot be relied upon to protect workers against airborne infectious agents. Only surgical masks that are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be legally marketed in the United States have been tested for their ability to resist blood and body fluids. Listen to the whole episode to get my thoughts. What do you think? Masks or no masks? I will post an update on this topic as well as take all of your comments to heart! Join the discussion on LinkedIn. Just be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
March 23, 2020
UPDATE: The CDC has made changes to workplace guidance as of March 21, 2020, which may make some of the information on this post obsolete: Updated cleaning and disinfection guidance Updated best practices for conducting social distancing Updated strategies and recommendations that can be implemented now to respond to COVID-19 We are currently in the throws of the 2020 Corona Virus pandemic, or COVID-19. Much information is being disseminated - from how far apart we should stand from one another to how to wash our hands properly. I have even seen videos on how to properly wash hands using ink to illustrate how to achieve full coverage of soap. Because hygiene is critical, many disinfecting products are harder to find now as a result of panic buyers hoarding supplies of items that they believe will make them safer. The truth is, many of these disinfectants are just not necessary according to all currently available information. Think about it, to prevent the spread of illness, we must avoid touching our face (eyes, nose, mouth) and simply wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. People think they need to use bleach, alcohol, or some product containing these ingredients to disinfect surfaces around the clock. All available guidance tells us that routine cleaning is adequate for general work areas. Disinfecting is only recommended for suspected cases of CORONA-19. At the risk of sounding like a word-nerd, let me share the CDC definition of the two terms in use here; cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers So what are employers supposed to do? According to the CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, you should perform routine environmental cleaning, which means routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility The CDC also recommends employers to use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Furthermore, provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down before each use. (UPDATE: The CDC has made changes to workplace guidance as of March 21, 2020). OSHA goes even further: Because the transmissibility of COVID-19 from contaminated environmental surfaces and objects is not fully understood, employers should carefully evaluate whether or not work areas occupied by people suspected to have a virus may have been contaminated and whether or not they need to be decontaminated in response. Outside of healthcare and deathcare facilities, there is typically no need to perform special cleaning or decontamination of work environments when a person suspected of having the virus has been present unless those environments are visibly contaminated with blood or other body fluids. In limited cases where further cleaning and decontamination may be necessary, consult U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for cleaning and disinfecting environments, including those contaminated with coronaviruses. Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick If there is a worker under investigation of having COVID-19 or there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, here is where disinfecting comes into play. Employers will need to clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick person, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATMs. Here are the steps: Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Remember, high touch surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. Disinfect using diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, other EPA-registered household disinfectants. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation. For example, never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have proper ventilation during the use of the product. For soft surfaces like carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes: Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces. Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely OR disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants meet EPA's criteria for use against COVID-19. For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATMs Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. If no instructions are available, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol and dry the surface thoroughly. For clothing, towels, linens, and other items: Wear disposable gloves. Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves. Do not shake dirty laundry. Launder items according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people's items. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to the guidance above for the appropriate type of surface. So remember, increase the frequency you clean the general work environment, which opens up a wide variety of cleaning products that might not be in high demand. Reserve those precious disinfectants for cleaning visibly contaminated surfaces (think bloodborne pathogens) or where there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case. Coupled with other recommendations like reviewing your company's sick policy, social distancing, staggering start/stop times, breaks, lunches, and limiting meetings - these will make your workplaces less likely to experience a significant outbreak. Let me know what you are doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
March 18, 2020
COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Employers from the CDC Let me know what you are doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  
March 9, 2020
Interview with Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, SHRM-CP If you don't currently have a safety committee at your workplace, adding one can seem like a daunting task. Listen to this episode with Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, SHRM-CP to get ten tips that are sure to help you create and sustain a successful safety committee! Let me know what you think on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Get the full article Drew Hinton wrote on LinkedIn here.
February 24, 2020
Confined Space Rescue Teams save lives! They are a critical component of permit-required confined space operations. In this interview with a fellow SafetyPro, Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, EMT we will explore what it takes to set up a successful rescue team and some things to look out for when doing so. If your organization has a team or is thinking about establishing a team - this is the episode for you! Drew has been in the safety profession full-time time since 2013 and has traveled across the country, teaching over 100+ confined space rescue courses as a safety consultant. He is currently President of Arrow Safety, an EHS consulting company based out of Glasgow, KY. In the past, Drew has been the Corporate Manager for Industrial Service Solutions, Global EHS&S Manager for Dallas Group of America, and spent ten years as career firefighter/EMT in the metro Louisville, Kentucky area. He was also a member of Jefferson County Special Operations Command (JSOC) - specifically, on the confined space rescue team. Listen as we talk about this critical topic. Let me know what you think on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
February 17, 2020
Podcasting from the 2020 ACI/OSHA Safety Day. Listen as I talk with Paula Burleson, OSHA Onsite Consultant with the OhioBWC as she explains what OSHA Onsite services can do for small businesses. Let me know what you think of this episode on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
February 7, 2020
Podcasting from the 2020 ACI/OSHA Safety Day. Listen as I talk with Eric Lee Buschard as he explains his evolution as a safety pro. He shared his take on "Speaking Safety" to workers at a breakout session during the event. Let me know what you think of this episode on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
February 1, 2020
One of the often-overlooked aspects of EHS is that middle word - health. I mean, we understand the parts related to chemical exposure and substance exposure; silica, asbestos, lead, stuff like that - which are all important. But I want to talk about health in another context - that is the overall health and wellbeing of our workers and how the workplace can be contributing to it (both positively and negatively), thus making this an important aspect of our workplace safety and health efforts.  Cardiovascular disease (CVD) currently kills more Americans each year and costs more than any other disease, including Alzheimer's and diabetes. Over the next decade, the situation will only get worse: By 2030, the prevalence of CVD among those aged 20 and older is projected to top 40%, and direct medical costs are expected to triple to more than $800 billion. A study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - based on data drawn from Gallup surveys of more than 412,000 full-time workers in the U.S. suggests that workplace supervisors could be part of the solution to this deadly and costly problem. That’s right, we are going to talk about the immediate supervisor’s role impacting worker safety and health - again. A number of previous studies have established links between workplace stress and CVD risk factors. But because trust is such an important part of social capital, particularly in the workplace, the authors of this study chose to examine the associations between trust at work and seven CVD risk factors: Smoking Obesity Low physical activity Poor diet Diabetes High cholesterol High blood pressure. The researchers used a work environment question that asked: "Does your supervisor always create an environment that is trusting and open, or not?" Approximately 22% of women and 20.3% of men indicated that their supervisor did not always create an open and trusting environment For both women and men, the highest prevalence of mistrust was among workers aged 45 to 64, followed by those in the 30 to 44 age group. The prevalence of a mistrustful environment was a little higher for women with increasing levels of education (highest for those with college or post-graduate education, 25.2%). Men with technical training or some college/associate degree had a slightly higher prevalence (20.9%) of a mistrustful environment as well. Divorced women (26.8%) and men (24.7%) had the highest prevalence of reporting a mistrustful work environment, which indicates a possible connection to workers' personal lives - going through a traumatic experience like a divorce may influence the way they trust others in the workplace. Overall, the authors found that trust was associated with increased adjusted odds of having many of the seven CVD factors. Among those workers whose supervisor created a mistrustful environment (those who answered "no" to the question), the odds ratios were the greatest (more than 20%) for having four or more of the seven risk factors. After the authors adjusted for demographic factors and whether respondents had health insurance, they found that trust was associated with seven CVD risk factors among both women and men in the sample. Workers who do not work in an open, trusting environment had greater odds of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Workers in mistrustful environments also were more likely to be current smokers, have a poor diet and be obese. Women who work in mistrustful environments had greater odds of low physical activity. Odds ratios for having four or more risk factors were elevated in mistrustful environments. Improvements in the work environment are needed to reduce CVD risk among workers. Social modification to the work environment, such as adjusting managerial style to create an open and trusting environment, can decrease work stress. Considering managerial trust from a Total Worker Health® framework meets the goals of illness prevention to advance worker well-being. Efforts can also be made to target the health behaviors themselves. There is a range of possible strategies for addressing the risk factors in the workplace. For example, physical modification to the work environment, such as installing sit/stand desk stations and even walking workstations, can reduce sedentary behavior and may increase physical activity for those types of workers. Additionally, increased access to nutritious food in the workplace may improve diet. Take a look at your vending options - several places I worked at in the past had programs through their food vendors that let you earn points for the healthy food choices, which led to free food. Also, they helped subsidize the increased cost of some of their organic or healthier options as well. Supervisors who support workplace wellness may help in reducing CVD risk factors in workers as well. So allowing workers to participate in walking contests during breaks, go to awareness meetings where they learn new skills that will help them develop healthier habits - all of these things can be supported by the immediate manager. Be sure to check out my past episodes covering Total Worker Health as well as safety incentives that work. The bottom line is this; the manager has a lot of influence on not only workplace safety but overall worker health and wellbeing. HR and benefits managers need to pay attention to this as well. Their efforts can all be undone by the same issues of managerial trust that roadblock workplace safety success. We need to target managers with efforts of professional development and safety professionals have a role to play here. We can work to develop safety leadership programs and contribute to roles and responsibilities, even job descriptions. We need to partner across the organization and focus just as much on other levels as we do the frontline workers. Let me know what you think of this episode on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
January 27, 2020
Why do employees sometimes remain silent when they should speak up? Do they fear consequences or repercussions? Do they feel like new ideas won't be considered without an onslaught of criticism about its inherent risks, a barrage of demands for a detailed project plan, or an insistence on immediate proof of an overinflated ROI? To be blunt, why do workers stay silent when they see things are being done improperly, or in an unsafe manner? Maybe because it's not safe to engage in such conversations, the benefit of saying nothing tends to outweigh the benefit of speaking up. Employees fear their feedback will be rejected, or that managers or even co-workers will go so far as to penalize them. So, they keep their heads down and their mouths shut. Think about cases where speaking up was stifled or just non-existent; the NASA shuttle disaster or workers at Volkswagen who failed to speak up about fake emissions numbers? Gallup's data reveal that only three in ten U.S. workers strongly agree that at work, their opinions seem to count. However, by moving that ratio to six in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 27% reduction in turnover, a 40% reduction in safety incidents, and a 12% increase in productivity. The term we have become familiar with as it relates to this issue is "psychological safety." Let's define it for this conversation; it is "a climate in which people are comfortable being (and expressing) themselves." It has been confirmed that psychological safety predicts quality improvements, learning behavior, and productivity. An internal study conducted by Google found that teams with high rates of psychological safety were better than other teams at implementing diverse ideas and driving high performance. They were also more likely to stay with the company. A culture of psychological safety enables employees to be engaged. They can express themselves without the fear of failure or retribution. Juxtapose this type of culture with one where employees feel too intimidated to speak up or share a new idea. It's hard to imagine these employees can mentally allow themselves to be engaged at work. Four Questions That Lead to Psychological Safety When looking at why things aren't progressing when it comes to creating a safe environment for folks to speak up, consider the following four questions: For what can we count on each other? What is our team's purpose? What is the reputation we aspire to have? What do we need to do differently to achieve that reputation and fulfill our purpose? The questions are designed to create a culture of psychological safety. Take note; the order is as important as the questions themselves. The first question speaks to strengths and is fundamental for establishing individual security before diving into the broader team psychological safety challenges. You may need to help them see a shared purpose and identity with others. Why do they come to work every day? What is the purpose of the production team, HR, safety, quality? How do they achieve that purpose together? Then, with that purpose and process in mind, what do they aspire to be known for in the company? What is the brand they want to create? This type of activity can help any team establish universal principles by which to work. Some of the ways the organization uses these principles are practical. For example, they use them to filter out and prioritize staff meeting agendas, based on whether agenda topics meet the principles. The HR team might use them when they interact with business partners, setting expectations, and accountability partners with its stakeholders. Sometimes, however, this all might be a little more theoretical. When a team member needs to ask for help, or bring a new idea or challenge to an existing process, they can couch their request in the language the team uses to describe its collective purpose or brand. The HR Manager or Safety Manager might use the team's principles to explain behavior and coach performance. By consistently using them across the board, these shared guiding principles help them to talk and work together in a way that promotes individual and team psychological safety. Building the Culture of Psychological Safety While critical elements like organizational structure, process, and system considerations can influence company culture, the behavioral side of culture is created person by person, team by team, day by day.  Team and individual safety are both essential, but individual safety must come first in the process of building psychological safety. And it must come first for any hope of improved engagement and performance. That's what the answers to the four questions can provide; a safety net with which to trust and be open with each other. It allows teams to be vulnerable enough to be engaged. Exploring those four questions can do the same for any group or organization that wants to create a culture of psychological safety. Leaders and managers can use the four questions to encourage participation, generate ideas and develop honesty. Ideally, every team in an organization would work through the four questions to get to its shared value, purpose, and identity.  In the best-case scenario, for real culture change to transpire, this has to include -- and start with -- the executive team. Leaders should answer the four questions from a team and organizational perspective. It is when leaders then share their organizational answers with the rest of the company that the expected behavior is encouraged and alignment occurs. While culture change rarely follows a straight-and-narrow line, a single team can spark a social transformation in any organization. Managers don't have to wait. They can foster psychological safety within their groups or teams immediately by posing and talking through those four questions. They can create an environment where people are safe to engage, safe to address the elephant in the room, and safe to put their whole selves into their work. Read about this topic and learn more about Gallup here. Let me know what you think of this episode on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
January 19, 2020
In this podcast episode, I take a break from the technical topics to which my readers and podcast listeners are accustomed. I wanted to interview someone from outside normal safety circles, someone that can bring a unique perspective on the values we want to hold as safety professionals: integrity, honesty, teamwork, never-quit attitude. Please be sure to listen to the interview as it is not transcribed here. Please read more about Kris below. Kris Paronto Kris Paronto - “Tanto” as he is affectionately known in security contracting circles - is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and a private security contractor who has deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East, and North Africa. He also worked with the US Government’s Global Response Staff conducting low profile security in high threat environments throughout the world. Mr. Paronto was part of the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, September 11th, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists from the CIA Annex for over 13 hours. Mr. Paronto’s story is told in the book “13 Hours” written by Mitchell Zuckoff and his five surviving annex security team members. The Patriot's Creed When Kris began talking with civilians about his experiences fighting the terrorist attack on the US State Department Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, he was surprised at how often people told him that the story of his extraordinary battle gave them the courage to face tough times in their everyday lives. "The odds were stacked against us that night but the truth is that we refused to quit and we beat them with faith, teamwork, and the principles that were first instilled in me when I joined the Army. You can find those in the Rangers Creed and the Army Values," he says, "and you don't have to be a Special Operations soldier to use them." In The Patriot's Creed, Kris uses the seven core Army Values that all soldiers learn in Basic Combat Training, and the experiences of other servicemen and women and First Responders, to explain how anyone can improve themselves, the world around them, and live a heroic life. The stakes are dramatic for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to fight for America, and too many of their acts of courage and honor are unknown. The examples of their persistence and discipline will be inspiring to anyone facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles. At a time of national polarization, Kris draws attention to values all readers can share and use, and to the honor, integrity, and courage of true patriots who have gone to great lengths to protect and serve. They embody the best of us and make Kris Paronto proud to be an American soldier. The Ranger Way Thousands of people have heard Kris "Tanto" Paronto speak about his experiences in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. But before he was a security contractor, Tanto was a US Army Ranger from the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Rangers are trained to lead by being pushed to their physical and mental limits so that they can perform against impossible odds in punishing situations. In THE RANGER WAY, Tanto shares stories from his training experiences that played a role in his team's heroic response in Benghazi as he explains the importance of demanding excellence when you commit to improving your life. He shows you how to define your mission, set goals that are in alignment with your values, and develop a battle plan that will maximize your chances of success. You will learn why you should never quit and why that is different from never failing. Tanto uses his experiences in Basic and Ranger Training to explore how to deal with mistakes and disappointment like a leader, accept responsibility, and turn every obstacle into an opportunity for growth. You will learn why being of service to others, and being willing to sacrifice, will help you succeed, and how the power of humility, strength, faith, and brotherhood will sustain you on the road to accomplishing your mission. 13 Hours The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi. 13 HOURS presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack. Resources The Patriot's Creed The Ranger Way 13 Hours Book Kris for speaking events here More about Kris Hear the Interview Listen to this interview for Kris's perspective on life, the importance of aligning goals with the mission, and living a life of integrity no matter what obstacles you face. Let me know what you think of this episode on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
January 13, 2020
Powered by iReportSource OSHA has a decent list of regulatory agenda items. While I don't want to go through them all, I do want to highlight five that I think are particularly impactful. Safety professionals always need to be looking ahead at what is coming so we can prepare our employers, update any programs, which includes employee training and certifications that may be required.  1. Lock-Out/Tag-Out Update - Pre-Rule Stage Recent technological advancements that employ computer-based controls of hazardous energy (e.g., mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, chemical, and radiation) conflict with OSHA's existing lock-out/tag-out standard. The use of these computer-based controls has become more prevalent as equipment manufacturers modernize their designs.  Additionally, there are national consensus standards and international standards harmonization that govern the design and use of computer-based controls. This approach of controlling hazardous energy is accepted in other nations, which raises issues of needing to harmonize U.S. standards with those of other countries. The Agency has recently seen an increase in requests for variances for these devices. This RFI will be useful in understanding the strengths and limitations of this new technology, as well as potential hazards to workers. The Agency may also hold a stakeholder meeting and open a public docket to explore the issue. 2. Emergency Response and Preparedness - Pre-Rule Stage OSHA currently regulates aspects of emergency response and preparedness; they promulgated some of these standards decades ago, and none as comprehensive emergency response standards. Consequently, they do not address the full range of hazards or concerns currently facing emergency responders, nor do they reflect significant changes in performance specifications for protective clothing and equipment. The Agency acknowledged that current OSHA standards also do not reflect all the considerable developments in safety and health practices that have already been accepted by the emergency response community and incorporated into industry consensus standards. OSHA is considering updating these standards with information gathered through an RFI and public meetings. 3. Mechanical Power Press Update - Pre-Rule Stage The current OSHA standard on mechanical power presses does not address the use of hydraulic or pneumatic power presses. Additionally, the existing standard is approximately 40 years old and does not address technological changes. OSHA previously published an ANPRM on Mechanical Power Presses (June 2007) in which it identified several options for updating this standard. The Agency would like to update the public record to determine how best to proceed. This project is under Executive Order 13777, which facilitates the review of existing regulations that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them. 4. Powered Industrial Trucks - Pre-Rule Stage Powered Industrial Trucks (e.g., fork trucks, tractors, lift trucks, and motorized hand trucks) are ubiquitous in industrial (and many retail) worksites. The Agency's standard still relies upon ANSI standards from 1969. The Industrial Truck Association has been encouraging OSHA to update and expand the OSHA standard to account for the substantial revisions to ANSI standards on powered industrial trucks over the last 45 years. The current standard covers 11 types of vehicles, and there are now 19 types. Also, the standard itself incorporates an out-of-date consensus standard. OSHA will begin the process to develop a proposed rule updating the consensus standard referenced from the 1969 version of the American National Standard B56.1 to the 2016 version. This project is also under Executive Order 13777, which facilitates the review of existing regulations that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them. 5. Tree Care Standard - Pre-Rule Stage There is no OSHA standard for tree care operations; the Agency currently applies a patchwork of standards to address the severe hazards in this industry. The tree care industry previously petitioned the Agency for rulemaking. Tree care continues to be a high-hazard industry. Wrapping it all up Again, these are just five of the agenda items to watch. How can you keep up on these proposed changes without sitting in front of your computer at www.reginfo.gov? Well, luckily, there is an app for that - RegInfo. With RegInfo Mobile, you can have information about upcoming federal regulations and forms at your fingertips. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA) partnered to bring you a mobile version of Reginfo.gov, an online look into agency rulemakings that are on the books, planned, or under review by OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). RegInfo Mobile also provides information about forms and other information collections that OIRA has approved or is currently reviewing under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). With RegInfo Mobile, you have access to all of this information, and more, to the palm of your hand! Some of the app features are as follows: Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and the Regulatory Plan Current and historical information since Fall 1995 edition View detailed information about regulations, including regulation identifier number (RIN) title, abstract, effects on society and completed/planned actions for the next six months Timeline Chart - an interactive visualization of when proposed and final regulations are published, OIRA reviews of regulations, related information collections, and more! Regulatory Reviews View detailed information about OIRA's pending and concluded reviews of significant rulemakings Meetings with the Public Browse the log of past and scheduled public meetings about regulations under OIRA review Information regarding each meeting includes RIN, the title of the regulation, date, participants, and affiliations, and written materials submitted by the public Information Collection Requests under the PRA View detailed information on OIRA's pending and concluded reviews of agency information collection requests (ICRs), including OMB Control Number, expiration date, requested/approved burden on the public, supporting statements, forms, etc. Keyword search that returns results for matching RINs, regulatory reviews and ICRs Subscribe to a RIN and receive notifications when something happens Let me know on LinkedIn if you have used this app at all - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
