Conduct Safety and Health Audits and Inspections

Again however, reducing unsafe acts is no substitute for eliminating hazards. Managers should therefore routinely inspect for possible problems using, checklists as aids, investigate all accidents and near misses, enable employees to notify managers about hazards. Use employees’ safety committees to inspect. Committees should evaluate safety adequacy, monitor safety audit findings and suggest strategies for improving health and safety performance.

Managers should expedite the safety audits by using personal digital assistants. For example one Microsoft Windows application for designing and completing safety audit questionnaires is called Process and performance measurement (PPM). To use this application, the manager gives the safety audit a name, enters the audit questions, and lists possible answers. Typical questions for a fire extinguisher audit might include, are fire extinguishers clearly identified and accessible? And are only approved fire extinguishers used in the workplace? The supervisor or employees then uses the PDA to record the audit and to automatically transmit it to the firm’s safety office.

Research Insights:

High performance systems and safety

Finally, as noted earlier, it is important not to miss the forest for the rest for the trees. Individual practices like training and incentives may not be more effective than the overall management system of which they are a part.

A recent study illustrates this. At several points in this book we’ve seen that high performance work systems are associated with superior organizational performance, including profitability and customer service. While there’s no hard and fast rule about what comprises high performance work systems, most organizational psychologists would agree they include practices like employment security selective hiring extensive training, self managed teams, and decentralized decision making reduced status

Distinctions between managers and workers, information sharing, contingent rewards, transformational leadership (for instance in terms of inspirational motivation) measurement of management practices and an emphasis on high quality work.

This study found that high performance work systems also produce fewer occupational injuries. As the researchers conclude we can no longer assume that occupational safety is the primary prerogative of individual workers, ergonomic design and government regulations of collective agreements. Rather, our data demonstrates that a high performance work system is significantly associated with occupational safety.

Table below summarizes actions, for reducing unsafe conditions d acts.

Table Reducing unsafe conditions and acts; A summary

Reduce Unsafe Conditions

1) Identify and eliminate unsafe conditions
2) Use administrative means, such as job rotation
3) Use personal protective equipment.

Reduce Unsafe Acts

1) Emphasize top management commitment
2) Emphasize safety
3) Establish a safety policy
4) Reduce unsafe acts through selection
5) Provide safety training
6) Use posters and other propaganda
7) Use positive reinforcement
8) Use behavior based safety programs
9) Encourage workers participants
10) Conduct safety and health inspections regularly.

Controlling worker’s Compensation Costs

In the event an accident does occur the employer may turn to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to cover his or her expenses and losses. In turn, employer’s workers compensation premiums reflect the number and size of its claims. There is, therefore both a humanitarian and financial impetus for reducing claims. Workers compensation claims tend to spike on Mondays, possibly because some workers represent weekend injuries as work related ones.

Before the accidents

The time to start controlling workers compensation claims is before the accident happens. This involves taking all the safety steps described above. The approach doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, LKL, Associates Inc of Orem Utah cut its workers’ compensation premiums in half by communicating written safety and substance abuse policies to workers and then strictly enforcing those policies.

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