Friday, June 19, 2015

Safety as a Business Output

Phil La Duke’s article, Safety As A Business Output, published in the June issue of Michigan Manufacturers Magazine, challenges OSH professionals to look at safety differently. Instead of viewing workplace safety as the absences of injuries, he suggests viewing it as outcome of comprehensive business practices.

According to La Duke, organizations must built an infrastructure that hardwires safety into the key business processes that can influence safer outcomes:
  • Operations ownership: Organizations must consider safety a controllable component of the operations management system. It should be viewed as an indicator of the overall efficiency of the organization.
  • Competency: Employees cannot do their jobs safely without the proper skills. Recruiting, screening and selecting people best suited to the positions will increase the likelihood that they will be able to work safely. 
  • Process capability: Processes are important. People who work outside of the process, or who use a process that is over-complicated are at increase risk of injuries. 
  • Hazard management: Operations should identify, contain and correct hazards before an incident occurs. 
  • Accountability: Someone must be held accountable for keeping the workplace safe even though everyone plays a role in workplace safety. 
  • Engagement: Employees who are engaged will do the right thing because they have a sense of pride in their jobs. 
According to La Duke, managing safety as a business outcome can greatly increase both safety and efficiency. Read the full article here.