Eliminate Hazards, Eliminate Injuries

Injuries are costly.  Period.  They are costly in many ways.  First and foremost is to the person that is injured.  They can miss out on the ability to go about their daily life in their normal fashion.  This includes spending time with their loved ones, going to sporting events, activities of their children, going to movies, or many more of the same.  They can also miss out on the ability to continue working until they are cleared by a doctor to go back to work.  Their injury might require several trips to the doctor, which may or may not be close by, and medications to deal with the injuries that may have occurred.

Another way they are costly is to the business that employs them.  They will more than likely have to replace this employee for the duration they are out of work.  Other employees may have to work extra hours to cover for the injured employee if short term hiring is not feasible which may end up being overtime pay.  More training may be required of the employer and employee to ensure that this injury will not occur again if at all possible.

One other way is with all injuries that occur on the job site, there will have to be a report made to the company’s workers compensation insurance company.  Depending on the severity, it could greatly increase the cost to insure that company which would have a trickle down effect on everyone else.  The more companies can eliminate hazards and injuries that occur on the job site, the better off the company and its employees are in the long run.  Safety first is a priority and our commitment to it CAN NOT waiver.

Western States Fire Protection has a strong stance on safety: Commitment to Zero

A month with an injury is one too high, including all self treat injuries.  Our current model of evaluating hazards is through the daily huddle and job site safety audits.  While this model has significantly reduced our injury rates, we have remained essentially flat for historical injuries.  What does this indicate?  We are good at reporting our injuries (even minor injuries) and our injury severity has decreased.

Are we heading in the right direction?  Yes.  Is this enough? No.

In order to CHANGE our safety culture, we must first CHANGE our mindset and outlook when it comes to hazard reporting.

Who gets the citation when OSHA sees a violation of the standard?  The COMPANY!  Not the foreman or the apprentice on the job.

OSHA’s General Duty Clause states all employees have the right to work in a place free of recognized hazards.  Who better to recognize hazards and eliminate them than our employees working in the field on a daily basis?

Consider the Following:

Say in the past 2 years, WSFP has averaged 1000 field employees and there were 175 different people auditing job sites.

(1,000 +175) = 1,175 pairs of eyes looking for hazards every month

If each of those pairs of eyes found and eliminated 1 hazard per month for the year:

1,175 * 12 (months) = 14,100 hazards eliminated by years end

How often do we find more than one hazard on a job?

If this prevents one injury on ANY job site for ANY contractor working there, then this program is worth your time and energy.  In 2015, WSFP Safety conducted a Safety Engagement Survey.  One of those questions asked to the field employees was “What do you do when you see a hazard on your job sites?”  An overwhelming 85% stated they CORRECT THE HAZARD when they see it.  If it is something we are already doing, I’d like to ask that we get credit for it by reporting it to our RISKONNECT system under “Safety Observations.”

“Remember Safety is not a thing, it is a culture and a frame of mind. ZERO is possible but first everyone must believe, starting at the top!!” – Rick Charles, Executive Vice President


Learn more at www.wsfp.com, your full service fire protection contractor.