January 3, 2020
Powered by iReportSource 2019 - It was a year of change and growth for me, both personally and professionally: new partnerships, new professional connections, conferences. The podcast growth was significant last year - it has been growing exponentially year over year since the start, but last year it saw a lot of growth. I was able to expand the podcast in new ways thanks to the growing popularity of podcasts as well as more ways to find and enjoy podcasts. Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio all jumped into the podcast offering space. Also, Google finally offered its official podcast app - although it may have missed the train as most Android users have been listening to podcasts via other podcast apps available to them for several years now. I was also able to expand the podcast by partnering with other podcast networks. You can now hear this podcast on Safety FM network - while I maintain independence, this partnership allows them to re-broadcast episodes. At the same time, I keep creative control and the ability to expand the podcast even more! 2019 also had the podcast on the road for the first time. VPPPA was kind enough to host me at their National Safety+ Symposium in New Orleans. I was able to meet many podcast listeners and even interview a few - a first for the podcast. It was a successful event, and they have invited me back for the 2020 Symposium in Orlando. I got to meet Wesley Carter from the Amplify Your Process Safety Podcast and interview him - a SafetyPro podcast first! Another podcast first was my interview with a podcast listener, Diana Paredes - she shared some great insight, and it was so much fun meeting a listener in person. My interviews also included none other than Abby Ferri - who spoke at the VPPPA Safety+ Symposium as well. Her perspective on PPE for women generated a lot of feedback from listeners that continue to deal with form and fit - which impacts function, regarding protective equipment for women at work. I hope to have her back soon to share more about workplace safety. Frank King was also one of my guests; it was a fun yet sobering conversation about mental health and how companies need to make it a part of our overall safety and health programs. Frank has some excellent information for companies wanting to do just that - please be sure to connect with Frank on LinkedIn as well. I wrapped up my trip to New Orleans by interview some VPPPA Board members - you have to check out that interview if you haven't already. It is clear why VPPPA is a leading workplace safety association, and you should seriously consider what they can do for you. Finally, I made more professional connections in 2019, as well. The podcast has connected me to some incredible professionals. Many of which I have come to know well over the past year. Most of my connections are via LinkedIn - so if we are not connected yet, feel free to reach out. 2020 is looking to be another banner year as well. I have three conferences lined up; I will be presenting at two of them in Ohio and podcasting from one of them as well. The third is the previously mentioned VPPPA National Safety+ Symposium, where I will be conducting more interviews with speakers, VIPs as well as podcast listeners. I also have other plans for 2020 - including some big interviews with industry leaders and influencers. Interviews will not become a significant part of the podcast, but I will be adding some here and there. So I will announce these as we get closer to releasing the episodes. I also talked to a lot of listeners asking for more details and downloads about specific topics. While I try my best to offer enough information and links for each topic I cover, there is certainly room for more. The issue for me is the time needed to put together more materials. That is why I am launching a Patreon subscription program for those looking for more substance - whether that be explainer videos, demonstrations, downloads, etc. I will have member-only posts, feedback, and offers via this subscription. Keep in mind, the podcast and blog is my first focus - Patreon memberships are only supplemental and are not the end goal of the podcast. So nothing, and I mean nothing changes about the podcast. I have heard from enough listeners looking for more information that I wanted to create an avenue for them. Another launch in 2020 will be a membership option for consultants - I hear from plenty of you looking to attract more customers, offer more services, and leverage social media to that end. I have some unique insights and strategies for this and want to share with those that are serious about helping more companies protect their workers. I am talking about tools like templates, downloads, coaching videos, links to must-have business tools, marketing techniques, and more. 2020 is going to be another growth year for the podcast. I hope to continue to learn from you - the listeners, about how you work, what you are looking to learn more about, and how I can be a part of your professional growth. What are your big 2020 plans? Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
December 13, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Are concepts like "responsibility" and "being held accountable" viewed negatively by your employees? Most likely, it's because leaders have tried to mandate responsibility from the top down. But that's not how responsibility works. People are intrinsically motivated to fulfill their commitments for a range of reasons, none of which include being mandated -- at least not effectively nor sustainably. A top-down approach makes employees feel like a kid again -- it doesn't cultivate trust and freedom -- and it doesn't motivate people to find their way to stay on top of things. Instead, leaders can encourage more responsibility among employees by creating an organizational culture that promotes and cascades accountability through five areas of focus. Gallup's research and consulting experience show that to promote accountability, leaders, and managers should: 1. Define what people are accountable for. Employees need clearly defined expectations to achieve goals. Organizations may have evergreen responsibilities that support the organization's mission, values, and purpose - like customer-centricity or quality - that they need teams to focus on continuously. At other times, companies may need employees to focus on accountabilities that are short term or long term, but not permanent, such as large-scale change initiatives. But in every case, managers need to demonstrate accountability through their availability and time spent on defining what their team is responsible for. 2. Set and cascade goals throughout the organization. Once employees clearly understand what they're accountable for, managers should help them set measurable, individualized goals that align with their role. Most, if not all, employees should have metrics defined that help them know if they're delivering on the organization's goals. Next, leaders should prioritize ongoing communication about how everyone's contributions and successes impact the organization's achievements. 3. Provide updates on progress. People need the right information to course-correct toward their goals. Feedback can come from customer or employee surveys, ongoing project updates, key listening posts with critical stakeholders, or some combination of these. The most effective form of feedback, however, comes from frequent conversations between managers and employees. When preparing to provide a progress update, managers should not ask themselves if they have all the data, but instead, if they have the correct data, which is performance orientated so they can speak to the behavior that has allowed the progress. 4. Align development, learning, and growth. Whether through conversations between managers and employees or as part of an ongoing developmental path, organizations must provide opportunities for employees to improve, learn, and grow. Gallup analytics show that millennials rank the opportunity to learn and grow in a job as being No. 1 - above all other job considerations - and it's high on the ranks for different generations as well. Managers who focus on employee development help workers address the roadblocks that prevent their ability to deliver on goals while learning and growing in the role. 5. Recognize and celebrate progress. Praise for good work is the most motivating of all forms of feedback. Identify, celebrate, and learn from successes. It motivates employees to stretch and creates responsibility role models for others to follow. What Promoting Accountability Looks Like in Practice When leaders clearly define and communicate what the organization and employees are accountable for and committed to achieving, they are describing an ideal culture. But as It's the Manager reports, "a major challenge for leaders of large organizations is that there is no common culture." Moreover, only about half of all workers -- and fewer managers -- even know what's expected of them. Leaders who define accountability align individuals and teams toward a common outcome, commonly referred to as objectives or goals. Goals inform workers of what's expected of them and help workers determine how to accomplish them. And giving people a say in goal setting can galvanize their commitment to achieving them. Altogether, these actions can solve a lack of accountability when lack of clarity is the problem, which, Gallup's research shows, is not uncommon. A to-do list is not enough, however. All employees, from the C-suite down, need follow-up and feedback. "Everyone should play a role in developing their colleagues by providing meaningful feedback and coaching," says It's the Manager. "Leaders need to be the first to model these demands because their behavior dictates what employees interpret as a realistic expectation." Setting expectations that all employees will commit to achieving is a leader's job. So is frequently communicating and reinforcing the importance of the goal to the organization's success and that all roles make a crucial contribution to accomplishing it. However, while clarity and consistency of definition are critical, so is concision. When leaders deliver too many messages, as inspiring as they may be, employees can get confused - even overwhelmed - by myriad expectations that all seem to be the "most important." To keep definitions and expectations sharply focused - and to improve performance as well - Gallup recommends encouraging managers to have frequent coaching conversations with their direct reports; performance is best directed during the moment. But 47% of workers received feedback from their manager "a few times or less" in the past year, and only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do their work better. A company's accountability problem may be a coaching problem in disguise. These conversations should address successes, challenges, ideas for improvement, and ways to integrate ongoing learning and development. Companies will find that frequent, performance-focused coaching conversations make it easier to recognize development and growth opportunities for employees. Managers who stay in close contact with workers know where their gaps are and where their potential lies. They also activate responsibility - employees who feel cared for by their managers are more likely to want to come through. People who feel neglected aren't so motivated. And criticism and threats only demotivate workers and discourage accountability - when failure to live up to a commitment is punished, people may hide their mistakes. About a quarter of all employees say the most memorable recognition they ever received was from a high-level leader or CEO, which makes praise for good work a uniquely powerful leadership tool. And it's underutilized. Gallup finds that only about one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. Make Responsibility Easier - And More Rewarding When promoting accountability, this provides structures and processes people need to do what they say they'll do. It makes it easier to be responsible. It not only makes it easier, but it also makes people want to go the extra mile because they can see their progress, they're regularly receiving individualized coaching and praise. They're not being forced to merely comply. Again, leaders can't force people to develop a meaningful sense of accountability.
 They can create conditions that foster personal commitment -- by shaping an organizational culture that promotes responsibility. Gallup article used with permission. Read the Gallup article here. Get "It's The Manager" here. Let me know what you do to drive employee engagement. Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
December 9, 2019
Powered by iReportSource How workers show up each day directly shapes your culture. To be an engaged, safe, productive culture, we want our people highly involved and deeply committed to the company mission. No doubt that today, many organizations are seeking to create and sustain this kind of engaged company culture. That's why we're taking a closer look at just a few of the top ways we can ensure that the systems, the processes, the values, and the norms of your organization all help to improve the employee experience. Let's talk about a few strategies you can embed in your culture so you can improve employee engagement. Make accountability a high priority A positive safety culture is one where someone feels safe enough to say to a colleague, "I noticed that you're not wearing your safety glasses." In turn, we want that colleague to respect the other person enough to respond positively and change their behavior. The values of the team, in such organizations, reinforce constructive accountability. Workers look out for one another, and they can communicate with one another in a positive way that upholds the values of the company. That might be safety, or it might be something else like an approach towards customer service. Individual and team accountability also help work against over-confidence or complacency that can happen over time, despite how "engaged" a worker is. Accountability is communication, trust, ownership. In my next episode, I will go over five ways to promote accountability. But for now, know that accountability is a critical factor in driving engagement. Give workers the right amount of authority If you want to drive accountability, you also must match that with authority. Authority, paired with trust, is what gives workers a sense of empowerment and true ownership in a role or project. If and when authority is missing, workers can easily get disengaged because they don't feel like they can genuinely impact the desired outcome. Just think: if you ask a high performer to complete a project, but they lack the resources (time, talent, equipment, etc.), that's a real disconnect. That's precisely the kind of scenario that can result in a high degree of stress. To support giving your employees a real sense of authority, make sure: The authority given aligns with the outcomes you want to see You show you trust workers with that responsibility and authority Workers know what is expected of them, given their role and responsibilities Workers have the resources, tools, equipment to do the work the right way Get workers as involved as possible Provide ample opportunity and space for workers to be as involved as possible at work, in safety-related efforts, and in other areas, as well. Make sure you have a structure that can allow them to give suggestions and feedback as to how safety can be improved. It's essential to not only provide the opportunity for ideas but demonstrate that action will be taken to address those suggestions, too. That way, people feel empowered and have a greater sense of ownership. Plus, workers will feel like they have a stake in the outcome and in shaping the environment at work. Look at the employee experience from end to end Can you confidently say that the organization is showing it holistically cares for employees throughout the entire experience they have with you? That experience starts even before starting their job! Start thinking of the "employee experience" in terms of every interaction a worker has with your organization. That means from recruitment (or even before that) until the day they exit the company. To name a few, that can include: The recruitment process The hiring process The onboarding process The work environment(s) The work processes The career path or learning opportunities provided The ongoing communication (informal and formal) provided Coaching sessions or mentoring sessions that are a part of the job, whether formal or informal. The ways input and feedback are collected and acted upon Incentives/compensation The opportunity for training and ongoing education Employee recognition program Exit surveys and exit process in general The list goes on and on. The point is that the employee experience starts when they first interact with your organization and continues until they potentially leave the company. Rather than merely a buzzword (experience), you want to do your best to foster trust in each of these stages. That way, workers deeply care about their role and their impact on the company, no matter where they are in the "experience."  Don't be afraid to challenge the way you do things Do you have the same old safety meeting format? Do you hold a regular safety meeting, even if you don't necessarily have a pressing topic to cover? Be open to challenging the "norms" in your culture to fight complacency and boredom. Being open to changing things when needed, can boost creativity and engagement. Create an environment where you can measure attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors So much of work is about discretionary effort, and so you want to be sure your company is measuring and monitoring levels of engagement in some way. That way, you can be aware of a problem or issue when it arises. The reality is that if employees don't feel safe, accepted, or listened to, they probably aren't as engaged with their work. In other words, if people don't feel like they can be themselves at work, then they don't feel comfortable, which takes away from their ability to do their job optimally. Recognize and reward the right values and practices Companies with safe, productive, and engaged cultures look for opportunities to make the right behaviors as visible as possible, which serves to model and reinforce these behaviors in employees. Focus on intentional positive reinforcement, appreciation, and praise. Every company is different, so build a recognition program or process that works for your organization. Not only does that keep workers feeling appreciated, but it can show you support your company values. Invest in Learning and Development Does your organization support informal and formal mentoring? What about coaching? When was the last time you had a conversation with someone about their progress? A critical component of short-term and long-term engagement is developing your leaders in a variety of ways. That includes training, leadership development, coaching and mentoring, skill development, and helping to forge a path for career growth and advancement. Don't neglect to invest in your employees since it's a powerful tool to help them advance their skills and to keep them engaged and satisfied in their work. Gallup article used with permission. Read the Gallup article here Let me know what you do to drive employee engagement. Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
November 26, 2019
Powered by iReportSource The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), on July 2, 1982, announced the establishment of the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) to recognize and promote effective worksite-based safety and health management systems. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that are implementing or have implemented comprehensive safety and health management systems. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have created exemplary worksite safety and health management systems. OSHA offers assistance to sites committed to achieving the VPP level of excellence. VPP Principles Voluntarism: Participation in VPP is strictly voluntary. The applicant who wishes to participate freely submits information to OSHA on its safety and health management system, goes above and beyond compliance with the OSH Act and applicable OSHA requirements, and opens itself to agency review. Cooperation: OSHA has long recognized that a balanced, multifaceted approach is the best way to accomplish the goals of the OSH Act. VPP's emphasis on trust and cooperation between OSHA, the employer, employees, and employees’ representatives complements the Agency’s enforcement activity but does not take its place. VPP staff and VPP participants work together to resolve any safety and health problems that may arise. This partnership enables the Agency to remove participants from programmed inspection lists, allowing OSHA to focus its inspection resources on establishments in greater need of agency oversight and intervention. However, OSHA continues to investigate valid employee safety and health complaints, fatalities, catastrophes, and other significant events at VPP participant sites. A Systems Approach: Compliance with the OSH Act and all applicable OSHA requirements is only the starting point for VPP participants. VPP participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent, and control occupational hazards to prevent injuries and illnesses to employees. Star participants, in particular, are often on the leading edge of hazard prevention methods and technology. As a result, VPP worksites serve as models of safety and health excellence, demonstrating the benefits of a systems approach to employee protection. Model Worksites for Safety and Health: OSHA selects VPP participants based on their written safety and health management system, the effective implementation of this system over time, and their performance in meeting VPP requirements. Not all worksites are appropriate candidates for VPP. At qualifying sites, personnel is involved in the effort to maintain rigorous, detailed attention to safety and health. VPP participants often mentor other worksites interested in improving safety and health, participate in safety and health outreach and training initiatives, and provide OSHA with input on proposed policies and standards. They also share best practices and promote excellence in safety and health in their industries and communities. Continuous Improvement: VPP participants must demonstrate continuous improvement in the operation and impact of their safety and health management systems. Annual VPP self-evaluations help participants measure success, identify areas needing improvement, and determine such changes. OSHA onsite evaluation teams verify this improvement. Employee and Employer Rights: Participation in VPP does not diminish employee and employer rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act and, for Federal agencies, under 29 CFR 1960 as well. Participation Levels There are three levels of participation in the VPP: Star Program: The Star Program recognizes the safety and health excellence of worksites where employees are successfully protected from fatality, injury, and illness by the implementation of comprehensive and effective workplace safety and health management systems. These worksites are self-sufficient in identifying and controlling workplace hazards. Merit Program: The Merit Program recognizes worksites that have functional safety and health management systems and that show the willingness, commitment, and ability to achieve site-specific goals that will qualify them for Star participation. Star Demonstration Program: The Star Demonstration Program recognizes worksites that have Star quality safety and health management systems that differ in some significant fashion from the VPP model and thus do not meet current Star requirements. A Star Demonstration Program tests this alternative approach to ascertain if it is as protective as current Star requirements. Elements To qualify for VPP, an applicant/participant must operate a comprehensive safety and health management system that includes four essential elements and their sub-elements. These elements, when integrated into a worksite’s daily operations, can reduce the incidence and severity of illnesses and injuries: Management leadership and employee involvement. Worksite analysis. Hazard prevention and control. Safety and health training. STAR Participation First off, there is no limit to the term of participation in Star, as long as a participant continues to meet all Star requirements and to maintain Star quality. Injury and Illness History Requirements OSHA will evaluate the applicant/participant’s injury and illness history by using a 3-year total case incidence rate (TCIR) and 3-year days away, restricted, and/or job transfer incidence rate (DART rate). The 3-year TCIR and DART rates must be below at least 1 of the 3 most recent years of specific industry national averages for nonfatal injuries and illnesses at the most precise level published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Compare both rates to a single year.  For eligible smaller worksites, companies may use an alternative rate calculation by using their best 3 out of the most recent four years of incidence rates. Participation Process The participation process consists of application submittal and review, an onsite evaluation, and an approval or denial process. OSHA provides the required application template to make it easy for applicants to spell out how the company meets or exceeds the various VPP expectations. Once approved, OSHA will schedule an onsite visit, and this is where things get interesting. The onsite team will be assembled based on several factors: the size and locations of your various facilities (if more than one), the industry (PSM, construction, and others), the unique conditions at your sites may require IH expertise, ergonomics, or others. For the most part, OSHA will request volunteers to be a part of this team. Volunteers are from other VPP participating companies and have gone through specialized training with the Department of Labor to become special government employees (SGE) - I use the term employees loosely. OSHA also has provisions in place to prevent competitor companies from being involved as well as guidelines to protect trade secrets. OSHA will review written programs and documents, interview employees, and conduct site reviews. All of this information will be documented and reviewed each day of the onsite by the OSHA team lead. Any safety deficiencies can be categorized in one of three different ways: OSHA Requirement VPP Requirement STAR Example Any deficiencies noted that would prevent the approval of the VPP application must be corrected within 90-days of being notified. If not, OSHA may reject the application, and one cannot reapply for another 6-months. Approval Once approved, the OSHA Area Office will notify the Assistant Secretary of OSHA regarding the recommended acceptance into the VPP. Once signed, OSHA informs applicants of their acceptance into the program. OSHA awards newly approved participants a plaque and flag, and most companies have a flag ceremony to celebrate this well-deserved achievement. Maintaining VPP Companies have to comply with ongoing requirements as well, which means submitting an annual report, maintaining injury/illness rates, not having employee complaints, and a few more you can read about on their website. Yes, companies can be removed for various reasons. One is if the Union retracts its support for VPP - this has happened before. Any Union representation must co-sign on the application or submit a letter stating they do not object to the VPP application. Again, you can read more about Union support on the OSHA VPP website. I recorded a 4-part series breaking down all four elements a while back. I will list them in the show notes so that you can dive even deeper into the VPP elements. 011: VPP Element 1 - Leadership Commitment & Employee Involvement 012: VPP Element 2 - Worksite Safety Analysis 013: VPP Element 3 - Safety Hazard Prevention & Controls 014: VPP Element 4 - Safety & Health Training As a recap, VPP principles are in line with other leading safety management systems in that they require a systems approach and a process of continuous improvement. What I like about VPP is the support for the program, not only from OSHA and other participants, but there is a world-class organization dedicated to supporting VPP participants. They are called the VPP Participants Association or VPPPA. Please take a look at their website and learn more about how they can help you - whether your company is a VPP site, thinking about applying for VPP or just wanting to learn from the best so that you can improve safety for your people, VPPPA is for you! So what do you think? ISO 45001, ANSI/ASSP Z10, or VPP? Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
