Many of us already do a pretty good job in our safety leadership walkthroughs to identify and call attention to personal, occupational safety hazards, such as slips, trips and falls. They’re easy to focus on because usually they’re static, concrete, observable and easily identifiable. A trip hazard becomes pretty obvious to the trained eye. The problem is, we sometimes focus so much on that, that we end up neglecting process-safety hazards. [content_protector password=”focus-03″ identifier=”focus-03″]
So, how does a process-safety hazard differ from a personal safety hazard? A process-safety hazard could include the mechanical ability or soundness of a unit; or, for purposes of safety leadership, it could include the competency level or confidence level of the employee operating that unit.
A process-safety hazard could include the mechanical ability or soundness of a unit; or, for purposes of safety leadership, it could include the competency level or confidence level of the person operating that unit. And if someone who isn’t comfortable or confident operating that unit is afraid to say something about it, the result could be a hazard that ends up being far more catastrophic and ends up impacting far more people than the result of a personal hazard.
So while process hazards are typically more rare than personal hazards, the consequence when it does occur is much greater. Our focus, then, when conducting safety-leadership walkthroughs, should be on safety-critical activities, on the competencies required to perform those activities, and on behaviors that support the safe execution of those activities. We’ll begin breaking all this down in our next installment.
But that’s all for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time be sure all your safety initiatives are built in, not bolted on.