Friday, February 10, 2012

Integrated Safety is a risk reduction program—PART 1.

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Alan Dujenski, of Alan R. Dujenski & Associates, Inc.

The Integrated Safety Process
An effective safety program must involve all levels of management and personnel in a combined effort to identify potential problem areas and resolve them before an incident occurs.

The ABCs of Accidents
Understand the basic elements of an accident: Statistics have shown that accidents are rarely the result of a single event.

Take fires for example, three things are needed to start a fire: an ignition source, fuel, and oxygen. To put out the fire, remove one of these elements. Most other accidents also generally have multiple elements. If you remove one or more of these elements, you minimize or eliminate the possibility of that accident occurring.

Additionally, accidents usually don’t happen without some forewarning. For most major accidents, there are usually about 10 minor accidents that preceded it. Early indications and corrective action can hopefully prevent the accident.

The Integrated Safety Action Plan
An integrated safety program is developed with input from management and employees.
To be successful this program must have top management, front-line management, and employees buying into and supporting the plan. First, identify problems or hazards. After the hazards are identified, collaborators work to identify ways to eliminate or mitigate the hazard. Failing that, they create a contingency plan.

Designing the Program
Run through an exercise of hazard identification and decide what to do with the issues. Then do the same thing with front-line managers (supervisors, masters, chief engineers), then the rest of the workforce. For these initial meetings it is usually best to use an outside facilitator.

You may need to call in a consultant to ensure you meet regulatory requirements. You will have an excellent foundation for the consultant to assist you in building a final plan that is usable and designed to fit your company.

Find out why safety programs fail in Part 2.

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