November 18, 2019
Powered by iReportSource We know by now that the application of a safety management system (SMS) can drastically improve organizational safety performance. Even OSHA's Partnership program, VPP, relies on management system principles, and you can see the results that participants encounter on their website. So, back in 1999, ANSI started a committee to begin work on what would become known as the Z10 standard. The committee looked at existing national and international standards in occupational safety and health. Initially approved in 2005, it was revised once and reaffirmed in 2017. More recently, the collaboration between ANSI and the American Industrial Hygiene Association was replaced on the Z10 committee by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), which is why you will now see the standard now titled ANSI/ASSP Z10. ANSI Z10 encourages participants to integrate other management systems with the safety management system. Mainly because most other systems follow the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) model as the basis for continuous improvement, so it should be familiar to most organizations. Not only that, it is incredibly useful! The stated purpose of the standard is to provide organizations a valuable tool for continuous improvement of their safety and health performance. The standard focuses mainly on the strategic aspects of policies and the things that go into making sure they are carried out. What ANSI Z10 does NOT do is provide companies with things like detailed procedures and job instructions. So let's get into what is required by this voluntary standard. Like other voluntary standards, the ANSI/ASSP Z10 is broken down into sections. According to the Table of Contents, the seven sections are as follows: Scope, Purpose, & Application Definitions Management Leadership & Employee Participation Planning Implementation & Operation Evaluation & Corrective Action Management Review Scope, Purpose, & Application Just as in the case with ISO 45001, ANSI/ASSP Z10 starts with the Scope, Purpose & Application. It defines the minimum requirements for the safety management system, and its primary purpose is, again, to provide a tool that organizations can use to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Of course, the standard can be applied to any organization regardless of size and type. Management Leadership & Employee Participation The top management has to mandate all parts of the organization to establish, maintain, implement, and maintain the SMS per the standard. This mandate starts with top management establishing a documented EHS policy. Companies have to make sure that, at a minimum, the safety policy includes the following: Protection and continual improvement of employee safety and health. Meaningful employee involvement. Require conformance with the organization's safety and health program requirements. Require compliance with established safety and health laws and regulations. The top leadership must also accept ultimate responsibility for safety and health by doing the things we come to expect in these safety management systems: Provide financial and professional resources to carry out the management system requirements. Define roles and responsibilities, accountability, and authority to carry out the management system requirements.  Integrate the SMS into other business systems and processes, which includes performance reviews, compensation, rewards, and recognition programs are in line with the SMS. Employees also have to assume responsibility for parts of the SMS over which they have control, like following safety rules and procedures. All of this must be communicated to all employees as well as be made available to relevant external interested parties. According to ANSI, top leadership should not only hire a safety professional and delegate all of this to them. They must be visible in their leadership by participating in carrying out aspects of the SMS as well. Employee Participation The organization has to establish a process that ensures meaningful employee participation throughout all levels. At a minimum: Provide employees the means, time, and resources needed to participate in the planning, implementation, evaluation, corrective action, and preventative actions required by the SMS. Provide employees access to information related to the SMS. Effectively remove all barriers to meaningful involvement. Planning ANSI states that the planning process goal is to identify and prioritize SMS issues such as hazards, risks, SMS deficiencies, and opportunities for improvement. The organization must also establish goals and objectives to improve upon the SMS as well. There are four parts of this section: Review Process Assessment and Prioritization Objectives Implementation Plans and Allocation of Resources Let's talk about Review; I often mention the need to conduct a gap assessment. Well, so does ANSI. You need to identify the differences, the gap between the organization's SMS, and the requirements of the Z10. Not only does this need to be done when implementing Z10, but also periodically after that. The organization must document these activities. The activities you should document include: Relevant business systems and processes Operational issues like hazards, risks, and controls Previously identified issues Allocation of needed resources Applicable regulations, standards, and other EHS requirements Risk assessments Opportunities for employee participation Results of other audits Any other relevant activities Implementation & Operation This section is where ANSI spells out which elements an organization needs for the implementation of an effective SMS. These elements are considered foundational elements of the SMS and feed into the planning process. ANSI believes the implementation fo these elements also generates the much-needed experience and knowledge that will be looped back into the planning process continuously. The elements are as follows: Risk Assessment Education, Training, Awareness, and Competence Communication Document and Record Control Process Here I want to focus on the first element. The organization must establish and implement a risk assessment process that addresses the nature of the hazards and level of risks in the business. In the Risk Assessment element, ANSI spells out the use of the hierarchy of controls, design review, management of change, procurement processes, contractor management, and emergency preparedness. These all must be addressed to comply with the standard. Evaluation & Corrective Action In this section, ANSI covers the requirements for processes to achieve the following: Evaluate the performance of the SMS through monitoring, measurement, assessment, incident investigation, and audits. Take corrective action when the organization discovers deficiencies. Consider the results of audits as part of the planning process and management review. The purpose is to help evaluate SMS performance by measuring the company's efforts at reducing risks. ANSI spells out five areas that will help: Monitoring, Measurement, and Assessment Incident Investigation Audits Corrective and Preventative Action Feedback to the Planning Process In the end, the findings and lessons learned will loop back into the continuous process of improving the SMS overall. Management Review In this section, ANSI defines the requirements for occasional management reviews. The reason is for top management, along with crucial leaders in the organization, to do a strategic evaluation of the performance of the SMS and recommend improvements. The difference being that this speaks specifically to top leadership. Things to consider using during any management review include: Any reduction of risks identified The effectiveness of the organization's ability to identify, assess, and prioritize risk The effectiveness in addressing underlying causes and contributors to risks and deficiencies  Input from employees The status of corrective actions determined to be needed Progress on any stated SMS goals and objectives The reason top management needs to conduct these reviews is that they have the authority to make the necessary decisions about allocating resources about choices.  The results need to be summarized, spelling out action items top management needs to address. These go into action plans with targets to achieve as well as identifying those responsible for seeing them through. To recap, the ANSI/ASSP Z10 Standard has requirements under the following sections: Scope, Purpose, & Application Definitions Management Leadership & Employee Participation Planning Implementation & Operation Evaluation & Corrective Action Management Review I wanted to cover ANSI Z10 as I did for the ISO 45001 Standard in the last episode. Which one do you think you would recommend following? Why? I like aspects of both, but the ANSI Standard reads better. They formatted the standard into two columns. The left-hand side spells out standard requirements while the right-hand side offers recommendations or best practices related to each. It is pretty easy to follow in that regard. Let me know what you think - ISO or ANSI at this point? Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
November 11, 2019
Powered by iReportSource According to ISO, the purpose of a safety management system is to provide a framework for managing safety and health risks and opportunities. Of course, this means preventing workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses by recognizing and eliminating or managing risks by taking preventative and protective measures. The structure of ISO 45001 will tell you everything you need to know about how effective safety management systems are set up. Let’s take a look at this SMS at a high-level then get into each element. There are ten areas of focus found in ISO 45001: Scope References Definitions Context of the Organization Leadership and Worker Participation Planning Support Operation Performance Evaluation Improvement I will not get into all of these in great detail but will touch on most to get an understanding of what is needed when considering ISO 45001 for your organization. Let’s just skip to number four since I think you get the scope of why ISO 45001 was created if you listened to the past several episodes. Context of the organization You first need to understand your organization, it’s context, needs, and expectations of the workers. One must also understand what ISO calls “other interested parties,” like vendors, suppliers, contractors, and even customers. The scope is everything around why the company is in business and how the company makes or provides the products or services it offers. In the case of manufacturing, what machines and processes are involved? What chemicals, tools, materials are needed? What trades or special skills are required of workers? What planned or performed work-related activities will be required? The same goes for construction, mining, hospitality, retail, or food industries. Some expectations you will need to identify are going to be legal ones - compliance with laws and regulations. Other expectations will be industry or corporate-driven, such as the case with best practices or compliance with voluntary guidelines, like ISO or ANSI or VPP. All of this will help you determine the scope of the safety management system. So you have to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve a safety management system. This includes the processes needed and their interactions - and ISO lays those out in 45001. Leadership and Worker Participation This section addresses two of the foundational elements of any safety management system; the leaders and the workers. This relationship is absolutely critical to the success of everything the business does, including safety and health. As for leadership, they need to be committed to the safety management system. Here are some things required to achieve this: Leadership must accept overall accountability for the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as establishing a safe work environment and work-related activities. They must ensure that the overall safety and health policy and related goals and objectives are established and compatible with the strategic direction of the company. Leadership must also make sure to integrate the safety management system elements into the rest of the business processes. Leaders must make sure that adequate resources needed to establish, implement, and maintain the safety management system are provided at all times. This includes qualified personnel to contribute to SMS effectiveness. Top leadership must also communicate the importance of effective safety management and compliance with all of the requirements the company has set forth. Ensure the SMS achieves desired outcomes by promoting a continuous process improvement approach. Supporting other management roles so that they may also ensure SMS success. Develop and lead a culture that supports the intended outcomes of the SMS. This means protecting workers from retaliation when reporting hazards, concerns, suggestions, or even just participating in workplace safety activities. Also, by making sure workers are included in the decision-making process when it comes to safety and health. One way to do this is to establish a safety and health committee. NOTE: ISO 45001 does require a committee. Safety and Health Policy So when I mentioned that leadership needs to establish a safety and health policy, what are some requirements for this policy? Here is what ISO says the policy must do, at a minimum: It must include a commitment to provide safe and healthy working conditions for the prevention of work-related injury and illnesses. The policy must set up a framework for establishing safety and health goals and objectives. These must be specific to expected hazards or work activities and measured appropriately. Goals must be achievable and relevant to safety and health program elements and set at least annually. It has to include a written commitment to meeting basic legal and other requirements as discussed, eliminating or reducing/managing risks, and continuous process improvement of the management system. Another written commitment needed is the participation of workers and their representatives.  So here we see leadership commitment moving from theory to putting it on paper. This written policy has to be communicated and available to all employees, as well. Roles and Responsibilities To carry out all of the business commitments, the company needs to staff appropriately. As such, every employee has a purpose in the organization which needs to be defined. This includes safety and health. Here is where we need well-written job descriptions and roles and responsibilities. Roles and responsibilities are critical because every worker, regardless of their position, needs to know what is expected of them when they start work. This is the first impression they get when they join. These expectations need to be measurable or observable. So we want to avoid the high-level language like “support safety efforts,” and “demonstrate leadership.” We need to define these with actions, spell them out, and communicate them. Download an example of safety and health roles and responsibilities here. I routinely see companies struggle with middle managers not being “committed,” yet when they were hired, none of this was covered with them. When you tell a group of supervisors to “support” safety without defining it, they will come up with their own version. You see now how this all works together? This is what we mean when we say it requires a systems approach. Worker Participation (Involvement) When we say worker participation or employee involvement, it has to be meaningful involvement. As mentioned earlier, workers need to be involved in the decision-making process when it comes to safety and health. You cannot say they report hazards, that is a mandate, a condition of employment. Also, OSHA already requires employees to report hazards to the employer. We are talking about involvement in the development of programs, policies, defenses, and improvements moving forward. Some examples include: Serving on a safety committee Volunteering as a first aid provider Participating in area inspections and/or program audits Establishing an incentive program Serving on a select team - like ergo, wellness, etc. Participating in training programs Managing a suggestion program Participating in continuous process improvement activities Conducting incident investigations Planning Once you have the scope of the organization, all interested parties and begin to size up the safety management system, you have to plan for it. This means accounting for all of the hazards, risks, opportunities, and even legal requirements to ensure the SMS is comprehensive and will achieve its intended goals. This has to be documented, including the process and actions need to address identified risks and opportunities. So, let’s get into what activities support planning for SMS success.  Hazard Identification You have to create and maintain a process for hazard identification - this has to be proactive and continuous. Some areas you will need to focus on include: How the organization plans and organizes work. Things like workload and shifts, and also discrimination and harassment policies or leadership practices that drive culture. Assessing routine and non-routine work. This could be work involving facilities, equipment, tools, processes, products/services offered, assembly operations, construction, disposal, etc. A review of past incidents needs to be a big part of hazard identification. This not only includes incidents inside the organization but also outside. Things like local/regional disasters, events created by nearby companies, emergencies, etc. You will need to include an assessment of personnel and outside persons. This that have access to the company and property and also those in the vicinity like municipal workers, utilities, neighbors, etc. that could impact the business and also be affected by operations. Some other issues to consider for hazard identification include workstation design, layout, operating procedures, adaptability to change, and support for these activities. Management of change needs to be considered, as well. In other words, how is the company prepared to support the changes required? How will changes impact safety and health? Is the company set up to manage those? Another aspect of hazard identification is whether or not there are adequate controls in place or needed. You will need to use a recognized and accepted approach to assessing and determining the level of risk so that appropriate controls can be determined. Hierarchy of controls, for example. You also want to have a process in place to continually assess work, work areas, processes for improvements, and improvements to the safety management system in general. Things like looking at software solutions to help manage aspects of the system or new equipment to mitigate or manage specific hazards. Continuous improvement is the goal here. But you cannot just say it, you need a process in place to ensure that it is being done. Finally, you need to have access to the latest regulatory information, whether that be Federal, State, or local. This includes professionals that specialize in this, like Safety Pros. The company needs to be able to demonstrate that it took these legal aspects into account when designing work, processes, etc. This too, can be included in a documented hazard assessment process. All of this info needs to be included in everything from the written safety programs, policies, response plans, and more. Safety and Health Objectives The business needs to create safety and health goals and objectives relevant to the different functions of the business and levels of the company. These will need to be consistent with the established safety and health policy, also be measurable, communicated, updated, and monitored as required. You will need to document things such as: what needs to be done what resources are required who will be responsible for what parts a realistic timeframe how you will ensure the results achieve the objectives how will results be scaled across the business Support for Safety I mentioned already the need to provide Safety Pros and others trained and qualified to carry out aspects of the SMS. This is but one way to show support for safety. The company must demonstrate employees are competent to comply with and act on behalf of the SMS. This competence can be documented in different ways. Everything from specific training and qualifications to establishing a comprehensive on-the-job training program with evaluations and refresher requirements. At a minimum, workers must be aware of the SMS policies, objectives, and how their participation leads to its success. You also need to ensure they understand the consequences of not meeting SMS requirements. Another part of increasing awareness of safety includes communicating the results of learnings from incident investigations - including newly discovered risks or hazards and how the company is managing them. And of course, a clearly communicated stop work policy must be a part of ANY safety and health policy. Employees must be aware of what to do when faced with a hazard or risk that was not previously identified and managed. Don’t forget to add the anti-harassment protections they have as well. Very important! Communication I have mentioned the word “communicate” many times already, so let’s talk about that as a strategic part of the SMS. You need to have a communication process established. That is, when and how often does the company disseminate information? What will you communicate? What channels of communication will the company use? You also need to take into account diversity when communicating. Things like language barriers, literacy in general, culture, and even disability as is the case with the spoken word and the hearing impaired or written communications and visually impaired. There are also internal communications as well as external; how does the organization handle these? Documentation The organization must keep all documentation required by applicable laws and regulations as well as those needed for the SMS, as discussed. But some basic things that ISO requires are as follows: Documents need to contain a title, description, date, author or reference number Need to follow a standard format, like language, software version, etc. and media like paper, electronic, etc. Establish a review and approval process for suitability, adequacy and any changes made You also have to have controls in place for SMS documents. Are they available for use when needed and by those needing them? Are they protected from being altered, or are sensitive documents protected from unauthorized dissemination? So, establish a written policy spelling out process around the request, access, retrieval, distribution, and use of specific documents, even ones that would normally be considered “public use,” like safety data sheets. Also, describe how the organization will store, preserve, and even destroy documents as well as handle changes needed. Operation This section covers operational planning and control, eliminating hazards and reducing risks, management of change, procurement and emergency preparedness and response. So those written programs, policies, and procedures are going to be needed here. Some of these are obvious, but one I want to focus on is the management of change (MOC). Your organization has to establish a process (or set of processes) planned temporary and permanent changes that will affect the SMS. Examples include new products/services, process changes, tools, equipment, workstation, facility layout, new additions to buildings/structures, changes to general work environments, and even workforce changes. Other changes needing to be addressed, those stemming from other changes. For example, a change in processes may require legal changes, like permitting. Also, the need for more expertise or specialists you do not currently have on staff. And you will need to review any unintended changes as well. Performance Evaluation This includes inspections, audits, and analysis of results. These are needed to ensure the SMS is not only achieving its intended objectives but also that those charged with specific activities are fulfilling them as well. You will need to define what needs to be monitored and measured, the methods that will be sued, the criteria against which you will be evaluated, when and how often, and how to communicate the results. This means you will need to establish and maintain a documented audit program.  Furthermore, top management has to review the organization’s safety management system at planned intervals to make sure that it is still adequate and is sustainable. All of the things Safety Pros will be doing, organizational leadership needs to do as well. They cannot just pass it off because they have professionals on staff. I talked about this in a previous episode - assigning key elements of the SMS to others to get them involved. It is a great approach and meets ISO expectations. Improvement Finally, the organization has to continuously look for opportunities to improve the SMS and implement needed actions to support any improvements. The first place most of us start is with corrective actions stemming from incident investigations. All recommendations have to be supported by the company. This also serves as evidence of leadership commitment.  Final Thoughts As I have mentioned, continuous improvement is a foundational element of any SMS. A lot of what I talked about here focuses first on documenting why and how everything related to SMS will be carried out. In the end, this is a continuous process and cannot merely be created once on paper and forgotten. It is not the traditional written safety program approach. ISO 45001 requires proper documentation, yes, but more importantly, you have to act on what is spelled out in your SMS. That SMS must first start with the scope and context of your unique organization. The past several episodes discussing SMS, and all of the things that go into it cannot be overlooked. Things like systems thinking, continuous process improvement, root cause analysis, human organizational performance - the mindset and approaches needed to design, implement, and support SMS components. Do not jump straight to writing manuals and policies simply to satisfy a regulating body. Let me know what you think! Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
October 25, 2019
