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Your safety committee may be ineffective unless members understand their role and carry out their individual responsibilities. The safety committee can be a "profit center" activity: As a fact-gathering, problem-solving team of motivated members, the safety committee has the potential to help save lives and money. In this workshop, we'll discuss some basic principles and best practices that will help your safety committee succeed. Think of it as your safety committee's "boot camp."
Our big goal for today: Gain a greater understanding of OAR 437, Division 1, Rule 765 requirements and best practices in effective safety committee operations.
Please Note: This material or any other material used to inform employers of compliance requirements of Oregon OSHA standards through simplification of the regulations should not be considered a substitute for any provisions of the Oregon Safe Employment Act or for any standards issued by Oregon OSHA.
What are the minimum requirements for safety committee training?
What we do depends on who we think we are.
It's important that your safety committee have an accurate view of who you are: what role your team plays in the organization. It answers the question, "Who are we"? A valuable technique to gain a better idea of the role the safety committee is to write a vision statement. The vision statement can be any length – a single sentence or a few bullet points – as long as it is clear, focused, and easily understandable. The vision statement would be included in the safety committee plan.
EXERCISE: Discuss the various "roles" the safety committee might play in an organization.
Example: The safety committee performs the role of an “educator”
Other roles: ________________________________________________________________
Now that we know who we are, what do we do?
With an better understanding of who we are as a safety team, we can now consider our mission or purpose. To do this we will write a mission statement that answers the questions, "Why do we exist?" and "What's our primary goal?" The mission statement should also be included in the safety committee plan.
EXERCISE: Develop a mission statement for your safety committee.
The mission of our safety committee is to… It's our mission to…
OAR 437, Div 001, Rule 0765 (1) Purpose. The purpose of a safety committee is to bring workers and management together in a non-adversarial, cooperative effort to promotesafety and health in each workplace. A safety committee assists the employer and makes recommendations for change.
What are the strategies and activities to achieve the vision and mission we have developed? For instance, one activity to help identify hazards is to conduct safety inspections.
EXERCISE: Develop a list of activities to achieve your goals.
To fulfill our role and achieve our mission, we will…
Conduct monthly safety inspection in each department________________________
Evaluating the Safety and Health Programs
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule 0765 (6)(d) Hazard assessment and control. The safety committee shall assist the employer in evaluating the employer's accident and illness prevention program, and shall make written recommendations to improve the program where applicable….
All systems have structure, inputs, processes and outputs
Safety Manager - The primary consultant on OSHA mandated programs. May have overall responsibility for safety management.
Safety Engineer - Consults on the use of engineering controls to eliminate or reduce hazards in the workplace.
Human Resources Coordinator - Consults on human resource programs that impact the safety and health of employees.
Safety Committee - Identifies, analyzes, and evaluates safety and health programs.
A system may be thought of as an orderly arrangement of interdependent activities and related procedures which implement and facilitate the performance of a major activity within an organization. (American Society of Safety Engineers, Dictionary of Terms)
All systems have structure, inputs, processes and outputs
We know Syssie the cow as structure, but what are her inputs, processes, outputs?
Inputs - Resources
Processes – System Design
1. Commitment - leading, following, managing, planning, funding
2. Accountability – role, responsibility, discipline
3. Involvement - safety committees, suggestions, recognizing/rewarding
4. Identification - inspections, audits, observation, surveys, interviews
5. Analysis – incidents, accidents, tasks, programs, system
6. Controls - engineering, management, PPE, interim measures, maintenance
7. Education - orientation, instruction, training, personal experience
8. Evaluation - judging effectiveness of conditions, behaviors, systems, results
9. Improvement - change management, design, implementation
Where do we look to evaluate how well the safety management system is working? _____________________________
What are the most immediate and observable outputs of a safety management system? _____________________________
Conduct Safety Committee Meetings
OAR 437, Div 001 Rule 765(6) Safety Committee Duties and Functions.
(a) Management commitment to workplace health and safety.
(B) The safety committee shall hold regular meetings at least once a month except months when quarterly workplace safety inspections are made. This does not exclude other months from safety committee meetings if more frequent safety inspections are conducted.
112 and 119.
OAR 437, Div 001, Rule 0765(6)(f) The safety committee shall evaluate the employer’s accountability system and make recommendations to implement supervisor and employee accountability for safety and health.
