By: Kevin B. Keith, Director of Safety Services, ABC Keystone
With the end of 2017 in sight, this is an appropriate time to reflect on the year and assess how well your company safety program has performed. Looking back on performance and determining how that aligns with the goals set for the start of the new year will help to establish goals for 2018. Performance is not just the bottom line, but part of the big picture that should include safety, production and quality. For the intent of this article, we will focus on safety, placing emphasis on maintaining balance between the three key areas that will maximize your company’s financial performance. Applying this simple approach will aid in the tracking of any company initiatives and will ensure that the focus is maintained aiding in achieving goals.
Evaluating the performance of your workers from the previous year can start by reviewing the written 2017 safety goals. This review may reveal that the goals were not clearly communicated or, if they were, you might discover that no training was provided to managers, supervisors, or workers to clearly provide guidance on how to achieve the goals. The goals should have been included in each worker’s performance assessment and should be measurable with the specifics detailed. This requires some thought to be applied when establishing the goals. This should also include some sort of roadmap consisting of smaller markers along that way that will lead to achieving the year-end goals. Indicators for this type of performance review include tracking injuries and illnesses along with the number and severity. Review of your OSHA Logs and Workers’ Compensation data will greatly aid in this process. Taking a look at this sort information shows the actual performance numbers and is more like taking a “body count” instead of looking at the preventative measures to be employed. Assessment of your preventative measures can be done by reviewing near miss reports, worker safety suggestions, management jobsite walkthroughs, site inspections, and the participation records of your workers in company safety related committees. A review of the safety committee monthly meeting notes and jobsite inspection reports compared to the injury data should provide some insight in to the effectiveness of the company programs and the timeliness of the responses provided when safety concerns are identified.
This type of review will help in identifying what has or hasn’t worked in the previous year. The upcoming year’s goals can be modified or adjusted by adding the necessary measures to correct the areas of concern. This could include providing additional training, verifying that measures are in place to ensure that key markers are hit throughout the year, and the creation of performance indicators. Employee involvement in the review and assessment is critical to the process. Having engaged employees sends the right message to all workers that their safety is the most important business function and is part of the company’s overall financial health. ABC Keystone’s safety experts can help. Contact ABC to discuss your safety concerns and how you can partner with ABC Keystone to create a safer workplace.
December 7, 2017