Powered by iReportSource As mentioned in episode 81 - What is "Systems Thinking," I will talk about root cause analysis or RCA - another aspect of a systems approach, Let’s define it and talk about how it can be applied. In episode 33: Lean Safety, I recommended some excellent books to help you out. TapRoot® is another great resource as well as the book Pre-Accident Investigation by Todd Conklin - I have this one and contains great insight. But remember, whatever books you read or concepts you follow, if all you get is a strategic overview of these principals, then you will need to follow that up with tactical training to be able to use the right tools and techniques for a given situation. For example, I went through HOP training, was a H.O.P. coach for a former employer, so jump on Linkedin and ask your network how they are applying these concepts, ask for help. One thing I want to share about Conklin’s book that has stuck with me (there is a lot, but this one is a favorite); “Safety is not the absence of events; it is the presence of defenses.” So true! So Let’s get into a definition of RCA. First, I want to reference TapRoot®. Over 30 years ago, they started with research into human performance and the best incident investigation and root cause analysis systems available. They put this knowledge to use to build a systematic investigation process with a coherent investigation philosophy. Then, they used and refined the system in the field. In 1991, they wrote the first TapRoot® Manual that put all of this experience together into an incident investigation system called TapRoot®. According to TapRoot®, a definition of Root Cause Analysis is as follows: “The systematic process of finding the knowledge or best practice needed to prevent a problem.“ What root cause analysis tools or methods should you use? Here is guidance to help you pick the root cause analysis system you should use: You need to understand what happened. Because you can’t understand WHY an incident occurred if you don’t understand HOW it happened, and before that, you need to know what happened. You need to identify the multiple Causal Factors (this is the HOW) that caused the problem (the incident). Your root cause analysis system should have tools to help you identify these points that will be the start of finding root causes. You will need to dig deeper and find each of the Causal Factor’s root causes. These are the causes of human performance and equipment reliability issues. TapRoot, with many years of experience, has found that investigators (even experienced investigators) need guidance – an expert system – to help them consistently identify the root causes of human performance and equipment reliability issues. This guidance should be part of the root cause analysis system. Plus, the root cause analysis tool must find fixable causes of human error without placing blame. Blame is a major cause of failed root cause analysis. If this is a major issue, you should go beyond the specific root causes of this particular incident. For major investigations, you should look one level deeper for the Generic (systemic) Cause of each root cause. Not every root cause will have a Generic Cause. But, if you can identify the Generic Cause of a root cause, you may be able to develop corrective action that will eliminate a whole class of problems. Thus, your systematic process should guide you to find Generic Causes for major investigations. Root cause analysis is useless if you don’t develop effective corrective actions (fixes) that will prevent repeat incidents. TapRoot has seen that investigators may not be able to develop effective fixes for problems they haven’t seen fixed before. Therefore, your root cause analysis system should have guidance for developing effective fixes. Finally, you will need to get management approval to make the changes (the fixes) to prevent repeat problems. Thus, your root cause analysis system should include tools to effectively present what you have found and the corrective actions to management so they can approve the resources needed to make the changes happen. Another take on this is that RCA involves investigating the patterns of adverse effects, finding hidden flaws in the system, and discovering specific actions that could have contributed directly and indirectly to the problem. Which often means that RCA reveals more than one root cause. And thus the title lends itself to criticism by some folks - it implies one root cause when we know that isn’t the intent. I call these folks word nerds, and these are the Gurus I refer to when I point this out - not the ones I mentioned earlier that understand this. They take the literal meaning instead of using their brains a little and understanding that it is just a catchphrase, and the purpose or spirit of the phrase is what is essential. The second example of an organization focused on this topic; ASQ. The American Society for Quality (ASQ), formerly the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), they are a knowledge-based global community of quality professionals, with nearly 80,000 members dedicated to promoting and advancing quality tools, principles, and practices in their workplaces and communities. According to an ASQ article published back in 2004: “Simply stated, RCA is a tool designed to help identify not only what and how an event occurred, but also why it happened. Only when investigators can determine why an event or failure occurred will they be able to specify workable corrective measures that prevent future events of the type observed. Understanding why an event occurred is the key to developing effective recommendations. Imagine an occurrence during which an operator is instructed to close valve A; instead, the operator closes valve B. The typical investigation would probably conclude operator error was the cause. This is an accurate description of what happened and how it happened. However, if the analysts stop here, they have not probed deeply enough to understand the reasons for the mistake. Therefore, they do not know what to do to prevent it from occurring again. In the case of the operator who turned the wrong valve, we are likely to see recommendations such as retrain the operator on the procedure, remind all operators to be alert when manipulating valves, or emphasize to all personnel that careful attention to the job should be maintained at all times. Such recommendations do little to prevent future occurrences. Generally, mistakes do not just happen but can be traced to some well-defined causes. In the case of the valve error, we might ask, “Was the procedure confusing? Were the valves clearly labeled? Was the operator familiar with this particular task?” The answers to these and other questions will help determine why the error took place and what the organization can do to prevent a recurrence. In the case of the valve error, recommendations might include revising the procedure or performing procedure validation to ensure references to valves match the valve labels found in the field. Identifying root causes is the key to preventing similar recurrences. An added benefit of an effective RCA is that, over time, the root causes identified across the population of occurrences can be used to target major opportunities for improvement.” So this is why the battle against the word “why” confuses me (see, I cannot even avoid using the word in that statement!) - I mean, I get that it can be used negatively, as in “why did you do that?” Tone and inflection play into this a lot, as well. But we know that it isn’t the reason for asking, nor is it how we should ask the question. I mean, if you have ever heard a child ask “why” (and repeats it 25 times!), then you probably know that it is merely an attempt to understand the world around them. We don’t discourage children from learning more about the world around them by asking “why,” but we do as adults for some reason, and as adults, we are supposed to be smarter than that; able to use logic and reason - you think we would have figured that out. So instead of hating on the word why, then shouldn’t we spend more time training and education on the proper use of it?  Let me illustrate the use of “why” with an example not related to workplace safety. Simon Sinek, best known for popularizing the concept of WHY (and wrote the book "Start with Why") in his first TED Talk in 2009, the third most popular TED video of all time. He talked about the importance of why, before the how or what. He gave an example of Apple; why is it they are so much more successful than other tech companies? They have access to the same talent pool, same consultants, same media. So what makes them so special? You wouldn’t explain this by describing what they make, or how they make those items - but the why gets to their core purpose, which then determines how they make what they make. Remember the TapRoot® or ASQ approach? Sound familiar? Ok, so you might be saying that the context of the Ted Talk is completely different when it comes to workplace incidents or accidents. Maybe, but in both cases, asking why is meant to seek a deeper understanding of potential drivers or root causes, rather than explaining how something happened or even simply describing what happened in a single word or phrase. For example: What happened: There was a fire in the furnace room. How it happened: Combustible materials were stored too close to the furnace. Why it happened: We have not established a fire prevention program or an effective housekeeping program, updated roles/responsibilities, assigned accountability, conducted/tracked training, developed a tracking system, inspected/audited, and reviewed to ensure it was being followed/maintained. So use the word why, don’t use the word - as long as you seek to get a deeper understanding as to all of the potential contributors to an incident. It is important to define this topic accurately because it is crucial to continuous process improvement - the foundation of a safety management system, which kicked this whole series off a few episodes ago. Final Thoughts Before I wrap this up, let me say for those criticizing traditional RCA, claiming it doesn’t get it done, likely do not fully understand root cause analysis, or they are peddling something - their book or training course. Or they could just be taking the term literally when most of us are using it to describe ALL of the things we need to do to “root out” all of the potential contributors (causal factors) to failure. See, everyone gets hung up on the words. I mean yes, they matter to an extent. But someone with a high EQ, incredibly self-aware will be able to understand the context. And we should expect that in our profession. I have even read posts saying things like, “don’t start at the end of the event and work back because there will be bias. Start at the beginning and work forward” - but if this approach is based on the fact that humans are flawed and will bring bias into the investigation (since we already know what happened), don’t you think those same flaws (biases) will be present regardless of where you start? Of course, they will. So we must focus on how we go about investigations - in this case, objectivity is the critical component. Besides, we were likely trained this way - for recordable injuries look at the old OSHA 301 form; the very first question is NOT “What happened, starting with the event.” It is “What was the employee doing just before the incident occurred? Describe the activity, as well as the tools, equipment, or material the employee was using. Be specific.” So yeah, start BEFORE the event. Oh, and by the way, starting at the beginning is but ONE technique, ONE approach, it still gets to potential root causes and is, therefore, a root cause analysis tool. There are other types of incidents where you may need to start with the current-state and walk backward. I am reminded of my old fire days. If there were a fire and no one was around, are you going to ask the fire how it started its day? If you happen to have video available, guess where you are going to start - the point at which you see the first sign of smoke or flames. Working backward, in this case, might be needed to establish a timeline - from there, you can determine at what point in the process it started, what stage of the cycle the process was in, time of day, environmental conditions or temperature at the time, etc. The reason you are investigating will also drive how you approach the investigation, as well as the tools and techniques you use, in the case of criminal investigations, insurance, fraud or liability investigations, for example. In the 1988 edition of Modern Accident Investigation Analysis, Ted S. Ferry has several chapters breaking down various aspects of accidents that need to be investigated. Among them are Chapter 4: Human Aspects; Chapter 7: Systems Investigation; Chapter 14: Where Did Management Fail? - and all along the way, discussing the relationship between people, environment, and systems. We have come a long way in many areas, but one thing is sure; we have known for a long time that this approach - a systems approach, looking at all aspects, is the best way to truly root out all potential contributors so that we may make smarter decisions moving forward. Ferry writes: “Mishaps are a sign of inefficient operations and poor operating practices. We can conclude that a good investigation will uncover, among other things, management practices or oversights that have contributed to the mishap.” We can even go way back to the 1960s, to the MORT Process, which defines a mishap as “the unwanted transfer of energy that produces injury to persons, damage to property, degradation of an ongoing process, and other unwanted losses.” MORT is based on the concept that all accidental losses arise from two sources: (1) specific job oversights and omissions, and (2) the management systems factors that control the job. It is frequently used to solve other management problems, as well. I could go on, but I think you get my point. Become a student of these approaches. Learn about the history of these topics. Our industry will continue to adapt as we learn more about the interactions humans have with systems and organizations. But I wanted to tackle this topic since it is so critical to supporting a safety management system and how we execute this, Root Cause Analysis, will drive every improvement we make to our people, processes, policies/procedures and how leaders continue to develop the sense through which they view their businesses. I want to hear your take - how do you use continuous process improvement and RCA to support your safety management system? Have you struggled with any of the tools? Are you confused about which tools are ideal for which situations or problems for which you are trying to solve? Let me know - reach out via LinkedIn or shoot me an email. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
October 22, 2019
Powered by iReportSource In this episode, I continue my series breaking down Safety Management Systems (SMS) and will talk about Continuous Process Improvement. Before I can do that, we need to understand something else about SMS - In episode 80 of The SafetyPro Podcast, Safety Management System (SMS) Defined, I talked about how you need to move away from individual programs and toward a systems approach to safety management. Well, there is something called systems thinking, and we are going to get into what that is and how you can shift not only the way you look at managing safety but also how your organization can make the shift from managing programs to integrating safety within the rest of the business by using systems thinking. I recently came across an interesting article over at The Systems Thinker written by Micheal Goodman, and I thought it would help safety pros better understand what system thinking is all about. Michael is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and practitioner in the fields of Systems Thinking, Organizational Learning, and Leadership. The article is called SYSTEMS THINKING: WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW? He writes: "The discipline of systems thinking is more than just a collection of tools and methods – it's also an underlying philosophy. Many beginners are attracted to the tools, such as causal loop diagrams, in hopes that these tools will help them deal with persistent business problems. But systems thinking is also a sensitivity to the circular nature of the world we live in; an awareness of the role of structure in creating the conditions we face; a recognition that there are powerful laws of systems operating that we are unaware of; a realization that there are consequences to our actions to which we are oblivious. Systems thinking is also a diagnostic tool. As in the medical field, effective treatment follows a thorough diagnosis. In this sense, systems thinking is a disciplined approach for examining problems more completely and accurately before acting. It allows us to ask better questions before jumping to conclusions. Systems thinking involves moving from observing events or data, to identifying patterns of behavior over time, to surfacing the underlying structures that drive those events and patterns." So you can see how this sets us up for moving away from merely managing programs toward a systems approach to safety. We need to understand the relationships the individual safety programs have with other areas of the business - how people think, feel, and behave when interacting with them. It is also essential to understand that when we use the term system, it implies that the entire business is a single system and composed of many related subsystems. An accident occurs when a human or a mechanical part or multiple parts of the system fails or even just malfunctions. The system safety approach reviews the accident to determine how and why it occurred and what steps could be taken to prevent a recurrence. The goal of a systems approach is to produce, you guessed it, a safer system. Therefore, at a minimum, a safety system is a formal approach to eliminate or control hazardous events through engineering, design, education, management policy, and supervisory oversight and control of conditions (environment) and practices, the organizational policies, practices, and overall organizational culture, etc. Notice I included the human and organizational aspects? Yes, traditional systems safety does address these areas. In episode 80 of this podcast, I also talked about how SMS is a continuous improvement process that reduces hazards and prevents accidents. So what is a Continuous Improvement Process exactly? And how does it help us improve safety? Simply put, it is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. Or put another way; a recurring activity or activities to enhance performance. Typically, the goal is for "incremental" improvement over time and, in some cases, significant improvements all at once. So once again, I will use Lean principles to explain this concept. First, I want to start with some structure, which will lead to this concept of continuous improvement. There is a term known to Lean practitioners; Kaizen. The Japanese word kaizen simply means "change for better" and refers to any improvement, either a one-time deal or a continuous process, either large or small, in the same sense as the English word "improvement." So when you hear the phrase "Kaizen Event" - that simply means an improvement event. The most well-known example of a Kaizen approach is the Toyota Production System, or TPS, where everyone is expected to stop their moving production line in case of any abnormality and, along with their supervisor, suggest an improvement to resolve the abnormal issue. This will initiate a cycle of activity aimed at not merely fixing that one issue, but instead improving the overall process to prevent the issues from repeating. This cycle can be defined as: "Plan → Do → Check → Act." PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is a scientific method of problem-solving and involves a 4-stage, iterative cycle for improving processes, products or services, and for resolving problems. It involves systematically testing possible solutions, assessing the results, and implementing the ones that have shown to work. It is a rather simple and effective approach for solving problems as well as for managing change. This is because it enables businesses to develop hypotheses about what needs to change, test these hypotheses in a continuous feedback loop, and gain valuable learning and knowledge. Again, the value here is that you are testing improvements on a small scale before trying to apply them company-wide. The PDCA cycle consists of four components and can be applied to safety management systems as follows: Plan – Identify and assess risks and opportunities to establish objectives and processes needed to solve them. There are 3 steps to this part: Problem Identification - verify you identified the right problem, determine its impact, who will it benefit? Problem Analysis - what information is needed to understand the problem and its root cause fully? What do we already know about the problem? What do we need to collect to understand the problem further? Who needs to be involved in this process? Once we get a full understanding, is it even feasible to solve the problem? Run Experiments - What are all possible solutions (think of 3 options)? Who will "own" which options to test? How will we measure expected outcomes? Can we run a small test? Will the small-scale results scale up? Do – Here is where we develop and implement our tests and gauge their effectiveness. Again, this should be done on a small-scale to allow us to learn quickly, adjust as needed, and are typically less expensive to undertake. It also lessens any potential negative impact on the business. Think of the phrase, "fail small." It also will have a less negative impact on the culture as a large-scale test, and failure might make workers feel defeated or that no solutions are coming. And be sure to collect all data needed so you can objectively decide which ones are best. Check – Here is where we confirm the results through before-and-after data comparison. What worked? How can you tell? Also, look at what did NOT work - this may help you look back at your planning stage to see what you missed or did not consider. Remember, this is a cycle, even between the stages. So try not to think of this linearly. You may discover that the solution is no longer viable, or that there are simpler ones you had not considered. Act – Here is where you will document the results and make recommendations for future PDCA cycles. If the solution was successful, implement it. If not, tackle the next problem and repeat the PDCA cycle. Remember, you can always stop and back up a step or go to the beginning. Learning is the objective here. So now you can start to ask what resources are needed to blow up the solutions company-wide? What impact will there be on production? Things like retraining, replacing equipment, parts, etc. Closing a part of a building, or the area will all need to be considered as well. This PDCA process critical to safety management systems for obvious reasons. Kaizen focuses on applying small, everyday changes that result in significant improvements over the long run if done correctly. The PDCA Cycle gives you the framework and structure needed for identifying improvement opportunities and evaluating them objectively. So when you hear folks talk about a systems approach to safety management, and the need to apply a process of continuous improvement, this is it. In doing so you will be able to create this culture of problem-solvers, critical thinkers and folks that step up to tackle issues; willing to take on the accountability because the process to do it is easy and yields results by taking the focus off the person and on the process when it comes to problems that arise. Improvement ideas can be tested on a small scale, analyzed, tweaked, and repeated until solved. By going through this process, and understanding systems thinking, you can start to see that you need to look at both individual components of your safety program and also the interactions with other areas of the business - the system as a whole. You cannot just do one. What I am saying is that yes, you need to find root causes to mechanical failures, "why" it occurred, but you also cannot ignore the "how" it was able to occur organizationally as well. If you reverse this thinking, start with "how" as some of these gurus want you to believe, it will still require you to find out the "why." You need to be able to both.  So, in the next episode, I will continue to break down safety management systems by answering the question; What is Root Cause Analysis or RCA? I will explain how it is critical to support systems thinking, a systems approach to safety, and even talk about how it has been redefined by some in our industry to sell books, training courses and prop themselves up as thought leaders when in reality, it's all the same stuff. So if you are just joining us on the SafetyPro podcast, welcome. You will find this is a great community, and we want you to connect with us on LinkedIn, so look for me there. Also, at least be sure to go back and check out episode 80 and stay tuned for the next episode as well. Ideally, I would love it if you browse other past episodes as well. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
October 15, 2019
Powered by iReportSource A safety management system (SMS) is a continuous improvement process that reduces hazards and prevents incidents. It protects the health and safety of your employees and should be integrated into everyday processes throughout the organization. Investing in an SMS makes a measurable impact on your bottom line and can be viewed as a competitive advantage. The adoption of an SMS framework and thoughtful implementation of the various pieces can have a significant impact on protecting employees and enhancing your organization’s performance and profitability. Now, safety requirements may differ across industries; the best performing organizations focus on continuous improvement that achieves the ongoing reduction of risk with a goal of zero incidents. Yes, we do sometimes have to say that. And yes, just because you have zero incidents in a given reporting period does not mean the organization is risk-free. Like I always say, no injury doesn't indicate a lack of risk. But the best companies know this so they look at the individual components of the SMS that designed to achieve just that - lowered risk which nets us lower (or none) injuries — so focusing on the how gets us to the big aspirational goal. Ok, so let’s talk about the recent history of SMS and how it may impact the general industry and eventually construction over the years. According to the FAA, SMS is the formal, top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls. It includes systematic procedures, practices, and policies for the management of safety risks. Since requiring it in March 2015, the FAA says Safety Management System is becoming a standard throughout the aviation industry worldwide. It is recognized by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) and product/service providers as the next step in the evolution of safety in aviation. SMS is also becoming a standard for the management of safety beyond aviation. Similar management systems are used in the management of other critical areas such as quality, occupational safety, and health, security, environment, etc. Safety Management Systems for product/service providers (certificate holders) and regulators will integrate modern safety risk management and safety assurance concepts into repeatable, proactive systems. SMSs emphasize safety management as a fundamental business process to be considered in the same manner as other aspects of business management. By recognizing the organization's role in accident prevention, SMSs provide to both certificate holders and FAA: A structured means of safety risk management decision making A method of demonstrating safety management capability before system failures occur Increased confidence in risk controls though structured safety assurance processes An effective interface for knowledge sharing between regulator and certificate holder A safety promotion framework to support a sound safety culture  The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) Final Rule in 2018 requires individual operators of public transportation systems that receive federal funds to develop safety plans that include the processes and procedures necessary for implementing SMS. Among other requirements, the rule calls on agencies to report their Safety Management Policy and processes for safety risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion. And as many safety pros know, ISO has developed a standard that will help organizations to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks, and create better, safer working conditions, all over the world. Participants in the new ISO 45001 development process used other standards such as ANSI Z10 as well as British OHSAS 18001, Canada’s CSA Z1000, and the ILO’s OHSMS guidelines. There is even talk of OSHA’s VPP getting more aligned to the ISO 45001 Standard. So you can see a definite trend emerging when it comes to SMS. So, in 2018, knowing ISO 45001 was coming, the National Safety Council (NSC) started investigating all the common SMS frameworks and identifying all of the things they had in common. They recognized many companies were getting bogged down with questions such as: What is a safety management system? How can it help me? Which framework is right for my business? How do I go about implementing an SMS? They knew the research supported the benefits of SMS implementation, but they wanted clarity on what that looked like and a simple way to illustrate what elements constitute a successful SMS. So let’s break down what the core features or functions look like - an effective safety management system has the following features or functions: People – nothing gets implemented without people who are committed, engaged, and motivated; real safety change can’t happen without a competent, skilled workforce. You need the RIGHT people in the RIGHT position within the organization. It isn’t enough to have an incredibly motivated and engaged front-line if all or most of middle to upper management is not engaged or supportive. So you need to put the right people in the right places in the organization from top to bottom. Planning – thinking ahead is half the battle of implementation; planning for foreseeable risks and the administrative parts of a management system will produce smoother rollouts and better measurement of SMS success. You need to be able to break down the individual elements necessary, assess your current state, and measure any gaps. These gaps are the space in which you will work. You have to be good at evaluating current-state - I cannot stress that enough. Programs – most companies have EHS programs that identify and control most hazards, monitor and measure operational impacts to EHS performance, and eliminate deviations from the management system; individual programs must operate as part of the entire system, not independently. So think about machine safety; you will need a robust maintenance management program to fully achieve the level of machine safety required. This means measuring preventative maintenance work orders that are past due, identifying maintenance items that are not just critical to up-time, but also to safety, such as sensors, overflow preventers, valves that are identified as safety measures preventing disaster. So integrating safety with other areas of the business is critical. Progress – to avoid complacency, companies need to periodically measure compliance with regulatory and legal requirements, audit their SMS system, and review SMS performance with upper management. So you need to be able to break down all the pieces of the SMS into logical parts. Like Electrical, Confined Spaces, PPE, and even roles and responsibilities as well as frequent inspections required. I recommend identifying champions for each element and have them “own” that part of the audit. They need to objectively score the organization’s effectiveness of the execution of each element. Get folks from outside the safety function to drive buy-in and accountability and should be an annual thing, but you can break out each element and cover some monthly. Whatever works for your organization. Performance – measures of performance need to be set and include both lagging indicators and leading indicators and moving toward predictive measures; adopting these and evaluating safety metrics among the entire business performance landscape helps companies solidify safety on equal footing with other critical operational practices – adopting a mindset of “safe operations” versus viewing safety apart from operations. So instead of asking how safety performance is doing, measure overall business performance with safety as a part of the overall measurement score. So if production was up, but incidents were as well, then there should be an adjustment made to the productivity score as a result - make sense? Again, this gets us past the whole conversation of looking at WIP, deliveries, and sales together and safety separately - safety performance impacts the others. The challenge for many safety pros is identifying the tools one can use to manage all of these moving parts. I will tell you that you need to look into a digital safety management system, like iReportSource. Whatever you tool you use, you have to make sure you can efficiently stay on top of all of these different elements; be able to report, and have others report, the necessary information so the organization can work to reduce hazards; record and track all of the activities associated with those efforts - that make them work; have access to all of the data when needed to make smarter decisions; be able to look back so you can assess your progress objectively and plan for future improvements. I call these the 4 R’s: Report: Hazards, concerns, incidents, suggestions, etc. Record: Training/qualifications, observations, inspections/audits, injuries/illnesses, environmental data, etc. Retrieve: Be able to produce reports and records when needed promptly. Review: Have the ability to look at all relevant data, so it tells the story of where you have been, what is taking place, and where you need to go in real-time and as efficiently as possible. It gets difficult to impossible to do this manually in most organizations of considerable size or with complex processes. So again, consider looking into a system to help you manage safety more efficiently and pays you back in time and frustration so you can get out from behind the desk and spend it where it matters most; out with your people where the work happens. Visit iReportSource for more information. Once again, a safety management system is a continuous improvement process that reduces hazards and prevents incidents. It protects the health and safety of your employees and is integrated into everyday processes throughout the organization. Investing in an SMS makes a measurable impact on your bottom line and can be viewed as a competitive advantage. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