Effective Appropriate Factual Significant
Accountability = Behavior + Evaluation 4 Consequences
What do we evaluate? ___________________________________________
What is the evaluation based on? __________________________________
What are effective consequences? _________________________________
What’s the definition of “adequate” safety supervision?
This rule requires the employer to ______________, ______________, and _______________.
437-01-0760(3) Investigation of Injuries. (a) Each employer shall investigate or cause to be investigated every lost-time injury that workers suffer in connection with their employment, to determine the means that should be taken to prevent recurrence. The employer shall promptly install any safeguard to take any corrective measure indicated or found advisable.
What does this rule tell us to investigate? Is that adequate?
Why do we investigate?
What do we do with the findings?
The supervisor: Agent of the Employer
Since the supervisor is an agent of the employer, what's the impact on employer’s accountability if a supervisor…
violates a safety rule? _________________________________________________________________
Ignores violations? _________________________________________________________________
437-001-0760(7)(a)All places of employment shall be inspected by a qualified person or persons as often as the type of operation or the character of the equipment requires. Defective equipment or unsafe conditions found by these inspections shall be replaced or repaired or remedied promptly.
The supervisor must I_____________ and C____________ hazards before
they cause I____________ or I______________ to an employee.
How does a person you get "qualified"? ______________________________
What does "promptly" mean? ______________________________________
What obligations do supervisors have to the employee?
When considering discipline, the fact that there was an accident is irrelevant!
Do you agree/disagree with this statement? Why? ______________________
Optional Exercise: Accountability establishes obligation
Read and evaluate each scenario to determine which describes a situation in which discipline is most justified.
Bob, a new maintenance worker who had previously been working for the company for 10 years as an assembler, received a serious electrical shock while working on a conveyor belt motor. When asked why he did not use the company’s established lockout/tagout procedures, he acknowledged that he had heard about the procedures, but evidently maintenance workers hadn't been using the “old procedures” for several years, ever since the new supervisor was hired. Bob also commented that his supervisor was under the gun by the production manager to hurry up and fix the conveyor because the whole system was shut down.
Ralph, a properly trained and experienced roofer for Sky High Contractors, was “caught’ by his supervisor working on a steeply pitched wood shingled roof without proper fall protection. When questioned, he stated that he knew he should be using the fall protection, and that he would be in trouble if caught. He stated that there was nothing wrong with the equipment, but it was too big of a hassle to stop working to get it out of the back of his truck.
In which scenario is discipline most justified? ______________
Increasing Employee Involvement
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule 0765 (6) (A) Involvement. The committee shall establish a system to allow the members to obtain safety-related suggestions, reports of hazards, or other information directly from all persons involved in the operations of the workplace.
Identifying workplace hazards
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule (6)(d) Hazard assessment and control. … Additionally, the safety committee shall: establish procedures for workplace inspections by the safety committee inspection team to locate and identify safety and health hazards; conduct workplace inspections at least quarterly…
It takes a hazard and someone exposed to the hazard to produce an accident.
Hazard + Exposure a Accident
What is a "hazard?"
An unsafe workplace condition or practice that could cause injury or illness to an employee.
What's a condition…practice? _______________________________________________________________
Can an employee become a "hazardous condition"? _______________________________________________________________
1. Walkaround Inspections: Uncover hazards
Formal inspection and informal observation can be effective in identifying hazardous conditions and unsafe behaviors in your workplace.
Why most walkaround inspection ineffective in identifying the causes of most accidents?
How do we overcome this weakness in the inspection process?
To be most effective, who should be involved in the inspection process?
Writing Effective Inspection Reports
SAMPLE JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS WORKSHEET
Job Description:Loading an empty trailer with pallets of product.
Basic Job Step Hazards Present Safe Job Procedure
1. Worker could be caught between backing trailer and dock. Worker could fall from the dock. ……………… … . . . . .. . .
2. Worker could fall on stairs going to the dock well. Worker’s head could be struck against the trailer. Worker could slip on ice or snow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. ..
1.Ensure that trailer is correctly spotted.
2. Chock wheels; place jacks under trailer nose.
1. Stay clear of the doorway while the trailer is being backed onto the dock. Keep others away from the area. Remove awareness chain or bar from the front of the dock door once the trailer is properly spotted.
