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Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Effective Risk Management

In today’s world, more and more top level managers are asking their employees for help in keeping production and quality standards high and at the same time are asking them to keep operating costs down. Many companies operate on less than a 5% profit margin. As such, any damaged goods, equipment downtime or an industrial accident will affect the bottom line.

Our friends at OSHA have concluded that effective Risk Management of worker safety and health protection is a decisive factor in reducing the extent and the severity of work-related injuries and illnesses. Effective management addresses all work-related hazards, including those potential hazards that could result from a change in worksite conditions or practices. Additionally, it addresses hazards whether or not they are regulated by government standards.

Walking around a facility with a client, I asked him how many times during the week he or management personnel took time to look for safety hazards? My client stated,”I have other folks to do that.” I explained that safety and profits go hand in hand and it takes everyone to achieve these goals.

I then asked him; “Ever hear the phrase safety starts at the top?” He thought about this for a few minutes and replied; “Jack, I get the picture.” I explained that I started a new motivational program that uses the newest management tools like Lean Manufacturing and created a program called “FISH.” FISH stands for “Finding Industrial Safety Hazards©.”

It all started in Seattle at the Pikes Place Fish Market. Whenever I was upset with management not enforcing, or employees not following, the safety program, I would visit the fish market.

At the Pikes Place Fish Market the employees and management hung a sign that read; ”Caution Watch Out For Low Flying Fish” I found people having fun at work. Lots of organizations have their vision on the wall, but at Pike Place Fish Market, the employees bring their unique vision to life on the sales floor of their workplace every day.

Many have spent a lot of money trying to change culture at work. Many have spent money on other types of behavior based programs trying to change the “culture” and have experienced little or no return on their investments. Why did they not see a long term return on their investment? Because they were trying to change culture and behavior by having safety monitors / observers on the floor watching people who may be working unsafely.

When the observers were watching, the worker knew they were being watched and they changed their behavior for a short period of time. What did they really achieve? Loss of production and potential loss of profit. Now, imagine a culture where all of the employees, not just management, take personal responsibility for safety, health, environment, cost, quality, etc. and they regenerate that vision every day.

I thought to myself, how can I make safety fun for everyone? I researched this type of attitude and spoke with a couple of the workers at the market. I discovered that the fishmongers keep their passion and playfulness alive through a deep, daily and very personal commitment. I thought, what better way to increase safety awareness than having fun looking for safety, health and environmental problems at work, not only on the factory floor but in the offices, in the operating documents or how we received and shipped our products.

Some people are sharks, some are like an octopus, while other are like flounders. Once in a while you get a bass or a carp but never-the-less, you do get a fish and each organization has their own style of fish.

Now I am not saying that people are like fish but there are some similarities. When I conduct training in “FISH,” I give each attendee a hat to wear that looks just like the type of fish that fits their personality. I explain that like a school of fish, each has their own personality, style and they have the capability to add fun to a safety program in their own work environment. I also found that given the chance, with meaningful education and training in finding safety, health, and environmental problems and rewarding employees for coming up with corrective measures that brings profit back to the company, can be both profitable and fun, just like the fish market.

I also want to direct you to a free program that federal OSHA has developed. This program can be downloaded and if properly used can also add money back into your profit margins. Developed in 1998, OSHA’s “$AFETY PAYS” program is interactive software to assist employers in assessing the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses (with Lost Work Days) on their profitability. It uses a company’s profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to generate in order to cover those costs. It can be downloaded at www.OSHA.gov. The program is in their e-tools section.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of this page.

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