I have been working safety into my training programs for years and years. It is not till now that I am going to be able to take my work out for a test drive. Why is that? As much as we add lip service to our intentions, good intentions and a nickel will not buy us a cup of coffee. In short, the job has not been getting done by industry because industry is not seeing the payback.
How do you see payback when you do make the safety investments? We know how much the damage costs us when an incident happens. How much do we save when an incident does not happen? We don’t take the time to recognize that. We give production awards. We have concrete evidence.
I have the privilege working with a team this coming week about writing procedures for lock out and confined space procedures for every piece of equipment on the plant and the different situations this equipment is being maintained under. Situations like, “Is this inside or outside the equipment?”. Situations like, “Is this maintenance being performed under a planned shutdown or is it a mid production shutdown?”.
I do not believe we can eliminate all accidents. We must do what we can to practically eliminate what we can. We are humans. We don’t have control all the time.
The reason I am there is, there was a recent fatality. They seemed to be covered because they did receive some MSHA type training of sorts. Unfortunately,the training did not cover the details of what happens at an asphalt mix plant. It may have just been the details that got us or we have to chalk it off to we can’t win them all.
OSHA requires a written energy control procedure for lock out and confined space for each piece of equipment and for every situation to be documented for use when personnel need to use it. I am not sure there is a plant anywhere on the planet that can produce that.
That is what we are set out to do this week. To climb and conquer that mountain that know one has claimed to have conquered.
Our Web-Based training includes templates specific to most all the equipment at an HMA Facilities. We are going to use them to keep us organized. We are going to include the plant manager all the way to the maintenance welders. We will collaborate on all the different situations. We will identify where the lock out mechanisms are and discuss and document the procedures of what will be done when and where. We will discuss the issues of what OSHA wants us to do and how we can make that practical. We will discuss when we are going too far and what is logical. e.g.There is no need to check the air with an air quality monitor before entering a cold feed bin, etc.
We are moving forward with a heavy heart. We lost a comrade. We must respect him and we want to let his legacy know that we are making these adjustments because it is the right thing to do and we miss him.
So what is the missing link? These people had the training and their plant operator had participated in our web training and had access to the procedure templates. If your management is not involved, the chain is broken. The management felt they were involved. Management knows the details about production and the bottom line. I am not picking on this one company. If the industry managements were keeping up, they would see to it that OSHA’s requirement for written procedures were followed through correctly.
I ran across a book a couple years back. I don’t normally read a book twice. I not only read it twice, I underlined the second time as I went along. There is a story in there that shows that putting your people first by training them in safety makes it easier to train them in their other duties. I think that story holds water. It’s a noble effort. If you are having trouble training people on what is good for the company, switch it up. Train them on things that are for their own good. When you get that change in their life implemented, start implementing changes in their lives that make you money.