2. If the truck driver has not chocked the wheels, go down the tile ramp/stairs to the dock well and chock the wheels. Use caution when walking on snow or ice. Hold onto hand rails; use ice-melt chemical if needed. When placing the chock, avoid bumping your head on the underside of the trailer. Place jacks under the nose of the trailer. If the dock is equipped with an automatic trailer restraint, push the button to activate the device.
Why is it smart business for the supervisor to conduct a JHA with his or her workers? _______________________________________________________________
Sample JHA from: Job Hazard Analysis, by George Swartz, CSP, Government Institutes Pub.
OAR 437, Div 001 Rule 765 (6) (g) Accident investigation. The safety committee shall establish procedures for investigating all safety-related incidents including injury accidents, illnesses and deaths. This rule shall not be construed to require the committee to conduct the investigations.
What's likely to happen when there is no written plan and employees are not properly trained in the incident/accident analysis process?
No-Fault Accident Analysis
If someone deliberately sets out to produce loss or injury, it's called a crime, not an accident. Yet many accident investigations get confused with criminal investigations… Whenever the investigative procedures are used to place blame, an adversarial relationship is inevitable. The investigator wants to find out what actually happened while those involved are trying to be sure they are not going to be punished for their actions. The result is an inadequate investigation. (Kingsley Hendrick, Ludwig Benner, Investigating Accidents with STEP, p 42. Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1987.)
The first two steps in the accident investigation procedure help you gather accurate information about the accident.
Your primary goal in this step is to secure the accident scene so important evidence is not changed or moved.
When is it appropriate to begin the investigation?
What are effective methods to secure an accident scene?
Interviewing is probably the most important method in gathering facts. It takes experience to develop effective interviewing skills.
When is it best to interview? Why?
Who should we interview? Why?
Where should we conduct the interview?
The next two steps help you organize and analyze the information gathered so you may accurately determine the surface and root causes.
Sample Sequence of Events
Event -6 Steve uses a piece of stock as a push stick but it doesn't work, so he decides not to use it.
Event -5 At 5:32 PM, Steve pushes a piece of frame stock toward the unguarded saw blade to cut it.
Event -4 At that same instant, Bob yells out, "Hey, Steve, get over here right now!"
Event -3 Steve yells back, "WHAT!," as he quickly turns his head to the left to respond to Bob.
Event -2 As Steve turns his head, his body twists to the left.
Event -1 Steve's hand contacts the unguarded rotating table saw blade.
Event 0 The saw blade strikes and cuts Steve's hand between the thumb and fore-finger, almost amputating the thumb.
Event 1 Steve screams and falls to the floor unconscious.
Event 2 Hearing Steve yell, and seeing him fall to the floor, Bob immediately tells Gloria to call 911.
Event 3 Gloria calls 911 while Bob runs over to perform first aid on Steve's hand.
Does not inspect
Fails to enforce
Does not train
LTA tools, equipment
LTA supervision plan
LTA enforcement Plan
LTA purchasing plan
LTA training Plan
* LTA = Less Than Adequate
The last two steps will help you develop and propose solutions that correct hazards and design long-lasting system improvements.
Step 5: Recommend corrective actions & System Improvements
Improvement strategies to fix the system
Writing Effective Recommendations
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule 765 (6) (d) Hazard assessment and control. The safety committee shall… make written recommendations to improve the program where applicable…
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule 765 (6) (e) Safety and health planning.The safety committee shall establish procedures for the review of all safety and health inspection reports made by the committee. … the committee shall make recommendations for improvement of the employer's accident and illness prevention program.
To sell safety, talk the bottom line
All recommendation, verbal or written, must be designed with one purpose in mind: To provide information that will motivate a decision-maker to support, sign, and implement the change that will improve the safety and health environment for the workers. Here’s a sample recommendation that illustrates this idea:
1) Problem Statement: The guardrail in the warehouse has deteriorated to a point that it is unable to support any weight on it.
2) History of the Problem: We had an incident on 6/13/03 where Joe Jones almost fell down the 10 steps because the guard rail did not support his weight. He fortunately caught himself before falling. We had a second near miss incident on 9/18/03 when Jane Doe tripped going up the stairs and grabbed for the rail which did not support her. Based on these events, it’s highly likely a serious injury may occur within a year.