October 11, 2019
Powered by iReportSource When an incident occurs it is the investigator’s main function to gather all relevant evidence in order to discover root causes and ultimately prevent a recurrence. The tricky part is that evidence isn’t always what it seems. Witnesses accounts can be spotty, inconsistent, they may tell conflicting stories about the same incident, etc. Physical or even environmental conditions can change before the investigation process begins. Paperwork, such as a work instruction or JSA, may be misplaced or even changed in some way. With all of these variables and more, you want to make sure you collect the right types of evidence during your investigation. I want to share with you some information from TapRooT®, which is a systematic process and training for finding the real root causes and precursor incidents, for not only major accidents but minor mishaps and even near misses. According to TapRooT®, there are four types (or categories) of evidence to be evaluated. TapRooT® calls these categories 3 Ps and an R. This stands for: People evidence Paper evidence Physical evidence Recording evidence People Evidence Often, evidence collection starts with people evidence (a witness statement), and that evidence guides the investigator to collect paper, physical and recording evidence. Examples of people evidence include: Interviews Fatigue-related information Evidence of injuries, including cuts and scrapes, bruises, fractures, or sprains Information about medical conditions that may have influenced performance (refer to HR or corporate counsel for guidance on HIPPA) Where do you begin? First, determine who was involved. This includes those who planned the work, supervised the work and performed the work. Other considerations include a worker’s capability, capacity, training, and qualification to perform his or her role. Inquire into the background of those involved. Determine if they have been involved in any previous incidents or if they have any related performance or conduct issues. Find out if those involved had any work restrictions such as an impairment, physical capability, or lapsed accreditation. Understand how the employees worked together. What were the dynamics of the team including supervision and team performance? Determine the context (such as environmental conditions, distractions or perspectives). Paper Evidence Paper evidence may include all sorts of things including: Regulatory paperwork Activity-specific paperwork Personnel paperwork Policy and procedure paperwork Equipment manuals What do you think the biggest mistake is when it comes to collecting paper evidence… given all of the paper that we have in our workplaces? Collecting too much paper not relevant to the investigation! You don’t need to collect every piece of paper at your facility. How do you know what you don’t need? By looking at the timeline of events that led to the incident. You need all the paper that supports your timeline of events and supports the facts. If you use TapRooT®, you can easily upload digital copies of this paperwork, and highlight relevant pages in your report to management. Don’t make the mistake of collecting so much paper that what you need for evidence is somewhere at the bottom of the stack. Physical Evidence Physical evidence can range from a very large piece of machinery to a very small tool. It includes hardware and solid material related to the incident. You will gather physical evidence in one of two ways. You will collect it or you will record/document evidence that can’t be collected (for example, it is too large to collect, or it is still in use). Types of physical evidence to collect: Broken equipment/parts Residue/debris Fluid samples Paint samples Fiber Hair, bloodstains, tissue or other DNA Types of physical evidence to record/document Evidence is recorded when it is impossible to collect or when it is still in use by the workforce. Following is a list of possible evidence to collect by recordings: Burn marks and flame patterns Tracks Indentations Handprints, Footprints, Fingerprints Tools Equipment Products in use Equipment status (fixed, portable or temporary?) Lights, noise, and temperature Confined space Obstructions Surface hazards Housekeeping Clarity of signs and labels Instructions Following are additional pieces of information you may want to collect: Failure history Modification/change of use Operator interface Maintenance records Installing/commissioning Storage/transportation Procurement Design/fabrication Recording Evidence Recording evidence, such as photography and video, should be captured as soon as possible after an incident to preserve the scene in images before it is altered in any way. It provides a documented overview of the entire scene. This may occur as soon as you or a qualified team member can obtain access to the scene. In addition to video and photography recorded by the investigator, recordings include: Video footage (examples: site security cameras, control room cameras, traffic cameras, etc.) Audio recordings (examples: audio of the noise level, voicemail recordings, videos - check State Laws; many prohibit the recording of sound by security cameras in the workplace and there may be restrictions around recording conversations by phone or other devices as well, so always consult an attorney) Photos (examples: wide shots, up-close shots, any pics taken by others, security pics, etc.) Computer data (example: magnetic swipe card system security data for entry doors, data logs from machines/vehicles, inspections completed in the past, previous hazards reported, etc.) Sketches of an incident scene, such as with traffic accidents. Side note, iReportSource has a cool feature that allows you to create a road diagram with different streets, intersections, add multiple vehicles, lights, signs, etc. A pretty cool feature for capturing this stuff accurately without relying on your artistic skills (or lack of) As you record the scene, ask “Am I recording the scene as it was in its original state or has it changed in any way?” If the scene has changed, make a note about what has changed including those involved and WHY! Be sure to capture that information. Identify fragile, perishable evidence and immediately document, photograph and collect it. Environmental conditions are a good example. Such as in the case of ice/snow and as the day progresses it melts, compounds, etc. Also, make a note of any transient evidence that can’t be captured by a camera or video like steam, smoke/vapors, smells, and temperature, etc. Remember, the best way to collect unbiased evidence is to gather evidence from each of these four categories: people, physical, paper, and recordings. Each piece of evidence collected will help lead you to the root causes of the incident so that you can properly analyze them for effective corrective and preventative actions. Nothing is more frustrating than going through this process and determining what to fix only to learn that not only were you fixing the wrong things, but another incident has occurred that could have been prevented. Let me know what you think. Send an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me the tools and techniques you use! If you think of it, find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
October 8, 2019
Powered by iReportSource When an incident occurs it is the investigator’s main function to gather all relevant evidence in order to discover root causes and ultimately prevent a recurrence. The tricky part is that evidence isn’t always what it seems. Witnesses accounts can be spotty, inconsistent, they may tell conflicting stories about the same incident, etc. Physical or even environmental conditions can change before the investigation process begins. Paperwork, such as a work instruction or JSA, may be misplaced or even changed in some way. With all of these variables and more, you want to make sure you collect the right types of evidence during your investigation. I want to share with you some information from TapRooT®, which is a systematic process and training for finding the real root causes and precursor incidents, for not only major accidents but minor mishaps and even near misses. According to TapRooT®, there are four types (or categories) of evidence to be evaluated. TapRooT® calls these categories 3 Ps and an R. This stands for: People evidence Paper evidence Physical evidence Recording evidence People Evidence Often, evidence collection starts with people evidence (a witness statement), and that evidence guides the investigator to collect paper, physical and recording evidence. Examples of people evidence include: Interviews Fatigue-related information Evidence of injuries, including cuts and scrapes, bruises, fractures, or sprains Information about medical conditions that may have influenced performance (refer to HR or corporate counsel for guidance on HIPPA) Where do you begin? First, determine who was involved. This includes those who planned the work, supervised the work and performed the work. Other considerations include a worker’s capability, capacity, training, and qualification to perform his or her role. Inquire into the background of those involved. Determine if they have been involved in any previous incidents or if they have any related performance or conduct issues. Find out if those involved had any work restrictions such as an impairment, physical capability, or lapsed accreditation. Understand how the employees worked together. What were the dynamics of the team including supervision and team performance? Determine the context (such as environmental conditions, distractions or perspectives). Paper Evidence Paper evidence may include all sorts of things including: Regulatory paperwork Activity-specific paperwork Personnel paperwork Policy and procedure paperwork Equipment manuals What do you think the biggest mistake is when it comes to collecting paper evidence… given all of the paper that we have in our workplaces? Collecting too much paper not relevant to the investigation! You don’t need to collect every piece of paper at your facility. How do you know what you don’t need? By looking at the timeline of events that led to the incident. You need all the paper that supports your timeline of events and supports the facts. If you use TapRooT®, you can easily upload digital copies of this paperwork, and highlight relevant pages in your report to management. Don’t make the mistake of collecting so much paper that what you need for evidence is somewhere at the bottom of the stack. Physical Evidence Physical evidence can range from a very large piece of machinery to a very small tool. It includes hardware and solid material related to the incident. You will gather physical evidence in one of two ways. You will collect it or you will record/document evidence that can’t be collected (for example, it is too large to collect, or it is still in use). Types of physical evidence to collect: Broken equipment/parts Residue/debris Fluid samples Paint samples Fiber Hair, bloodstains, tissue or other DNA Types of physical evidence to record/document Evidence is recorded when it is impossible to collect or when it is still in use by the workforce. Following is a list of possible evidence to collect by recordings: Burn marks and flame patterns Tracks Indentations Handprints, Footprints, Fingerprints Tools Equipment Products in use Equipment status (fixed, portable or temporary?) Lights, noise, and temperature Confined space Obstructions Surface hazards Housekeeping Clarity of signs and labels Instructions Following are additional pieces of information you may want to collect: Failure history Modification/change of use Operator interface Maintenance records Installing/commissioning Storage/transportation Procurement Design/fabrication Recording Evidence Recording evidence, such as photography and video, should be captured as soon as possible after an incident to preserve the scene in images before it is altered in any way. It provides a documented overview of the entire scene. This may occur as soon as you or a qualified team member can obtain access to the scene. In addition to video and photography recorded by the investigator, recordings include: Video footage (examples: site security cameras, control room cameras, traffic cameras, etc.) Audio recordings (examples: audio of the noise level, voicemail recordings, videos - check State Laws; many prohibit the recording of sound by security cameras in the workplace and there may be restrictions around recording conversations by phone or other devices as well, so always consult an attorney) Photos (examples: wide shots, up-close shots, any pics taken by others, security pics, etc.) Computer data (example: magnetic swipe card system security data for entry doors, data logs from machines/vehicles, inspections completed in the past, previous hazards reported, etc.) Sketches of an incident scene, such as with traffic accidents. Side note, iReportSource has a cool feature that allows you to create a road diagram with different streets, intersections, add multiple vehicles, lights, signs, etc. A pretty cool feature for capturing this stuff accurately without relying on your artistic skills (or lack of) As you record the scene, ask “Am I recording the scene as it was in its original state or has it changed in any way?” If the scene has changed, make a note about what has changed including those involved and WHY! Be sure to capture that information. Identify fragile, perishable evidence and immediately document, photograph and collect it. Environmental conditions are a good example. Such as in the case of ice/snow and as the day progresses it melts, compounds, etc. Also, make a note of any transient evidence that can’t be captured by a camera or video like steam, smoke/vapors, smells, and temperature, etc. Remember, the best way to collect unbiased evidence is to gather evidence from each of these four categories: people, physical, paper, and recordings. Each piece of evidence collected will help lead you to the root causes of the incident so that you can properly analyze them for effective corrective and preventative actions. Nothing is more frustrating than going through this process and determining what to fix only to learn that not only were you fixing the wrong things, but another incident has occurred that could have been prevented. Let me know what you think. Send an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me the tools and techniques you use! If you think of it, find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!  
September 24, 2019
Powered by iReportSource When a company is looking to hire their next safety leader they must be sure to select the right person for the job. But hiring a safety leader goes well beyond their safety and health credentials and experience. You want to have someone with the right safety mindset, not just safety background and experience. The same thing goes for hiring production or other team leaders. Everyone knows the importance that teams play in organizational success. However, let’s not forget that teams are made up of individual players, each with strengths and weaknesses. In his book, The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni reveals the three indispensable virtues that make some people better team players than others, and this speaks to their mindset (1). According to Lencioni: Ideal team players are humble. This is a person who lacks excessive ego or concerns about status. Humble people are quick to point out the contributions of others. They are slow to seek attention for their own, explains Lencioni. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually. They also recognize and are well-aware of their own strengths, and they can easily share those strengths when asked (1). Ideal team players are hungry. They are always looking for more. Hungry people rarely have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent; at the same time, they aren’t so hungry that they are entirely consumed by work. They are continually thinking about the next step and the next opportunity. They have just the right amount of drive you want to see (1). Ideal team players are smart. By “smart,” Lencioni means they have common sense about people - or high EQ (emotional quotient). You may have heard of this referred to as emotional intelligence or being highly self-aware. Smart team members tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way. You may think of them as tactful or good at “dealing with people.” They have good judgment, a great perception of what’s happening a group, and can apply intuition well on teams (1). So, how can organizational leaders interview for these virtues? Ask the right open-ended questions designed to get them sharing their thoughts and beliefs. Sure, you need to find out a little more about their professional background as it pertains to the technical aspects of safety.  However, if the pre-screening process went as designed, hiring managers should only be interviewing technically qualified candidates at this point. So here is an opportunity to ask questions designed to determine if the candidate is going to be an asset to the team.  Here are some examples of the right questions and what they are designed to uncover: 1. How did you get into safety? Or whatever line of work they happen to fall into. This question helps to uncover someone’s back story and helps someone to share what drives them and motivates them.  At this point, you can start to see if they are able to articulate the “why” about their career choice. This question can also encourage them to become more comfortable during the interview, too. 2. Has there ever been a situation or incident in your work that changed or shifted your approach to safety? Are they able to learn from situations? How have they adapted in the past to improve their life and work for the better? This question, once again, starts to dig deeper and helps you know more about how humble someone is, and their degree of self-awareness, too. 3. What is something you would do to show senior leaders how safety can be a profit center? This question helps to indicate more about their capacity for critical thinking. After all, you want a candidate to be able to make a connection between safety and other aspects of the business, and this can help you know more about how savvy they are in this arena.  4. What would you do if you saw a hazard or if you saw someone doing something unsafe at work? Has this ever happened—if so, how did you handle it? Was there anything you wish you could have done differently? (2) The answer helps you know more about how a candidate chooses to approach others, especially when that situation is uncomfortable or can involve conflict. 5. How do you approach incident investigations? Once again, this helps us to frame someone’s motivation and mindset and helps us know more about how they deal with others (smart), their ability to be forward-thinking (hungry), and their degree of self-awareness as it relates to their own ego (humble).  As you talk to the person, see: do they seek to put blame on people or do they think in terms of fixing and improving processes? Do they start with “what someone did” or “what did we miss in this process”? Both responses are telling. 6. What are the most important accomplishments of your career? This question, fundamentally, is another way of seeing what someone values. Look for more mentions of “we” rather than “I” to see how team-oriented they are. Of course, it isn’t about being so simplistic as to count the responses. In the event that someone refers to himself or herself individually more than as a member of a team, probe for whether he or she was working alone or with others. 7. What was the most embarrassing moment in your career? Or what was the biggest failure?  Look for whether the candidate celebrates that embarrassment or is mortified by it. Humble people generally aren’t afraid to tell their unflattering stories because they’re comfortable with being imperfect. And, they know their strengths and are confident in those strengths so failure isn’t seen as taking away from their self-worth, necessarily. Also, look for specifics and real references to the candidate’s own culpability. Look for specifics about how the candidate accepted responsibility for that failure, what they learned from it, and if they actually acted on what was learned. The ideal time player isn’t arrogant when looking back, but they aren’t lacking confidence, either. They were motivated to grow and learn from the event, and are happy to share that fact, too. 8. How do you define success in safety? How would you measure it? (2)  This is another example of a critical thinking question. Can the candidate define what success looks like, how to tell and more importantly, how to achieve that success? 9. What is the hardest you’ve ever worked on something in your life? Look for specific examples of real, but joyful sacrifice. In other words, the candidate isn’t complaining but is grateful for the experience. Once again, this helps you to know more about what they really value, too. 10. Have you ever worked with a difficult colleague or boss? How did you handle the situation? By asking the candidate about a difficult work relationship, you will learn if he or she can read situations and people and handle them skillfully. This question gives you another chance to see if they have people smarts (not the same as intellectual smarts) and how much hunger they have. It’s one more chance to get insight into their overall ability to fit into your existing culture.   Let me know what you think - email me at info@thesafetypropodcast.com. Also, let’s connect on LinkedIn so we can continue to collaborate on workplace safety. You can post a comment on LinkedIn about this episode as well - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Questions in this blog post were taken directly from Terra Carbert’s post, “Interview Questions for Safety” which can be found here and The Ideal Team Player interview guide by Patrick Lencioni. Link to sources: https://www.tablegroup.com/books/ideal-team-player https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/interview-questions-safety-terra-carbert/
September 20, 2019
Powered by iReportSource In this episode, I want to talk about Lean manufacturing principles and how it can help you transform safety in your organization. If you listen to this podcast regularly (and I hope you do!), you probably have heard me tell you to look at what tools the lean or quality folks are using in your organization. And there is a good reason for that. They CAN help you improve safety processes. I am going to reference two good books I studies and will draw upon their lessons in this episode. One is called Lean Safety: Transforming your safety program with lean management by Robert B. Hafey and the other is called Safety Performance in a Lean Environment: A guide to building safety into a process by Paul F. English. Lean is a manufacturing philosophy that reduces the total cycle time between taking a customer order and the shipment by eliminating waste. What is excellent about lean principles are they apply to all business processes and especially safety. Also, lean can be used for all types of businesses. Edward Demming is widely considered the father of lean and what became the Toyota Production System (TPS). He went to Japan after WWII to teach Japanese business leaders how to improve quality. His work went unnoticed in the US until the early 1980’s. Of course, that period is important; it’s when Japanese automakers overtook US companies in quality and productivity. Ford first brought Demming in to help improve their quality. This is when Demming determined Ford’s quality systems were not at fault, but instead, their management practices were. A significant cultural change would be needed. So Demming developed 14 points of management. Let’s go through them and see how they relate to safety: 1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services. 2. Adopt the new philosophy. 3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. 4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier. 5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service. 6. Institute training on the job. 7. Adopt and institute leadership. 8. Drive out fear. 9. Break down barriers between staff areas. 10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. 11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management. 12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system. 13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone. 14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation. It is clear to see how universal these can be. Another useful tool we can take from lean (and trust me, there are many, as I have covered in past episodes) is DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve, and Control. Let’s go through what this might look like for safety. Define: Who is the customer? What is the voice of the customer? What is critical to safety? What is the cost of poor safety? Measure: Cause & Effect fishbone. Is the safety process state and in control? What is the current safety process performance (or capability)? What actions are being taken to protect the employee/company (containment)? Analysis: Which issues are effecting health & safety the most? How many samples do you need to conclude? Improve: What is the ideal solution? What is the proof the solution will work? How many trials are needed? What is the work plan to implement and validate the solution? Control: Can you demonstrate the improvement is sustainable over time? Is the process in control? How do we keep it that way? Again, here is just one example of how lean principles and tools can be applied to safety. Furthermore, this can empower everyone in an organization to champion safety. So safety leadership doesn’t require a business leader or manager. Shop floor workers can get lean training and begin identifying ways to improve the systems they have to interface with every day; including safety. We see this in accident investigations as well. One of my favorite lines to use is to focus on the process, not the person. In his book, Lean Safety, Robert Hafey tells a story about accidents at a manufacturer he once toured. There they uncovered a trend involving forklift accidents. Some managers looked into force monitors; these shut down the forklift in the event of an impact requiring operators to seek out a manager to turn it back on. You see, most of the incidents were hit and runs, no witnesses. His approach was different. Because they had no idea who caused the damage, since someone other than the driver usually reported it, they needed a plan that removed that aspect from the equation. The approach was to invite a forklift driver (any driver) in that area and help investigate. They were told that they would not be spending time looking for WHO was responsible, but rather to determine the root cause and come up with corrective processes in place to prevent a recurrence. 
