Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021 - 32

column | safety insights

Implement
Proactive
Safety
Ryan Dobbins
CSP, CHST, CIT, CUSP

Ryan Dobbins is a Safety Services Manager
responsible for developing, managing, and
providing services in support of the Safety
Management Group, Columbus, OH (safetymanagementgroup.com), Ohio division.
Dobbins supports large owner and contractor
safety and health programs in industries such
as manufacturing, construction, supply chain,
automation, and electric power utilities.
He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP),
Construction Health & Safety Technician
(CHST), Certified Instructional Trainer (CIT),
Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP)
and holds a B.S. in Occupational Safety &
Health Management from Indiana Univ.,
Bloomington. Contact him at
RyanDobbins@safetymanagementgroup.com.

Reporting and treating
near-miss incidents as
if an accident actually
happened will result in
an overall reduction in
injuries.

32

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

EP2101safetyinsights.indd 4

I

NDUSTRIES AND employers strive
for a culture of transparency and continuous improvement in safety, health,
and environmental performance. The goal
for all is often simple: zero injuries, zero
incidents, zero claims. Executives, managers,
and workers at all levels want to know about
injuries in their work area as quickly as possible. In many cases, the question regarding
safety is often, " What is the injury rate for
the facility? " These types of questions foster
a reactive culture. To see true improvement
in safety culture and overall performance,
it's imperative that leaders shift their focus
toward a proactive outlook by identifying the
potential for injuries, illnesses, and incidents.
Push for a culture of transparency and
reporting. Management should emphasize
continuous improvement and the practice
of reporting everything that is necessary
to identify gaps, track trends, and implement new programs and procedures. Since
incidents occur in many establishments,
employees should feel empowered to report
them to management.
Near-miss reporting is one way to
achieve this culture and identify potential.
As a general understanding, a near miss is
any unplanned event in the work area that

does not result in injury or incident but has
the potential to do so. When a near-miss
event occurs, it should be treated the same
as an injury or illness and undergo a thorough investigation to identify the primary
causal factors, no matter how minor or
severe.
Through consistent investigation, management can develop effective corrective
actions and evolve policies and procedures
to prevent a similar event from happening
again. Near-miss reporting helps improve
procedures without having to deal with the
consequences of a claim. We've collected
data that confirm increased reporting of
near-miss events reduces injuries.
For a reporting culture to be successful,
workers have to feel comfortable discussing
a potential event. There is more to establishing a reporting culture than simply
pointing out near-miss events and there is
a difference between nice buzzwords and
genuine empowerment.
The correct terminology can help. We
know of organizations that have successfully put a positive spin on near misses by
calling them " good catches. " Instead of telling workers that somebody had a near miss
while performing a task, which is typically
viewed as a mistake or failure, calling it a
good catch praises the worker who called
attention to a potential for injury.
Understanding and identifying potential
comes with benefits that work in two ways:
cultural changes and decreased claims. To
be successful, this transparency must be
one of the organization's guiding and core
values. Identifying near misses provides a
method for communicating potential risk
while creating a mindset in which workers
are prepared to watch for situations that
could be hazardous. A culture of reporting
encourages behavioral changes throughout
the entire organization. EP

JAN/FEB 2021

1/26/21 1:31 PM


http://www.safetymanagementgroup.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021

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