3) Solution(s): We have attempted to tighten and brace the guardrail but it continues to work itself loose. We believe the best option is to replace the guardrail with a manufactured system meeting all OSHA requirements. We have bids ranging from a high of $3,200 to a low bid of $1,500. We believe the xyz brand for $2,000 will prove to be the best material for our facility.
4) Cost/Benefit Analysis: ROI. Average cost of a severe injury in Oregon is $13,107 which is very possible if one of our employees should fall from the second story of the warehouse to the concrete pad below. The estimated additional indirect cost is $18,000. Total accident cost is estimated to be over $31,000. We will save over five times our investment of $2,000 if an accident is prevented within a year.
Unseen costs can sink the ship!
“Just the tip of the iceberg”
Average 2005 Cost to close a claim in Oregon = $14,499
1. Workers’ compensation premiums
2. Miscellaneous medical expenses
Indirect Accident Costs
Hidden - Uninsured - Out of pocket
Average 2005 indirect accident costs in Oregon = $60,000
Average 2005 total injury costs in Oregon = $74,499
Ref: Grimaldi and Simons, Safety Management, ASSE Pub.
The primary reason accident investigations fail to help eliminate future accidents is because they only identify and recommend corrections to surface causes. Root causes are often ignored. Let's take a look at one format for ensuring an effective report.
Helping the employer control hazards
OAR 437, Div 1, Rule 765 (6) (d) Hazard assessment and control. The safety committee shall … make written recommendations…to eliminate hazards and unsafe work practices in the workplace.
Why are engineering controls considered superior to management controls?
PPE is last in the hierarchy because it doesn't reduce or control the hazard, and it is time-consuming to select the correct type of PPE. It also takes up a lot of management time to make sure workers are trained and actually use the equipment.
4. Interim Measures
Just about any hazard found in the workplace can be eliminated or reduced temporarily: For instance, two people might lift a heavy load until a lift device can be purchased.
Effective Maintenance Processes
Hazard Tracking Procedures
XYZ Hazard Tracking Log
Consider how the change you propose will impact all elements of the safety management system.
The Oregon OSHA safety management system model includes seven critical elements:
1. Top Management Commitment 5. Incident/Accident Investigation
2. Labor and Management Accountability 6. Education and Training
3. Employee Involvement 7. Periodic Evaluation
4. Hazard Identification and Control
Successful change requires effective design and implementation
Adopt, abandon, or revise program
Plan and develop improvements
Plan Do Study Act
What will be the result if a change is not designed or performed effectively?
6. For best results, analyze accidents to fix the ___________________ not the __________________:
Average Cost: $14,337
2004 Average Cost For Disabling Claims By Event or Exposure
The top 10 total 65% of all closed disabling claims.
Ergonomics injuries total 45% of all closed disabling claims!
You may request a complete list from the Research and Analysis Section, Information Management Division, Department of Consumer and Business Services. http://www.cbs.state.or.us/imd/orosha.html
3. A process of evaluation. It’s important that behaviors are measured and evaluated so that discipline is based on facts, not feelings.
If you Regularly Recognize and Reward, you'll Rarely have to Recognize!
4. Effective consequences. Without effective consequences, improvement in behaviors and performance will not occur.
Election of chair and vice-chair. The election of a new chair or vice-chair will be held during the monthly committee meeting before the month in which the incumbent’s term expires. If the chair or vice-chair leaves office before the term expires, an election will be held during the next scheduled safety committee meeting; the elected officer will serve for the remainder of the term.
Response. The Safety Team will respond to employee concerns in writing and work with management to resolve them. The Team will present written recommendations for resolving concerns to management. Management will respond in writing to written recommendations according to the following schedule:
(b) Employee representatives attending safety committee meetings required by OAR 437-001-0765(2) or participating in safety committee instruction or training required by OAR 437-001-0765(7) shall be compensated by the employer at the regular hourly wage.
(f) Accountability. The safety committee shall evaluate the employer’s accountability system and make recommendations to implement supervisor and employee accountability for safety and health.
Evaluation Checklist - 437-001-0765 Rules for Workplace Safety Committees.
Item Question Yes No
1. Is the safety committee composed of an equal number of employer _______ _______
and employee representatives?
2. Are the employee representatives either volunteers or elected by their peers? _______ _______
3. For employers of twenty or more employees, are there at least four members _______ _______
on the safety committee?
4. Is the safety committee chairperson elected by the committee? _______ _______
5. Are safety committee members compensated at their normal hourly wage _______ _______
during safety committee training and meetings?