What they discovered was the majority of the incidents were a result of poorly placed racks, improper clearances, etc. So they went about fixing those things, and wouldn’t you know, soon enough the drivers that had an incident began self-reporting. The reason is TRUST! The approach to many accident investigations destroys trust - if it focuses on “what did you do wrong?” instead of “how can this be improved?” I remembered at a client site years ago an operator got a laceration from removing a glove to grab a sample piece of metal off the line for a quality check. Management wanted to issue discipline, for removing PPE. The problem was that everyone was issued the same gloves - heavy leather gloves because of the sharp metal edges on their product. But they were also required to cut a sample piece for a quality check. They all knew you could not pick up this thin 4” wide sample with those gloves on. So, everyone, every worker removed their glove to do so. And management knew this. But the others had not gotten a laceration…yet. So issuing discipline would destroy trust, and drive reporting underground. Also, it did NOTHING to address the root cause; the conditions remained the same. Therefore they were doomed to repeat this cycle. By focusing on the process, we were able to determine the form, fit and function of those gloves (on that line anyway) needed to change, and samples were brought in for operators to try and then score based on cut resistance level needed and dexterity. That operator, he became a part of the solution, not just another victim of a hazard of the job. I could go on with hundreds of stories like this I have seen in my work as a consultant for over a decade. But let’s save those for future episodes! The main takeaway I want you to get here is to look toward Lean principles to help you improve safety. Mainly build the trust needed to create a collaborative environment where you turn workers into champions for change and improvement across all areas of the business. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
September 19, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Get the JSA template HERE. OSHA has a great page for this topic HERE. Many companies rely on a super-simple tool to define appropriate safe work practices for specific jobs. The Job Safety Analysis Process (also referred to as a JSA, or Job Hazard Analysis - JHA). The JSA is a very effective means of helping to identify and manage hazards associated with task thus reducing incidents, accidents, and injuries in the workplace. It is also an excellent tool to use during new employee orientations and operator training and can also be used to investigate "near misses" and accidents. Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is based on the following ideas:  That a specific job or work assignment can be separated into a series of relatively simple steps. That hazards associated with each step can be identified. Solutions can be developed to control each hazard. To start the JSA Process, select the job or task to be performed. Any job that has hazards or potential hazards is a candidate for a JSA. An uncommon or seldom-performed job is also a candidate for a JSA. Forms or worksheets (see sample worksheet) may vary from company to company but the idea remains the same. Identify all steps, hazards, and safe work procedures before starting the job. I have a template you can download to follow along. It is filled out with a hypothetical job. So grab that and follow along for more context. The JSA process is a multi-step process and goes something like this: Basic Job Steps: Break the job into a sequence of steps. Each of the steps should accompany some major task. That task will consist of a series of movements. Look at each series of movements within that basic task. Potential Hazards: To complete a JSA effectively, you must identify the hazards or potential hazards associated with each step. Every possible source of energy must be identified. It is very important to look at the entire environment to determine every conceivable hazard that might exist. Hazards contribute to accidents and injuries. Recommended Safe Job Procedures: Using the Sequence of Basic Job Steps and Potential Hazards, decide what actions are necessary to eliminate, control, or minimize hazards that could lead to accidents, injuries, damage to the environment, or possible occupational illness. Each safe job procedure or action must correspond to the job steps and identified hazards. Through this process, you can determine the safest, most efficient way of performing a given job. Thus JSA systematically carries out the basic strategy of accident prevention: The recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards. Now, how do we document this process and capture the results? It is prepared in a 3-column chart form, either portrait or landscape - I have seen both and listing the basic job steps on the left-hand column and the corresponding hazards in the middle column, with safe procedures for each step on the right-hand column. The right-hand column will essentially become your safe work instructions. A completed JSA chart can then be used as a training guide for employees; it provides a logical introduction to the work, it’s associated hazards, and the proper and safe procedures to be followed. For experienced workers, a JSA is reviewed periodically to maintain a safety-awareness on the job and to keep abreast of current safety procedures. The review is also useful for employees assigned new or infrequent tasks. Let’s talk about how to fill out the JSA. First, there is an art and science to breaking down a job or task into steps. If the steps are too detailed, the JSA will be complicated and difficult to follow. If they are not detailed enough, you may miss important steps and associated hazards. For example, let’s say you are planting a tree, and you need a JSA on how to unload the tree from the truck. You don’t want to say: Step 1. Remove latch pin from the tailgate Step 2. Release tailgate latch Step 3. Lower tailgate to open position Now you move to planting the tree, let’s say by hand: Step 1: Retrieve shovel from the back of the truck Step 2: Place shovel on ground at the specified degree Step 3: Place dominate foot onto back of shovel at the mid-sole This is tedious, no one will read that document. Instead, it may be enough to simply say, “open tailgate” as the job step and move to the second part of creating the SJA - listing all the hazards associated with that step. On the flip side, don’t over-simplify it either. For example, when planting the tree: Step 1: Put tree in ground…that’s it. No step 2. Ok, an extreme example of over-simplification. But be sure to walk through the job steps and look for opportunities to break it down into steps. If you already have job steps laid out, such as in the case of OEM operating instructions or manual this makes it a bit easier. To make sure I illustrate this point, let’s talk about another example; let’s say you need to operate a 3D metal printer - you wouldn’t just state, “place build plate inside the print chamber, close door and start print operation.” There is obviously more to this process. This brings me to my next point; understand the difference between a job/task and a process. A process is a series of physical, mechanical or even chemical operations, often made up of several different jobs/tasks. On the other hand, a job/task is a single activity - either on its own or in support of a larger process, like 3D metal printing. In this example, there will be the storage, handling, and loading of metal powder. Then there is the build set up - like installing the build plate, and even post-printing work, like removing the printed part from the build plate, any grinding or buffing work on the part, hardening of parts in an oven, just to name a few. Each job/task will have its own JSA form that, when combined will make up everything that goes into the overall process of 3D Printing. And the steps and hazards could be different for different types of print jobs - the print media could be different, the print machine models could be different, inserting gases, removal process, etc. A good tip as you complete your JSA, make sure each job/task step starts with action - use verbs, like pull lever, push door, place ladder, etc. Steps that do not present a potential hazard should be left off. The exception would be if you intend to use this as a multi-purpose job aid covering other job steps (like for quality or production). This layered approach may work well, as employees will see there is ONE way to perform the job. That brings up a great point, you may already have a work instruction that breaks down the steps. Maybe there is a machine operating manual. Be sure to review these with operators to ensure they are actually still relevant and cover all the steps they need to take. Whether you have existing jobs needing to be reviewed or are implementing a new job or task, employee involvement is critical. So be sure to do a couple of walk-throughs of the process with operators before publishing the document. The JSA should be reviewed, approved, and signed by the supervisor before the task is started. Understanding every job step is very important! Whenever a job step changes or a new step is introduced, the JSA must be reviewed and updated. Remember, the key reasons for completing a JSA are to encourage teamwork (especially with new employees), to involve everyone performing the job in the process, to increase awareness of potential hazards and communicate safe operating procedures! I have a JSA template download link in the show notes. Be sure to practice a few times and review it with others to make sure you get the hang of it. Make sure you do not overlook a job step/task that introduces a hazard! This is the whole point of this exercise - to identify and control hazards associated with performing a job. Let me know what you think - email me at info@thesafetypropodcast.com. Also, let’s connect on LinkedIn so we can continue to collaborate on workplace safety. You can post a comment on LinkedIn about this episode as well - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
August 30, 2019
Powered by iReportSource As I continue my podcast interviews in New Orleans from the 2019 VPPPA Safety+ Symposium I had the honor of interviewing some Association Board members. They shared some sound advice for anyone looking to improve their safety and health management system as well as some insights for safety pros struggling with challenges along the way. Visit www.vpppa.org for more information about this amazing organization! You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #vpppa2019
August 29, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Here at the 2019 VPPPA National Safety Symposium where everyone you meet has a story to tell. Kelly Pitts shares his message of a near-death experience and what you can learn and take back to your organization. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #vpppa2019
August 29, 2019
Powered by iReportSource As I continue my podcasting interview marathon from the 2019 VPPPA National Safety Symposium, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Abby Ferri to discuss the issues that women in the workforce continue to experience with PPE - which is in large part designed for men.  Abby has over 15 years of experience in the field of safety and health in diverse industries, including construction, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, beverage, and retail. Abby has become well-known in this industry as a practical and creative safety professional. Learn more about Abby by visiting www.theferrigroup.co You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
August 29, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Diana Paredes is an experienced bilingual safety manager in the tough yet rewarding food & beverage industry. She is a SafetyPro podcast listener joining me at the 2019 VPPPA National Safety Symposium and shares some words of wisdom and strategies to help drive employee engagement, ownership and stresses the simple act of recognizing the many small victories our workers achieve every day. It was an absolute pleasure to meet Diana and hear about her experiences in safety. I am such a fan! You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
August 29, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Frank King, nationally-known suicide prevention and postvention speaker and trainer, was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years, is a corporate comedian, syndicated humor columnist, and podcast personality, who was featured on CNN’s Business Unusual. Depression and suicide run his family. He’s thought about killing himself more times than he can count. He’s fought a lifetime battle with depression, and thoughts of ending his life, turning that long dark journey of the soul into sharing his lifesaving insights on mental and emotional health awareness, with corporations, associations, youth (middle school and high school), and college audiences. As an inspirational and motivational speaker and trainer he uses the life lessons from the above, as well as lessons learned as a rather active consumer of healthcare, both mental and physical, to start the conversation giving people who battle mental and emotional illness permission to give voice to their feelings and experiences surrounding depression and suicide, and to create a common pool of knowledge in which those who suffer, and those who care about them, can swim. And doing it by coming out and standing in his truth, and doing it with humor. He believes that where there is humor there is hope, where there is laughter there is life, nobody dies laughing. He is currently working on a book on men’s mental fitness, Guts, Grit, and the Grind, with two co-authors. Find him here: https://safetyinstitute.com/frank-king You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 
August 28, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Catch this on-location interview with VPPPA Chairman of the Board Mr. J.A. Rodriguez Jr. and Mr. Terry Schulte - VPP Director at NuStar. We talk about what the VPP framework can do for non-VPP participants and how VPPPA can help them solve even the most basic safety compliance challenges. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
August 27, 2019
Powered by iReportSource   What’s the difference between personal/occupational safety and process safety? Wesley Carter from the Amplify Your Process Safety podcast will get into this and more on this special episode recorded on location at the VPPPA National Safety Symposium in New Orleans. Find out more about Wesley and Amplify Consultants by checking out the Amplify Your Process Safety Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting www.amplifyconsultants.com. Join me in New Orleans for the VPPPA National Safety Symposium -  I will podcast on-location and would like to meet as many listeners as possible! Stop by the media center next to registration! If not attending, catch up on all the latest topics being presented as I share key takeaways and thoughts for you!   You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
August 19, 2019
Don't Miss this Free, On-Demand Webinar Powered by iReportSource   Complacency is a state of mind where a worker is out of touch with the hazards and risks around them. It can show up in a number of ways: over-confidence, lack of care, mindlessness, actual physical signs, a rushed approach to the work, frustration, fatigue, your mind not being totally on-task, cutting corners…the list goes on and on. Complacency is one of the most problematic mindsets that can contribute to injuries and incidents on the job. So how can you move towards a culture where you reduce and minimize complacency? And in what way can you move from outdated, lagging indicators to leading indicators to help you proactively manage safety? In this latest, free and on-demand webinar, I will uncover: How you can spot complacency in your organization 5 proven and proactive ways to combat complacency Real-life examples of how you can reduce this mindset Best practices in reinforcing behaviors that reduce complacency Avoid complacency and better manage risk: register and watch the on-demand webinar today!     Also, join me in New Orleans for the VPPPA National Safety Symposium -  I will podcast on-location and would like to meet as many listeners as possible! Stop by the media center next to registration! If not attending, catch up on all the latest topics being presented as I share key takeaways and thoughts for you!   You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
August 13, 2019
Powered by iReportSource OSHA requires that employees who are or may be exposed to toxic substances or harmful physical agents be given access to their medical and exposure records. Further, OSHA requires that such records be maintained for a long period of time because often the symptoms of the illnesses that come from the exposure don’t appear until many years later. OSHA’s requirement to maintain medical and exposure records applies to all employers who have employees exposed to toxic substances or harmful physical agents, such as heat, cold, radiation, repetitive motion, biological, chemical, etc. 29 CFR 1910.1020 — Access to employee exposure and medical records Terms you need to know Access: means the right and opportunity to examine and copy. Designated representative: means any individual or organization to whom an employee gives written authorization to exercise a right of access. For the purposes of access to employee exposure records and analyses using exposure or medical records, a recognized or certified collective bargaining agent shall be treated automatically as a designated representative without regard to written employee authorization. Employee: means a current employee, a former employee, or an employee being assigned or transferred to work where there will be exposed to toxic substances or harmful physical agents. In the case of a deceased or legally incapacitated employee, the employee’s legal representative may directly exercise all the employee’s rights pertaining to this OSHA requirement. Employee exposure record: means a record containing any of the following kinds of information: Environmental (workplace) monitoring or measuring of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent, including personal, area, grab, wipe, or other forms of sampling, as well as related collection and analytical methodologies, calculations, and other background data relevant to the interpretation of the results obtained; Biological monitoring results which directly assess the absorption of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent by body systems (e.g., the level of a chemical in the blood, urine, breath, hair, fingernails, etc.) but not including results which assess the biological effect of a substance or agent or which assess an employee’s use of alcohol or drugs; Safety data sheets indicating that the material may pose a hazard to human health; or In the absence of the above, a chemical inventory or any other record which reveals where and when used and the identity (e.g., chemical, common, or trade name) of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent. Employee medical record: means a record concerning the health status of an employee which is made or maintained by a physician, nurse, or other health care personnel, or technician, including: Medical and employment questionnaires or histories (including job description and occupational exposures), The results of medical examinations (pre-employment, pre-assignment, periodic, or episodic) and laboratory tests (including chest and other X-ray examinations taken for the purpose of establishing a base-line or detecting occupational illnesses and all biological monitoring not defined as an “employee exposure record”), Medical opinions, diagnoses, progress notes, and recommendations, First-aid records, Descriptions of treatments and prescriptions, and Employee medical complaints. Note: “Employee medical record” does not include medical information in the form of: (1) Physical specimens (e.g., blood or urine samples) which are routinely discarded as a part of normal medical practice; (2) Records concerning health insurance claims if maintained separately from the employer’s medical program and its records, and not accessible to the employer by employee name or other direct personal identifier (e.g., social security number, payroll number, etc.); (3) Records created solely in preparation for litigation which are privileged from discovery under the applicable rules of procedure or evidence; or (4) Records concerning voluntary employee assistance programs (alcohol, drug abuse, or personal counseling programs) if maintained separately from the employer’s medical program and its records. Exposure or exposed: means that an employee is subjected to a toxic substance or harmful physical agent in the course of employment through any route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, skin contact or absorption, etc.), and includes past exposure and potential (e.g., accidental or possible) exposure, but does not include situations where the employer can demonstrate that the toxic substance or harmful physical agent is not used, handled, stored, generated, or present in the workplace in any manner different from typical non-occupational situations. Record: means any item, collection, or grouping of information regardless of the form or process by which it is maintained (e.g., paper document, microfiche, microfilm, X-ray film, or automated data processing). Toxic substance or harmful physical agent: means any chemical substance, biological agent (bacteria, virus, fungus, etc.), or physical stress (noise, heat, cold, vibration, repetitive motion, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, hypo- or hyperbaric pressure, etc.) which: Is listed in the latest printed edition of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS); or Has yielded positive evidence of an acute or chronic health hazard in testing conducted by, or known to, the employer; or Is the subject of a safety data sheet kept by or known to the employer indicating that the material may pose a hazard to human health. Overview of what is required Assess the workplace for any toxic substance or harmful physical agent exposures that may generate medical or exposure records. Keep employee medical records for at least the duration of employment plus 30 years. Keep employee exposure records for at least 30 years. Provide access to employees of their medical and exposure records. Inform employees annually of the existence and location of medical and exposure records and the process and rights for accessing them. FAQ   When removing obsolete chemicals from the facility, does the removal date need to be documented? If yes, what is the proper procedure to do that? For the purposes of 29 CFR 1910.1200(e) whenever a hazardous chemical in the workplace are obsoleted, the employer must: Update the hazardous chemical inventory list, which is part of the written Hazard Communication Program; and Update the Hazard Communication Program as necessary.  The employer should also remove the safety data sheet (SDS) for the obsoleted chemical from its employee SDS stations.  For the purposes of a different regulation, 29 CFR 1910.1020(d), an employer must preserve and maintain employee exposure records for 30 years. SDSs indicating that the material may pose a hazard to human health are considered employee exposure records. In the absence of SDSs, a chemical inventory or any other record which reveals where and when a toxic substance or harmful physical agent was used and its identity is also an employee exposure record. SDSs must be kept for those chemicals currently in use that is affected by §1910.1200(g). However, once a hazardous chemical in the workplace is obsoleted, the employer has the choice of preserving and maintaining for 30 more years: The obsolete SDS, or A record concerning the identity of the hazardous chemical, where it was used, and when it was used. While OSHA does not “specifically” require the employer to document the removal date, it may be helpful to record that date so that an employer knows when the obsolete SDS may be disposed of after 30 years, if that option is taken. If the employer chooses to record the chemical identity and where and when the chemical was used, the employer will indirectly document the removal date because it will be included in the timeframe the chemical was used. Note that if an employer just keeps the SDS without the other information, the SDSs don’t really meet the original “intent” of §1910.1020. That’s why OSHA “recommends” that if you opt to keep SDSs you also include them when and where information, even though it is not mandated when the SDS option is taken. What is the liability for transferring/maintaining medical records when there is no successor employer? The Code for Federal Regulations, 29 CFR 1910.1020, Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records outlines the correct process of managing employee records. According to that regulation, whenever an employer either is ceasing to do business and there is no successor employer to receive and maintain the records or intends to dispose of any records required to be preserved for at least thirty (30) years, the employer shall do one of two things. An employer must transfer the records to the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or they must notify the Director of NIOSH in writing of the impending disposal of records at least three (3) months prior to the disposal of the records. Depending on the content of the OSHA records, you may wish to share the information in them with the specific employee to whom they belong before transfer or disposal.
