Reducing Workplace Incidents

Three Safety Elements

Although, all efforts that companies and industries have put to reduce incidents at the workplace have not been enough. In 2016, the Association of Workers Compensation published the number of lost time incidents claims and rates, and the numbers do not look promising in some provinces of Canada. Average Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) in Canada was 1.3; in some were above 2.00 and in two of them were below 1.00 The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been publishing the top ten safety violations for many years. Since 2003, the list has not changed, there have been the same issues. The fall protection has been the top violation for at least 14 years.

 

The gaps of compliance during the inspections are:

• Lack of training.
• Lack of knowledge of the regulations.
• Lack of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs).

 

• Not solving the issues founded during investigations.
• Legacy issues not addressed in the past.
• Lack of commitment to top management.

The provinces in Canada publish fines imposed to companies due to safety infractions or in compliance. Only in August 2017 the province of Ontario has fined 75 companies, and the total amount of these penalties have been 6,600,000.00 CAD; some of those fines included jail time impose to Presidents of those companies. Three of them are spending jail time by recommendation of the Minister of labor.

 

These numbers are real and catastrophic, right? But there is hope, and various industries are working together to reverse these numbers.

Every year, the Association of workers compensation has notices that the number of fatalities is decreasing, five years ago were more than 1,000. In 2015 the stats reported 815 that is 185 reports less than from previous years.

The efforts have been implemented and they are having positive impacts.

Some of my clients have a 0.00 LTIR. However, they had a high Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) above 2.00. They made a
commitment and an action plant to reduce this rate below 1.00. After one year the had a very successful path of actions to achieve this goal, getting his RIR around 0.5 and the second year, they reached the RIR equals to 0.00.

Here are the three steps to achieve
Zero Recordable Incident Rate.

 

STEP 1: Establishing Safety Practices, Management of Change and Understand the hazards and risks

Safety Practices.

Identify the safety practices and develop standard operation procedures (SOPs), training programs, coaching and mentoring programs. The safety practices can be the following:
-Confined space entry.
-Working at heights.
-Isolation of hazardous energies.
-Airborne hazardous control program
-Machine guarding
-Traffic management program (interaction between pedestrians and industrial equipment such as forklifts, cranes, etc.

Each one of these safety practices will have its training package that will belong to the training management system. The coaching system will allow establishing follow up with the
worker to verify of the training has been successful

Management of Change (MOC)

The management of change program that will include the pre-start safety review (PSSR) will allow identifying hazards and risk of the new additions to the facility such as the addition of equipment, modification of current manufacturing processes or change of existing equipment.

Understand the Risk

It is the second pillar of the current Process Safety Management System. Transferring this component to your existing program will bring value added to your safety program.

Having the process safety information such as parameters of your operation, control systems, applicable standards and regulations; emergency controls and manufacturer’s recommendations will help to understand your process or activities; therefore, the hazard and risk assessment will be a more accurate hazard and risk identification.

 

Step 2: Be a COR company

The certification of Recognition known as COR will allow your company to set the bar of compliance with the safety regulation and standards.

A COR company needs to establish the following elements that the program is requiring:

  • Management Involvement and Commitment.
  • Hazard Identification and Assessment.
  • Hazard Control
  • Training
  • Emergency Response.
  • Incident Reporting and Investigation.
  • Communications.
  • Safety management evaluation.

 

Step 3. Lean Safety.

Do you want to exceed COR?

An effective health and safety management system can provide benefits to your customers and give you a competitive advantage by:

  •    Minimising the risks of production delays
  •    Providing a safe environment to do business
  •    Demonstrating your commitment to maintaining an adequate health and safety policy

Other benefits make your organization more efficient, able to meet its legal requirements and help to improve staff morale by making the workplace a safer environment to work.

Benefits to the organization include:

  •    Improving your reputation and increase your opportunities to gain new business
  •    Minimising risks of downtime through accidents
  •    Demonstrating your commitment to meet legal obligations
  •    Possible cost savings from public liability insurance premiums
  •    Maintaining compliance with statutory requirements
  •    Providing a robust system to manage and to improve health and safety
  •    When people look at facility improvement opportunities, they often look at process improvement methodologies, such as Lean Manufacturing. Another thing that is commonly reviewed is facility safety improvements. In many cases, however, they don’t see that using lean manufacturing techniques can often also provide safety improvements.
  •    Thinking about safety lean manufacturing will allow you to make improvements throughout your facility in a way that will not only reduce waste and increase profitability but also help improve safety at the same time. The following are five examples of how lean can directly enhance safety within your facility.
  •    According to DesignSafe’s document on, Integrating Safety and Lean Manufacturing
  •    Safety must not be viewed as a separate activity that is a nonvalue-added effort with objectives contrary to lean concepts. Elimination of waste can also be interpreted as the elimination or minimization of risk that adversely affects wasted human resources and lost time from injuries. Lean imperatives of faster, better, and cheaper must encompass the issue of running safer as well.
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