Make Safety Observations Visible
By Susen Trail | 07/25/2021
Last week we discussed the reasons why employees may be unwilling to alert their Supervisors or the Safety Manager to a hazardous condition that they have observed. One of those reasons is that either they, or an employee they heard about, submitted a Safety Observation and nothing happened. This does not mean that nothing actually happened. I've driven hundreds of miles for Complaint Investigations where I found that the response was fast, effective, and sustainably prevented recurrence. And, had a negative effect on their Social Culture!
I asked the Safety Manager at one school district "What are you, the CIA?" Go, blow your own horn. You did well, you know you did well. However, no one else knows you heard and responded to an employee's concerns and took steps to make sure the employees were safe. In my years in Safety this is a very, very common self-made barrier to success and we took steps to develop our software, so you are recognized as an uncommonly efficient, successful Safety Manager.
We first make it as easy as possible for an employee to report an unsafe condition. We then created a system where you can choose to provide maximum transparency. You need to make it easy for employees to see that they were:
- Had a positive effect on their workplace safety
The way we did this was by providing you with role permissions so employees can see the dashboard, yet with the ability to tailor to what works best in your company.
Permission Option #1: Access to see the Current Issues Dashboard listing all Safety Observations posted.
Permission Option #2: Access to see the Safety Observations they reported.
Regardless of which list they see, clicking on a Safety Observation will show them:
- The status of the Safety Observation
- Who is participating in the investigation
- What is the overt cause
- What is the root cause
- What could happen if the unsafe condition were not abated
- If Interim Actions are required before the Preventive Action can take place
- The Preventive Action details, giving them the chance to point out interferences with their production tasks before more time or money is spent.
- This decreases waste by inventive bypass techniques so employees can keep up with production goals.
- Who is responsible for implementing the prevention tasks.
- The Return on Safety Investment: money lost due to the unsafe condition minus money spent to prevent the unsafe condition.
Last week we talked about the barriers to employees reporting unsafe conditions. This week we discussed a major barrier to employee's trust (lack of visibility/transparency), it's effect, and how Simple Safety Coach can help you overcome it. Next week, we will talk about how you can have the ultimate efficiency in Safety Observation Investigations.