July 19, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Fundamentals of Total Worker Health  Keeping workers safe is the foundation upon which a TWH approach is built. Total Worker Health integrates health protection efforts with a broad spectrum of interventions to improve worker health and well-being. The Fundamentals of Total Worker Health Approaches is the practical starting point for employers, workers, labor representatives, and other professionals interested in implementing workplace safety and health programs aligned with the Total Worker Health (TWH) approach. There are five Defining Elements of TWH: Element 1: Demonstrate leadership commitment to worker safety and health at all levels of the organization. Element 2: Design work to eliminate or reduce safety and health hazards and promote worker well-being. Element 3: Promote and support worker engagement throughout program design and implementation. Element 4: Ensure the confidentiality and privacy of workers. Element 5: Integrate relevant systems to advance worker well-being. Getting Started Create a team of people who know about different policies, programs, and practices in your workplace that impact worker safety, health, and well-being. Draw team members from all levels of the workforce, and consider including the following:„ workers who have requested or participated in changes for safety and health „„safety directors „„human resources representatives „„occupational health nurses or other healthcare practitioners „„workers’ compensation professionals „„Employee Assistance Program professionals „„staff responsible for disability management and return-to-work procedures „„health and wellness champions.   Defining Element 1: Demonstrate leadership commitment to worker safety and health at all levels of the organization Organizational leaders should acknowledge and communicate the value of workforce safety and health as a core function, and they should prioritize worker safety and health on the same level as the quality of services and products. ProTip: Middle management is the direct link between workers and upper management and plays a critical role in program success or failure. For example, supervisors often serve as gatekeepers to employee participation in programs, and when program involvement competes with productivity demands, they may discourage employee participation Effective programs thrive in organizations that promote respect throughout the organization and encourage active worker participation, input, and involvement. Leaders at all levels of the organization can help set this tone, but everyone (from managers down to front-line workers) plays an essential role in contributing to this shared commitment to safety and health. Beyond written policies, stated practices, and implemented programs that endorse safety and health in your workplace, consider the extent to which your organization’s spoken and unspoken beliefs and values either support or deter worker well-being [CPWR and NIOSH 2013]. Encourage top leaders to: Establish and communicate the principles of the proposed initiative to all levels of the organization; teach managers to value workers’ input on safety and health issues. „„Maintain the visibility of the effort at the organization’s highest levels by presenting data that is linked to the program’s resource allocations. Promote routine communications between leadership and employees on issues related to safety, health, and well-being. „„Openly support and participate in workplace safety and health initiatives. „„Facilitate participation across all levels of the workforce. „„Add safety and health-related standards into performance evaluations. „„Build safety and health into the organization’s mission and objectives. „„Establish a mechanism and budget for acting on workforce recommendations. „„Emphasize that shortcuts must not compromise worker safety and health. „„Provide adequate resources, including appropriately trained and motivated staff or vendors, space, and time. If necessary, ensure dedicated funding over multiple years, as an investment in your workforce.   Encourage mid-level management to:  Recognize and discuss the competitive advantage (e.g., recruitment, retention, employee satisfaction, community engagement and reputation, and workforce sustainability) that TWH brings to the long-term sustainability of the organization. „„Highlight examples of senior leadership’s commitment to TWH. „„Provide training on how managers can implement and support Total Worker Health–aligned approaches, such as those related to work-life balance.   Defining Element 2: Design work to eliminate or reduce safety and health hazards and promote worker well-being A Total Worker Health approach prioritizes a hazard-free work environment for all workers. It applies a prevention approach that is consistent with traditional occupational safety and health prevention principles of the Hierarchy of Controls. Eliminating or reducing recognized hazards in the workplace first, including those related to the organization of work itself, is the most effective means of prevention and thus is foundational to all Total Worker Health principles. Although some hazards can be eliminated from the work environment, others (such as shift work) are more difficult to change. These must be managed through various engineering, administrative, or (as the very last resort) individual-level changes. Workplace programs that adopt a TWH approach emphasize elimination or control of workplace hazards and other contributors to inadequate safety, health, and well-being. This emphasis on addressing environmental determinants of health is a crucial concept for TWH programs. The Hierarchy of Controls Applied to NIOSH Total Worker Health® provides a conceptual model for prioritizing efforts to advance worker safety, health, and well-being. This applied model is based on the traditional Hierarchy of Controls well-known to occupational safety and health professionals. As in the traditional Hierarchy of Controls, controls, and strategies are presented in descending order of anticipated effectiveness and protectiveness, as suggested by the cascading arrows. The Hierarchy of Controls Applied to NIOSH Total Worker Health expands the traditional hierarchy from occupational safety and health to include controls and strategies that more broadly advance worker well-being. The Hierarchy of Controls Applied to NIOSH Total Worker Health is not meant to replace the traditional Hierarchy of Controls, but rather is a companion to this important occupational safety and health model. It serves to illustrate how TWH approaches emphasize organizational-level interventions to protect workers’ safety, health, and well-being. To apply this model:  Begin by eliminating workplace conditions that cause or contribute to worker illness and injury or otherwise negatively impact well-being. These include factors related to supervision throughout the management chain. Second, replace unsafe, unhealthy working conditions or practices with safer, health-enhancing policies, programs, and management practices that improve the culture of safety and health in the workplace. Next, redesign the work environment, where needed, for safety, health, and well-being. Remove impediments to well-being, enhance employer-sponsored benefits, and provide flexible work schedules. Then, provide safety and health education and resources to enhance personal knowledge for all workers. Lastly, encourage personal change for improvements to health, safety, and well-being. Assist workers with individual risks and challenges; provide support for healthier choice-making.   EXAMPLE: Using the Hierarchy of Controls Applied to NIOSH Total Worker Health, a program targeting reductions in musculoskeletal disorders could consist of the following: Reorganizing or redesigning the work to minimize repetitive movement, excessive force, and awkward postures Providing ergonomic consultations to workers to improve job and workstation design and interface, along with training in ergonomic principles and opportunities for workers to participate in design efforts Evaluating the age profile and health needs of the workforce to provide education on self-management strategies (including preventive exercise) for arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions that impact the physical ability Similarly, a TWH program reducing work-related stress might consider the following: Implementing organizational and management policies that give workers more flexibility and control over their work and schedules, as well as opportunities to identify and eliminate root causes of stress Providing training for supervisors on approaches to address stressful working conditions Providing skill-building interventions for stress reduction for all workers and providing access to the Employee Assistance Program Defining Element 3: Promote and support worker engagement throughout program design and implementation Ensure that workers involved in daily operations, as well as supervisory staff, are engaged in identifying safety and health issues, contributing to program design, and participating in all aspects of program implementation and evaluation. Again, letting workers be involved in workplace safety, health, and well-being, instead of being just recipients of services, nurtures a shared commitment to Total Worker Health. Some ways to do this include:  „„Identify safety and health issues that are most important to front-line employees „„More effectively identify potential barriers to program use and effectiveness „„Improve the long-term sustainability of initiatives „„Increase employee buy-in and participation in policies and other interventions.   ProTip: Design programs with a long-term outlook to ensure sustainability. Short-term approaches have short-term value. Programs aligned with the core values of the organization will likely last. These should be flexible enough to be responsive to changes in workforce and market conditions, workplace hazards and exposures, and the needs of individual workers. A participatory approach can help in this regard, but keep sustainability in mind for the bigger picture. To help encourage worker engagement, communicate strategically; everyone with a stake in worker safety and health (workers, their families, supervisors, etc.) must know what you are doing and why. Tailor your messages and how they are delivered, and make sure they consistently reflect the values and direction of the initiative. Whether workers are willing to engage in workplace safety and health initiatives, however, may depend on their perceptions of whether the work environment truly supports safety and health. For example, one study found that blue-collar workers who smoke are more likely to quit and stay quit after a worksite tobacco cessation program if workplace dust, fumes, and vapors are controlled and workplace smoking policies are in place  Defining Element 4: Ensure the confidentiality and privacy of workers Designing and enforcing appropriate privacy protections goes beyond ensuring that only authorized personnel has access to sensitive safety and health information. Observe all relevant local, state, and national laws regarding the privacy of personally identifiable data and health-related information by taking appropriate steps. So doing things like masking personally identifiable information on reports, and using a digital management system that is encrypted and protected by user passwords are some best practices. Data sources that require confidentiality considerations and/or protections:  „„Health risk assessments „„Electronic health records „„Management systems „„Program evaluation data „„Self-reported survey data   Privacy precautions: „„Rigorous de-identification of records Destruction of personally identifiable information as appropriate Hiring a third party to handle certain aspects of the program to reduce employee fear of retribution or penalty „„Using group or population-level data rather than individual data   Defining Element 5: Integrate relevant systems to advance worker well-being. Total Worker Health emphasizes the role that organizations have in shaping worker safety and health outcomes, recognizing that a multilevel perspective that includes policy, environmental, organizational, and social concerns may be best for tackling complex challenges to worker safety, health, and well-being. Integrating data systems across programs and among vendors, for instance, can simplify monitoring and evaluation while also enabling both tracking of results and continual program improvement. Consider ways to integrate relevant systems within your organization: Conduct an initial assessment of existing workplace policies, programs, and practices pertinent to safety, health, and well-being and determine how they relate to one another. Note: for some larger organizations, this may seem like an overwhelming task. To assist in helping to focus this step, consider, at a minimum, these factors:„„ Human resources or personnel policies on issues such as health insurance, paid sick leave, family leave, vacation benefits, retirement, and disability. „„Safety and health policies and procedures for identifying hazards, reporting work-related injuries and illnesses, and filing workers’ compensation claims.  Identify apparent areas of overlap with existing efforts, and note opportunities for future coordination. Purposefully and regularly bring together leaders and teams with overlapping or complementary responsibilities for planning and priority setting. For example, hold joint meetings of safety committees and occupational health staff, human resources, and wellness committees.     Questions to Consider Asking Yourself or Your Team Do we regularly seek the input of our workers on the selection and design of our offered benefits? How can we change or adjust management policies or programs to more effectively support improved safety and health? „„How does the everyday physical work environment affect workers’ safety and health? Beyond our workplace policies or programs that may be targeting safety and health, what influence do our workplace or organizational norms have on worker safety and health outcomes? How do our efforts feed into the community at large? What sorts of resources outside the workplace, such as community support, would be useful in helping to reinforce and support our safety and health programs?    Understanding the connections between various systems and levels of an individual worker’s experience may help design creative, well-rounded approaches to safety and health challenges. By working together and discovering what each professional in the organization is already working on you will often find related goals and objectives - the benefits administrator struggling to get workers to participate in an exercise class and the safety professional struggling to get a warm-up/stretching program started will be able to work together. So to put a pin in this topic, I will say this: If you want to have a successful wellness program, you must first have a strong culture of workplace safety. Then you can build on that credibility and ask folks to move toward participating in safety or health-related activities off-the-job. Make sure you are first building a workplace safety culture. Let me know what you think about this episode. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me your thoughts. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post an update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
June 29, 2019
Powered by iReportSource In this episode, I interviewed by Mr. Nick Lamparelli, the host of Profiles in Risk Podcast. We talk about general liability and risk management - something we don't touch on enough on the SafetyPro Podcast. We discuss my work with iReportSource and managed workflows for incident investigations. I want to dedicate this episode to the incredible development team over at iReportSource for all the hard work that goes into building an incredible service that safety pros can use to help keep workers safe: Jason Roell Taylor Mackinder Tristan Carkuff Jason Mize Argie Angeleas   The intern team: Aria Alimardani Chelsea Mackinder Mackenzie Solomon Taylor Munafo Let me know what you think about this episode. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me your thoughts. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post an update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
May 31, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Responsible employers know that the primary goal of a safety and health program is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and their employers. Employers may find that implementing these recommended practices brings other benefits as well. The renewed or enhanced commitment to safety and health and the cooperative atmosphere between employers and workers is linked to:   Improvements in a product, process, and service quality.  Better workplace morale.  Improved employee recruiting and retention.  A more favorable image and reputation (among customers, suppliers, and the community).    Each section of the following recommended practices describes a core program element, followed by several action items. Each action item is an example of steps that employers and workers can take to establish, implement, maintain, and improve your safety and health program. You can use the self-evaluation tool found on the recommended practices Web page to track your progress and assess how fully you have implemented (or will implement) each action item. Listen to this episode for the full rundown on how to implement each element, with examples and explanations. Let me know what you think. Send an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me your thoughts. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
May 7, 2019
Powered by iReportSource This episode is packed with info so get ready to take serious notes and learn how fatigue can impact workers safety and your business and how to manage this risk.
April 10, 2019
ANNOUNCEMENT: Visit VPPPA to register for the National Symposium and join me as I podcast on location! Listen to this episode for some details.
April 10, 2019
Powered by iReportSource In this announcement, I reveal a new strategic partnership that strengthens the high quality, actionable safety info you have come to expect from this podcast! I am excited to make this announcement. Blaine J. Hoffmann, MS OSHM VP, iReportSource - Simplifying Safety
March 13, 2019
Let's see how your company safety management system stacks up to ISO 45001. Expand this window to read more and download a handy ISO 45001 checklist!
March 4, 2019
The SafetyPro Podcast is powered by www.iReportSource.com NIOSH developed the Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for both general buildingsCdc-pdf and schoolsCdc-pdf to help employers identify and assess areas of dampness in buildings.
March 1, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Safety Inspection or Safety Audit? This issue has come up before, and I want to tackle it in this episode. So some coaching is going on in this episode. First, let’s get the definitions out of the way: Inspection: Physical checks for acceptable conditions conducted at the direction of regulatory requirements, guidelines, policies, procedures, etc. outlined in your overall safety manual or as a part of a safety management system. Audit: An independent review of the effectiveness, implementation, and compliance with established regulatory requirements, guidelines, policies, procedures, etc. outlined in your overall safety manual or as a part of a safety management system. It is important to note that independent does not necessarily mean from an outside organization. Independence means not being responsible for the activity being audited or free of bias and conflict of interest, which means you cannot audit your own work. So think of an inspection as a specific physical check to see if a tool, vehicle, machine, etc. are in safe working condition. Like a forklift inspection; before each shift operators are required to conduct an inspection to ensure it is in a safe condition. Always provide adequate checklists to ensure consistency of inspections and to allow a trend analysis to be developed t look for areas of improvement during any program audits. An audit is a review to see if inspections are being done and to check the quality of the inspection results. Or, inspections are tactical, and audits are strategic. Most folks focus on the tactical activity of performing inspections. They have checklists, cards, etc. Our industry needs to place more emphasis on the strategic review of safety as well. I would encourage you to go one step further and apply a management system approach to these activities. To help illustrate the importance, I will use the ANSI Z-10 Standard for Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems (OHSMS) as an example. The OHSMS cycle ANSI lays out entails an initial planning process and implementation of the safety management system, followed by a process for checking the performance of these activities and taking appropriate corrective actions. The next step involves a management review of the system for suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness against its policy and this standard. At a high level, this is an audit of the OHSMS. It is worth noting that ANSI/AIHA® Z10 focuses primarily on the strategic levels of policy and the processes to ensure the policy is effectively carried out. The standard does not provide detailed procedures, job instructions, or documentation mechanisms. Each organization must design these according to their needs, such as inspections: what to inspect and how often. In a management system approach, there is an emphasis on continual improvement and systematically eliminating the underlying or root causes of deficiencies. For example, if an inspection finds an unguarded machine, not only would the unguarded machine be fixed, but there would also be a systematic process in place to discover and eliminate the underlying reason for the deficiency. This process might then lead to the goal of replacing the guards with an effective design, or to replacement of the machines themselves, so the hazard is eliminated. This systematic approach seeks a long-term solution rather than a one-time fix. To see if this is being done effectively, an audit must take place. You would review how many inspections are being done, the total number of inspections resulting in findings, number of outcomes resulting in root cause analysis, and corrective or preventative actions (CAPA). So I want to give you three criteria you need to use to conduct an audit of any aspect of your safety management system. I call it the 3 P's:   Paper: Look at any written programs, instructions, policies, procedures, etc. and determine if they are adequate for the area they address. HAZCOM is an example; review the written program to ensure it meets the minimum OSHA requirements as well as the SDS index. Does the program check all the boxes? When was it last reviewed? Who has access to it? People: Interview workers to determine their level of understanding of the written programs, instructions, policies, procedures, etc. Which also tells you a bit about training effectiveness and retention. Sticking with the HAZCOM example, ask workers about chemicals in their work area, SDS location, labeling requirements, spill/clean-up, etc. Places: Go out to the job site or production floor and look for evidence that the written programs, instructions, policies, procedures, etc. are being followed. For HAZCOM, look for labels-are they worn, missing, are drums labeled? Are SDS books up to date? Are they placed in the proper location? What about spill kits?   So you can see the benefit of the three P’s when auditing your safety management system. Always extend your audit across all three P’s: Paper, People, Places. Which will ensure you have done a proper and thorough audit. Let me know what you think. Send an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me your thoughts about safety inspections or audits. Please let a freind or colleague know about the podcast. Also, you can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
February 27, 2019
Powered by iReportSource How Do I Get The Most Out of My Safety Conference Attendance? A professional safety conference always best treated as a learning experience. Your company is probably footing the bill, and so you may be tempted to handle your next safety conference as a paid vacation. Don’t do that, as you’ll be missing one of the most significant growth opportunities in this field and your career. Here, I’ve included four simple tips to get the very most out of your attendance in a safety or any other conference.  1. Treat the Conference Like a Class If you’re attending a safety conference, the odds are good that you’re a safety professional, and that means the odds are good that you’ve spent some time in a classroom at some point in your life. To make the most of this experience, you need to bring those skills to bear on conference seminars, workshops, and demonstrations. An excellent way to take notes at a conference is to identify which areas your organization could improve, and then tailoring your attendance schedule to events that address these specific issues. It may help to prepare an outline of events you want to attend ahead of time, and use that outline to guide your note-taking during the events themselves.  2. Compare Notes with Other Professionals Here is an example; take your written safety plans for your company. One of the most beneficial ways to interact with the safety conference is to bring copies of safety programs based on scheduled sessions/events with you so that you might compare it against the suggestions and innovations offered. In this way, you’ll be able to identify where your plans could be improved, and what aspects of your programs have been rendered out-of-date by advances in technology. Likewise, actively working on your plans while attending the conference will give you the bonus of providing a product that you can show your employer. By communicating to your colleagues and supervisors a tangible benefit to your attendance, your organization will be much more likely to consider participating in the future--which is an excellent way of saying you might be able to earn yourself another free working vacation! 3. Participate! Another critical aspect of making the most of any conference is to participate in events and workshops actively. Some of the brightest minds in safety management will be on hand to answer questions--take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to get insight into your organization’s problems by identifying areas in which your team could improve and drafting a series of questions to ask during the question and answer sessions that often follow convention events.  4. Pace Yourself Some conference goers face the opposite problem than that alluded to in point three; they not only participate, they run themselves into the ground doing so. Rebecca Knight, of the Harvard Business Review, notes that conference-goers who are enjoying the experience and that are actively engaged in what’s going on tend to get a lot more out of their attendance than those who feel pressure to perform. Ms. Knight suggests that it’s okay to spend a significant amount of time with a few select people if you’re more comfortable networking among smaller crowds. Put another way, don’t feel pressured to perform or participate in a way that’s going to distract you. The key to getting the most out of a safety conference is to be actively and positively engaged with the material, and you can’t do that if you’re always in a state of dread or fear-remember, not everyone is built the same way and that’s okay. Let me know what you think. Send an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com and share with me your thoughts about safety conferences. Find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
February 17, 2019
Every safety leader wakes up each morning looking to avoid any accidents. And, each day, you want to take steps to improve your culture of safety. That’s no easy task, which is part of why an analytics dashboard is so helpful in giving you the information you need to do just that. Listen to this episode to get a quick introduction into 4 ways you can use data to improve your safety culture.
February 12, 2019
Does your company help develop employees through coaching? As provided by www.irerportsource.com this podcast episode brings you the 8 critical tips to help you be a successful coach.
February 4, 2019
Powered by iReportSource Each year, you want to do all you can to protect the health and safety of your workers. You know that those investments pay off. After all, the average return on safety investment is as much as $4.41 for every dollar that’s been spent. But how do you prioritize your safety and health investments? Depending on the resources you have available this year and beyond, here are four areas to invest in: 1. Safety performance indicators It’s so essential for any business to be able to show and measure its safety performance. Learn Faster, spot critical areas that need attention, and take consistent action to support health and safety. Prioritizing the recording and tracking of leading indicators will also result in: More timely preventive and corrective actions The ability to better respond and recognize hazards More effective prevention through design and training. If you haven’t already, invest in a comprehensive tool that can simplify or make this kind of real-time reporting possible. 2. Streamlining your workflows Many organizations are taking steps to have all-in-one safety workflows. Which means leaders across departments can collaborate on safety together. More specifically, they can collect and then manage incident reports, tasks, progress reports, and all other safety activities. Empower your company to make safety a shared responsibility by design. Companies are also making investments in areas that can free up employees’ time in other ways. For example, iReport allows companies to quickly and easily automate OSHA logs. When you (or other employees) can generate and submit these reports automatically, you can spend your time on other areas that will add more value to the business. 3. Leadership training and development Time and time again, research has shown how leadership is tied to employee engagement and safety. Three examples of this include: One study saw that there was a lower lost-time injury rate when leaders displayed concern and care for the workforce; Another study showed that empowering workers, good relationships between management and workers, and an active role by top management in safety and health positively impacted injury rates; A third study showed that the amount of energy and creativity showed by senior managers and safety coordinators was a top factor in reducing injuries. Even though growing your leaders’ capacity can at times seem allusive, leadership growth is one of the most vital pillars of safety excellence. Ultimately, leaders have a significant role in shaping their culture. And it’s these same leaders that can help to unleash discretionary thinking/behaving in employees that can benefit your company’s performance and day-to-day safety. 4. The employee experience Creating a positive, differentiated employee experience is of paramount importance. That starts with researching to see what experiences employees are having currently and seeing where those touchpoints could improve. It may take a bit of work to define your employee experience and to see where any gaps are, but here are a few common areas where you might look to focus where you spend your time: Recruiting and hiring Company values and how that meets up with norms and expectations Onboarding Reward and recognition practices Community-related efforts Workspace design and environment Compensation and/or benefits Well-being and wellness Safety and health Communication of workplace risks and issues related to safety Continuous learning opportunities Events and activities Coaching (informal and formal) Employee feedback Exit interviews Engaged employees are advocates for your company. They are less likely to become complacent on the job. They also create a competitive advantage that can’t be easily replicated. Companies that have been intentional about fostering a great employee experience also tend to be safer and healthier organizations—and the opposite is true as well. This is undoubtedly one area that will continue to be worth the time and investment you put in. Achieve Safety Success in 2019 iReportSource gives you incident transparency, actionable insights, and easy record-keeping so you can foster your world-class safety program. Learn more about improving performance, lowering your risk, and becoming more proactive with iReportSource today. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
February 4, 2019
What are some of the top mistakes employers make when it comes to OSHA recordkeeping? Let’s take a closer look at some of these common errors, and what steps you can take to avoid making the same missteps.
January 27, 2019
In this episode we look at findings from a survey of healthcare workers conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and talk about what other industries can learn from these results.
January 12, 2019
How would you like an OSHA inspector to launch a drone over top your jobsite or building? Let's explore this possibility, and other uses of drones in this podcast episode.
December 23, 2018
Have you ever struggled to make your safety processes mesh with other existing business processes, like quality or maintenance? Using lean principles and tools it can be easy to do just that. Stop trying to convert people and take the work to them, in terms/tools they are comfortable using.
December 5, 2018
Here I talk all about the OSHA inspection process. I tell you that when violations that walk like a duck and talk like a duck, then they're citations. This episode has some great pro tips!
November 20, 2018
Mentioned in this episode: www.whosonlocation.com www.mightylinetape.com/podcast OSHA has changed course in its view of employers' post-incident drug testing programs and injury rate-based incentive programs. In this episode I use the phrase "willy nilly" and rail against attendance bonuses. Listen for more information on how to set up your incentive program properly.
November 15, 2018
A good incident report identifies the problem using in-depth analysis and research and offers a viable solution to that problem. A thorough, well-prepared report will accurately pinpoint what corrective action is necessary so that you may prevent future incidents and keep your team safe!
October 10, 2018
Workers who do work on or near deenergized electrical parts require training and understanding on how equipment is deenergized and locked /tagged out, how to safely work on or near deenergized parts, and what safeguards to use. This episode covers some safety-related work practices you need to do this type of work.