6. Do employee representatives serve terms that last at least one year? _______ _______
7. Are terms of service alternated or staggered so that at least one experienced _______ _______
member is serving on the committee?
8. Are reasonable efforts made to ensure that committee members represent the _______ _______
major work activities of the firm?
9. Does the safety committee hold regular meetings at least once a month except _______ _______
in months in which workplace inspections are performed?
10. Does the safety committee work from a written agenda? _______ _______
11. Are minutes kept at each meeting? _______ _______
12. Are the minutes made available to all employees? _______ _______
13. Are the minutes maintained for at least three years? _______ _______
14. Are all reports, evaluations, and recommendations of the safety committee made part _______ _______ of the safety committee minutes?
15. Has a reasonable limit been set within which the employer must respond in writing to _______ _______
safety committee suggestions?
16. Has the safety committee set up a system for collecting safety-related suggestions, _______ _______
reports of hazards, or other information directly from those involved in workplace
17. Is such information reviewed during the next safety committee meeting and recorded _______ _______
in the minutes?
Evaluation Checklist - 437-001-0765 Rules for Workplace Safety Committees.
Item Question Yes No
18. Does the safety committee assist the employer in evaluating the employer’s accident _______ _______
and illness prevention program?
19. Does the safety committee make written recommendations to improve the safety _______ _______
and health program?
20. Has the safety committee established procedures by which the safety committee _______ _______
inspection team can find and identify safety and health hazards?
21. Does the safety committee conduct workplace inspections at least quarterly? _______ _______
22. Does the safety committee recommend ways for the employer to eliminate or _______ _______
correct hazards and unsafe work practices in the workplace?
23. Does the safety committee inspection team include employer and employee _______ _______
24. Does the safety committee inspection team document in writing the location and _______ _______
identity of hazards?
25. Are quarterly inspections of satellite locations done by the safety committee _______ _______
inspection team or by a person designated at the location?
26. Has the safety committee established procedures to review all safety _______ _______
and health inspection reports made by the committee?
27. Based on the results of the above review, does the safety committee make _______ _______
recommendations for the improvement of the employer’s safety and health program?
28. Has the safety committee evaluated the employer’s accountability system? _______ _______
29. Has the safety committee made recommendations to implement supervisor _______ _______
and employee accountability for safety and health?
30. Has the safety committee established procedures for investigating all safety-related _______ _______
incidents, including injury accidents, illnesses, and deaths?
31. Has the safety committee purpose and operation been discussed with all safety _______ _______
32. Have the safety committee rules and their application been discussed with all _______ _______
33. Do safety committee members have ready access to applicable Oregon _______ _______
Occupational Safety and Health Codes?
34. Have safety committee members received safety training based on your _______ _______
company’s activity, hazard identification training, and effective accident
(d) Workers shall not remove, deface, or destroy any warning, danger sign, or barricade, or interfere with any other form of accident prevention device or practice provided which they are using, or which is being used by any other worker.
1. I found the class materials easy to understand and useable
2. The information I learned today can help me reduce hazards and prevent
work-related injuries and illnesses at my workplace
3. Please rate the overall usefulness of this class in helping you to understand your safety and health
issues and possible solutions:
…Not Effective... … Effective...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
4. Please rate the overall effectiveness of the instructor in providing quality training
…Not Effective... … Effective...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
We value your comments. Please tell us how we can improve. Thanks !!
Other Subjects I’d like to see offered:
Department of Consumer and Business Services
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA)
Class Title: ____________________________________ Date: ______________ Instructor: _____________________
How did you learn about this workshop? (Please check only ONE)
1. Brochure/Flyer ________ 2. Web site ________ 3. Consultant ________
4. TV/Radio ________ 5. Newspaper ________ 6. Association ________
7. Other _________________________________________
In Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this publication is available in alternative formats by calling the OR-OSHA Public Relations Manager at (503) 378-3272 (V/TTY).
An introduction to Safety Committee Duties and Responsibilities, Conducting Meetings, Hazard Identification and Control, and Incident/Accident Investigation Procedures
Presented by the Public Education Section
Department of Consumer and Business Services
To advance and improve workplace safety and health for all workers in Oregon.
For more information on Public Education services, please call (888) 292-5247 Option 2
Go online to check out our
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