October 9, 2018
Powered by iReportSource OSHA's Safety-Related Work Practices standards for general industry are performance-oriented requirements that complement the existing electrical installation standards. These work-practice standard include requirements for work performed on or near exposed energized and de-energized parts of electric equipment; use of electrical protective equipment; and the safe use of electric equipment. These rules are intended to protect employees from the electrical hazards that they may be exposed to even though the equipment may comply with the installation requirements in, 1910 Subpart S (electrical). When employees are working with electric equipment, they must use safe work practices. Such safety-related work practices include keeping a prescribed distance from exposed energized lines, avoiding the use of electric equipment when the employee or the equipment is wet, and locking-out and tagging equipment which is de-energized for maintenance. The training requirements apply to employees who face a risk of electric shock that is not reduced to a safe level by the electrical installation requirements of §1910.303 - §1910.308. Employees in the following occupations would typically face these risks and are required to be trained: Blue-collar supervisors Electrical and electronics engineers Electrical and electronic equipment engineers Electricians Industrial machine operators Material handling equipment operators Mechanics and repairers Painters Riggers and roustabouts Stationary engineers Welders Except for electricians and welders, workers in these groups do not need to be trained if their work or the work of those they supervise does not bring them close enough to exposed parts of electric circuits operating at 50 volts or more to ground for a hazard to exist. Other employees who also may reasonably be expected to face the comparable risk of injury due to electric shock or other electrical hazards must also be trained. These standards cover electrical safety-related work practices for both qualified persons (those who have training in avoiding the electrical hazards of working on or near exposed energized parts) and unqualified persons (those with little or no such training) working on, near, or with the following installation: Premises Wiring. Installations of electric conductors and equipment within or on buildings or other structures, and on other premises such as yards, carnival, parking, and other lots, and industrial substations; Wiring for Connections to Supply. Installations of conductors that connect to the supply of electricity; and Other Wiring. Installations of other outside conductors on the premises. Optical Fiber Cable. Installations of optical fiber cable where such installations are made along with electric conductors. Other Covered Work By Unqualified Persons The provisions of these standards also cover work performed by unqualified persons on, near, or with the following installations: Generation, transmission, and distribution installations. Installations for the generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy (including communication and metering) located in buildings used for such purposes or located outdoors. Communication installations. Installations of communications equipment to the extent that the work is covered under OSHA standard §1910.268 Installations in vehicles. Installations in ships, watercraft, railway rolling stock, aircraft, or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles. Railway installations. Installations of railways for generation, transformation, transmission, or distribution of power used exclusively for the operation of rolling stock or installations of the railway solely used for signaling and communication purposes. IMPORTANT: Excluded Work by Qualified Persons If a qualified person is performing work near one of the four types of installations listed above, and the work is not being done on or directly associated with the installation, then that work is covered under the Safety-Related Work Practices.  Definitions you should know Barrier: A physical obstruction that is intended to prevent contact with equipment or live parts or to prevent unauthorized access to a work area. Deenergized: Free from any electrical connection to a source of potential difference and free from electrical charge; not having a potential different from that of the earth. Disconnecting means: A device, or group of devices, or other means by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from their source of supply. Energized: Electrically connected to a source of potential difference. Exposed: (As applied to live parts.) Capable of being inadvertently touched or approached nearer than a safe distance by a person. It is applied to parts not suitably guarded, isolated, or insulated. Live parts: Energized conductive components. Qualified person: One who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electric equipment and installations and the hazards involved. Note 1 to the definition of “qualified person”: Whether an employee is considered to be a “qualified person” will depend upon various circumstances in the workplace. For example, it is possible and, in fact, likely for an individual to be considered “qualified” concerning specific equipment in the workplace, but “unqualified” as to other equipment. (See 1910.332(b)(3) for training requirements that specifically apply to qualified persons.) Note 2 “qualified person”: An employee who is undergoing on-the-job training and who, in the course of such training, has demonstrated an ability to perform duties safely, and who is under the direct supervision of a qualified person, is considered to be a qualified person for the performance of those duties.  In general, the standard requires covered employers to: Provide appropriate training to both qualified and unqualified employees. Provide effective safety-related work practices to prevent electric shock. Deenergize live (energized) parts (operating at 50 volts or more) before employees work on them. Provide suitable safety-related work practices for employees working on energized parts. Treat de-energized parts that have not been locked out or tagged out as energized parts. Place a lock or a tag (or both, if at all possible) on parts of fixed electric equipment circuits which have been de-energized. Maintain a written copy of the lockout/tagout procedures. Determine safe procedures for de-energizing circuits and equipment. Disconnect circuits and equipment from all electric energy sources. Release stored electrical energy which may endanger personnel. Block or relieve stored non-electrical energy in devices that could reenergize electric circuit parts. Place a lock and tag on each disconnecting means used to de-energize circuits and equipment. Attach a lock to prevent persons from operating the disconnecting means. If a lock cannot be applied, a tag may be used without a lock. Make sure a tag used without a lock is supplemented by at least one additional security measure that provides a level of protection equal to that of the use of a lock. A lock may be used without a tag if only: One piece of equipment is de-energized, and The lockout period does not extend beyond the work shift, and Employees exposed to the hazards of reenergizing the equipment understand this procedure. Verify the de-energized condition of the equipment. Have the lock and tag be removed by the employee who applied it, or if that employee is not at the worksite, by another person designated to do so. Only allow qualified persons to work on electric circuit parts or equipment that has not been de-energized. Deenergize and ground overhead lines or provide other protective measures before work is started. Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(i) when an unqualified person is working in a position near overhead lines. Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(ii) when a qualified person is working in a position near overhead lines. Maintain the distances in 1910.333(c)(3)(iii) when operating any vehicle or mechanical equipment capable of having parts of its structure near energized overhead lines. Provide necessary illumination for employees in confined spaces. Provide necessary shields, barriers, or insulating materials so employees can avoid contact with exposed energized parts in confined or enclosed spaces. Require portable ladders that could come into contact with exposed energized parts to have non-conductive side rails. Prohibit the wearing of conductive jewelry and other items if the person might contact exposed energized parts. Prohibit the performing of housekeeping duties around energized parts. Allow only qualified persons to defeat an interlock temporarily. Visually inspect portable cord- and plug-connected equipment and flexible cord sets (extension cords) before each use. Take the defective portable cord and plug connected equipment and extension cords out of use. Make sure flexible cords used with grounding-type equipment must have an equipment grounding conductor. Prohibit employees from manually reenergizing a circuit de-energized by a circuit protective device until it has been determined the equipment and circuit can be safely energized. Visually inspect test instruments and equipment before it is used; do not use defective equipment. Use only test instruments and equipment that is rated for the circuits, equipment, and environment. Provide employees the necessary PPE (and require its use) in areas where there are potential electrical hazards, including arc flash and blast. Maintain PPE in a safe, reliable condition and inspect or test it periodically. Require guarding be put in place when normally enclosed live parts are exposed for maintenance or repair. Use safety signs, safety symbols, or accident tags as needed to warn employees about electrical hazards. Use barricades in conjunction with safety signs when necessary. Station attendants to warn of danger if signs and barricades are not enough. Let me know what you think; send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update, letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
September 30, 2018
How do you measure safety in your workplace to enhance performance and reduce employee downtime? There are several tested methods that Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) leaders use to reduce employee incidents and illnesses. Among the leading methods, which this podcast episode discusses, are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)–or leading and lagging indicators. Subscribe and listen for more info.
September 8, 2018
In this takeover podcast episode I visited the offices of Gensuite to talk about wearable tech and the impact it has on safety.
July 21, 2018
During the first two years of the OSHAct, OSHA was directed to adopt national consensus standards as OSHA standards. Some of these standards were adopted as regulatory text, while others were incorporated by reference. Let's talk about some...
July 14, 2018
OSHA’s machine guarding standards apply to employers having employees exposed to dangerous moving parts. Listen for more info.
July 3, 2018
Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council indicate motor vehicle deaths dipped slightly – 1% – in 2017, claiming 40,100 lives versus the 2016 total of 40,327. The small decline is not necessarily an indication of progress, as much as a leveling off of the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years.
June 7, 2018
Because workplace violence is a growing problem across America, it is good for a company to develop its own company specific worksite safety, security and workplace violence policy and procedures manual.
May 20, 2018
Most public and private employers fall under at least some posting requirements under federal, state, and/or local government laws, regulations, and/or executive orders. These workplace posters (also known as labor law posters or notices) are generally meant to make employees aware of their rights under certain laws or executive orders, or otherwise impart information about the employer and/or the law or executive order. Listen to learn more.
April 29, 2018
Opinions vary on how to define an ergonomics injury, and the definition of the term may depend on the context. However, ergonomic injuries are often described by the term “musculoskeletal disorders” or “MSDs.” This is the term that refers collectively to a group of injuries and illnesses that affect the musculoskeletal system.
April 26, 2018
How would you escape from your workplace in an emergency? Do you know where all the exits are located? What about a 2nd way out? A safety plan is needed, let' talk about that in this episode.
April 11, 2018
Mentioned in this episode: www.whosonlocation.com www.mightylinetape.com/podcast OSHA Sloping/Benching Diagrams
April 3, 2018
Final vacation week! Thanks for being loyal listeners. I wanted to remind everyone in this quick episode about taking safety with when you leave work. I may put together an episode about this topic soon. Share your off-the-job safety tips by sending me an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. Don't forget to visit our incredible partners in safety: www.whosonlocation.com www.mightylinetape.com/podcast Be safe out there!
March 19, 2018
I am on vacation! But, I still managed to get a quick episode out for all my awesome listeners. 6 Steps to an Effective Hazard Communication Program for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals! Email comments or questions to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
March 12, 2018
Recently, I was thinking about some of the seasonal work we need done at our homes as well as at our businesses. And that got me thinking about tree trimmers. And it hit me, when it comes to workplace safety, it is easy to overlook the folks that do some of this work, either at our homes or when we hire these companies to help us maintain our facilities.
March 6, 2018
In the last couple of episodes I dance around the rescue team parts of the standard. I want to get into that section here. Get ALL the freebies from this podcast using the link at the BOTTOM of the show notes.
February 25, 2018
Mentioned in this episode: www.mightylinetape.com/podcast www.whosonlocation.com This is part 2 in a series about confined space entry, the requirements including training and entry procedures and we will wrap the series up with some tips, interpretations and examples written programs.
February 19, 2018
I want to get into confined spaces and permit-required confined spaces. I need to break this topic up into a couple of different episodes, beginning with a general introduction to terms, definitions, emergency response and some training requirements before getting into specifics around the actual entry permits and entry procedures like monitoring in the next episode.
February 12, 2018
In this episode I want to talk about Lean manufacturing principles and how it can help you transform safety in your organization. If you listen to this podcast regularly (and I hope you do!) you probably have heard me tell you to go look at what tools the lean or quality folks are using in your organization. And there is a good reason for that. They CAN help you improve safety processes.
February 11, 2018
Powered by iReportSource In this episode, I want to talk about Lean manufacturing principles and how it can help you transform safety in your organization. If you listen to this podcast regularly (and I hope you do!), you probably have heard me tell you to look at what tools the lean or quality folks are using in your organization. And there is a good reason for that. They CAN help you improve safety processes. I am going to reference two good books I studies and will draw upon their lessons in this episode. One is called Lean Safety: Transforming your safety program with lean management by Robert B. Hafey and the other is called Safety Performance in a Lean Environment: A guide to building safety into a process by Paul F. English. Lean is a manufacturing philosophy that reduces the total cycle time between taking a customer order and the shipment by eliminating waste. What is excellent about lean principles are they apply to all business processes and especially safety. Also, lean can be used for all types of businesses. Edward Demming is widely considered the father of lean and what became the Toyota Production System (TPS). He went to Japan after WWII to teach Japanese business leaders how to improve quality. His work went unnoticed in the US until the early 1980’s. Of course, that period is important; it’s when Japanese automakers overtook US companies in quality and productivity. Ford first brought Demming in to help improve their quality. This is when Demming determined Ford’s quality systems were not at fault, but instead, their management practices were. A significant cultural change would be needed. So Demming developed 14 points of management. Let’s go through them and see how they relate to safety: 1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services. 2. Adopt the new philosophy. 3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. 4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier. 5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service. 6. Institute training on the job. 7. Adopt and institute leadership. 8. Drive out fear. 9. Break down barriers between staff areas. 10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce. 11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management. 12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system. 13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone. 14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation. It is clear to see how universal these can be. Another useful tool we can take from lean (and trust me, there are many, as I have covered in past episodes) is DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve, and Control. Let’s go through what this might look like for safety. Define: Who is the customer? What is the voice of the customer? What is critical to safety? What is the cost of poor safety? Measure: Cause & Effect fishbone. Is the safety process state and in control? What is the current safety process performance (or capability)? What actions are being taken to protect the employee/company (containment)? Analysis: Which issues are effecting health & safety the most? How many samples do you need to conclude? Improve: What is the ideal solution? What is the proof the solution will work? How many trials are needed? What is the work plan to implement and validate the solution? Control: Can you demonstrate the improvement is sustainable over time? Is the process in control? How do we keep it that way? Again, here is just one example of how lean principles and tools can be applied to safety. Furthermore, this can empower everyone in an organization to champion safety. So safety leadership doesn’t require a business leader or manager. Shop floor workers can get lean training and begin identifying ways to improve the systems they have to interface with every day; including safety. We see this in accident investigations as well. One of my favorite lines to use is to focus on the process, not the person. In his book, Lean Safety, Robert Hafey tells a story about accidents at a manufacturer he once toured. There they uncovered a trend involving forklift accidents. Some managers looked into force monitors; these shut down the forklift in the event of an impact requiring operators to seek out a manager to turn it back on. You see, most of the incidents were hit and runs, no witnesses. His approach was different. Because they had no idea who caused the damage, since someone other than the driver usually reported it, they needed a plan that removed that aspect from the equation. The approach was to invite a forklift driver (any driver) in that area and help investigate. They were told that they would not be spending time looking for WHO was responsible, but rather to determine the root cause and come up with corrective processes in place to prevent a recurrence. 
What they discovered was the majority of the incidents were a result of poorly placed racks, improper clearances, etc. So they went about fixing those things, and wouldn’t you know, soon enough the drivers that had an incident began self-reporting. The reason is TRUST! The approach to many accident investigations destroys trust - if it focuses on “what did you do wrong?” instead of “how can this be improved?” I remembered at a client site years ago an operator got a laceration from removing a glove to grab a sample piece of metal off the line for a quality check. Management wanted to issue discipline, for removing PPE. The problem was that everyone was issued the same gloves - heavy leather gloves because of the sharp metal edges on their product. But they were also required to cut a sample piece for a quality check. They all knew you could not pick up this thin 4” wide sample with those gloves on. So, everyone, every worker removed their glove to do so. And management knew this. But the others had not gotten a laceration…yet. So issuing discipline would destroy trust, and drive reporting underground. Also, it did NOTHING to address the root cause; the conditions remained the same. Therefore they were doomed to repeat this cycle. By focusing on the process, we were able to determine the form, fit and function of those gloves (on that line anyway) needed to change, and samples were brought in for operators to try and then score based on cut resistance level needed and dexterity. That operator, he became a part of the solution, not just another victim of a hazard of the job. I could go on with hundreds of stories like this I have seen in my work as a consultant for over a decade. But let’s save those for future episodes! The main takeaway I want you to get here is to look toward Lean principles to help you improve safety. Mainly build the trust needed to create a collaborative environment where you turn workers into champions for change and improvement across all areas of the business. You can find me on LinkedIn! Post a LinkedIn update letting me know what you think of the podcast. Be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
February 5, 2018
Online safety training has come a LONG way from what it was even 5 years ago. Technology like mobile devices and apps has made digesting information easier and more interactive. So in this episode I want to focus on what works best as far as online safety training goes, and what to avoid. Please share your thoughts by sending an email to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
January 30, 2018
Changing Workplace Safety Culture: do you have a process for change? One example is the ADKAR Model (again, just ONE example). This is a framework for understanding change at an individual level. It has 5 elements, or building blocks, that bus be in place for real change. I talk about this model in this episode! Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. Be sure to support our partners in safety by visiting www.mightylinetape.com/podcast.
January 23, 2018
Be sure to visit www.thesafetypropodcast.com and you can send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com As we know, the language of the OSH Act limits the recording requirements to injuries or illnesses that are "work-related." The Act uses, but does not define, this term. I break it all down in this episode covering how to determine whether an injury or illness is indeed work-related.
January 16, 2018
Visit www.thesafetypropodcast.com for the full show notes. Safety meetings; ask yourself, what information is important enough to pull employees together once a week, or once a month and sit down to review? This can be difficult. Fear not! I break it all down in this episode. I challenge each of you to identify what is most important about your business that warrant a regular meeting, decide which team members should be involved, set up a time and get on with improving safety in your business.
January 6, 2018
Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. OSHA requires employers to protect employees who are occupationally exposed to blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM). Do you have a written BBP safety program? Let's talk about how to set one up! Visit www.thesafetypropodcast.com for more workplace safety information. Send questions/comments to info@thesafetypropodcast.com.
December 26, 2017
This topic is a good one! What you should be using TODAY in your business. Read the episode show notes for more info. Send your thought to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. As I close out the year, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all the support and the incredible growth of the podcast!
December 18, 2017
Do you have corrosives in the workplace? Looking for tips and info to help keep workers safe? I cover workplace safety info and OSHA requirements for working around corrosives, including ANSI requirements for emergency eyewash and shower stations. Visit www.thesafetypropodcast.com or reach out via email: info@thesafetypropodcast.com
December 11, 2017
Increasingly, companies are using contract or temporary workers to perform work. This work ranges from maintenance and construction to security and even production-related tasks. It’s easy to pass off responsibility for contractor safety to someone else — particularly the contractor. Let's tackle it here in this episode! visit www.thesafetypropodcast for more info on this episode. Email info@thesafetypropodcast.com.
December 4, 2017
Lifts and powered platforms can be tricky. This episode tackles some of the differences in the OSHA safety regulations. Listen as I talk about setting up the right workplace safety program and how to manage these activities from day to day. Be sure to share your thoughts by sending a message to info@thesafetypropodcast.com Please visit our sponsors www.vppsimplified.com and the official floor marking and floor sign company of the podcast, www.mightylinetape.com/podcast
November 23, 2017
Let's discuss whether the OSHA Outreach training program is relevant anymore. Have the changes in the past few years made it so rigid that it may not be worth the investment?
November 17, 2017
In this episode I talk about how we can use other OSHA citations to engage operators, look at policies, processes and facilities/equipment. Listen to this episode to learn how you can do this in your company. Be sure to subscribe and drop an email if you have comments or a request for a topic. info@thesafetypropodcast.com Mighty Line Floor Tape - the official floor tape & floor marking company for the SafetyPro Podcast. All of your industrial floor marking needs. Visit www.mightylinetape.com/podcast.
November 10, 2017
Special announcement! Mighty Line Floor Tape is now the official floor tape and floor marking company for the SafetyPro Podcast! All of your industrial floor marking needs in one place. Visit www.mightylinetape.com/podcast to learn more. Where are you on the culture maturity curve? How do you chart this? Click http://eepurl.com/c-Yi4T to download the free graph and listen as I talk about safety culture. Click http://eepurl.com/bcu_r9 to join the email list! info@thesafetypropodcast.com
November 2, 2017
Mentioned in this episode: www.vppsimplified.com NIOSH TWH Workbook ANSI Z-10 Let's talk about culture. What culture do you want? What do you currently have? Look to 2 areas of focus for culture. Listen as I explain. email info@thesafetypropodcast.com
October 27, 2017
Get the 13-Week Roadmap journal I use: http://bit.ly/2sQ7NVm Staying focused can be hard. Listen as I describe the journal that helps me create a 13-week roadmap for projects, stay focused on what matters and track my progress along the way. The Self Journal can help you as a safety professional, check it out today here http://bit.ly/2sQ7NVm Dont' forget to HIT THE SUBSCRIBE button to get every episode. Send emails to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
October 12, 2017
Download the free Fishbone Diagram template here: http://eepurl.com/c7fJv1 One way to capture different ideas and stimulate the team’s brainstorming on root causes is the cause and effect diagram, commonly called a fishbone. Listen as I explain how it is used. Download the FREE template to follow along! Send email comments and topic requests to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
October 7, 2017
Visit our show sponsor here: www.vppsimplified.com **To get the free 5-Why template mentioned in this episode click HERE. Using 5-why for safety problem-solving will really help those looking for an easy yet effective tool to get to the root causes of issues. Be sure to subscribe and leave a rank/review so others can find us and  so we can improve the podcast. info@thesafetypropodcast.com
September 27, 2017
Visit our sponsor www.vppsimplified.com to simplify your VPP journey! HAZCOM is still a frequently cited OSHA violation. Listen to this intro to the topic so you can keep your employees safe. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE via Apple Podcasts and please leave a rank and review so I can improve! Send your email questions or topic request to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
September 25, 2017
Visit our sponsor www.vppsimplified.com to simplify your VPP journey! Labels still create problems for many employers. Learn what is needed and listen to some examples of what to do and not do when it comes to labels in the workplace. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE via Apple Podcasts and please leave a rank and review so I can improve! Be sure to send email questions or topics for future episodes to info@thesafetypropodcast.com
September 5, 2017
http://www.vppsimplified.com The fourth element in the OSHA VPP is safety & health training. Let's dive into this one and simplify it. Remember, the VPP Simplified Tool will explain all the elements of the VPP, the sub-elements, and track you progress along the way. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and visit the website to learn more about the VPP Simplified Tool. Send email questions to info@thesafetypropodcast.com. I may answer you question on the podcast!
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