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#1 Posted : 18 July 2000 09:49:00(UTC)
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Posted By Brian
One of my projects is to devise and implement a strategy to promote safety awareness amongst staff and management. This will take place across some 450 low risk supermarket sites. My particular bias will be toward management; in an endeavour to enhance their compliance with company safety procedures.

Have IOSH colleagues any pointers, good sources of reference, positive experiences with initiatives/campaigns promoting safety awareness, which they would recommend? Similarly if any individual in the low risk retailing business (preferably multi-site) is interested in networking on this topic please let me know.

My e mail address is: BIM@tao.sainsburys.co.uk

Please don't mention behavioural safety!


#2 Posted : 18 July 2000 12:42:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ciaran McAleenan

I fully appreciate your final comment about behavioural safety. I have found that the best way to get the message across is to keep it simple and keep it relevant.

I put a program together for an organisation of approximately 2000 staff, spread across 50 sites. This was in the construction industry but it included office and engineering staff. (Note: the industry doesn't matter, the message is the same, its the hazards that vary)

I ran sessions for up to 40 people at a time following three threads;

Know the risks,
Manage the risks, and
Learn from accidents.

The sessions lasted between 40 and 50 minutes (long enough to cover the essential message and short enough to keep their attention). They were well recieved and everyone from the Chief Executive down attended.

I can send some of the details if you wish.

#3 Posted : 21 July 2000 20:31:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ian Waldram
Just I comment about the objective - I HATE the idea of promoting 'safety awareness', and have tried to get IOSH to stop using it in course titles, etc.

For me the issue is - what are individuals expected to do AFTER your action plan that they didn't do BEFORE? Once you have defined this, you are into a training & competence plan, and of course this DOES involve an observable change in behaviour as a check that the training is successful.

I suspect that by 'safety awareness' you are being asked for some combination of "Better Hazard Identification" and "Improved, cost-effective controls". Hopefully you are NOT being asked for "Better knowledge of what the law says" as on its own that won't improve anything!

If I'm right, I'd start with some practical "5 steps" sessions, either using present risk assessments if they have them, or creating them if, like many organisations, you havn't quite got round to having documented assessments for all the key tasks and/or people.

If a group thinks it has a good, simple, effective risk assessment process - check on some minor accidents that have happened and ask 3 questions:
1) Is the hazard that caused the accident identified in the RA?
2) Were the controls defined in the RA in place. If not, why not?
3) Are improved controls needed in the light of what happened? Has the RA been updated?

If you get all "yeses" - the training isn't needed!

#4 Posted : 26 July 2000 10:53:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ciaran McAleenan

I am curious as to your objection to promoting safety awareness since that is one of the principles upon which present day UK legislation is founded. The Robens Committee identified the first principle for effective self-regulation to be

"general awareness of the importance of safety and health at work".

General awareness of safety and health depends on a number of factors such as;

* the nature of the industry and its risks,
* management commitment to the safety and health of it workers,
* the availability of information and advice,
* training on workplace hazards and control measures, and
* pressure from the workforce to improve working conditions.

Any program that instils the above into a workplace is to be welcomed. Whether you call it a safety awareness program or call it by any other name is immaterial. The objective is correct.


#5 Posted : 27 July 2000 15:55:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Ian Waldram
Thanks for the comment. I have no problems with anything you say. I guess my concern is the potentially vague nature of 'awareness' - if it always leads to specific actions that's fine.

What I'm worried about is the equivalent of the accident investigation recommendation "take more care", which is usually a sign that the investigation is 'blaming the person' rather than thinking hard about real root causes. After an OSH intervention, I'd like to be able to observe a difference, i.e. what are people doing that's different from before? If they are only 'more aware', I can't observe that, and so can't know whether the planned intervention was successful.
#6 Posted : 28 July 2000 21:14:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Brian Peirce

This is a fascinating discussion which I am really enjoying following.

My experience in the Electricity Industry (Metering) is that encouraging ownership and involvement has worked well in improving safety performance.

Workshops for meter readers on slips,trips and falls,etc etc proved very effective.

By far the worst hazard for meter readers is the risk of dog bites.We have had several needing hospital treatment.

After involving the meter readers in coming up with preventative measures we achieved much success.

This included :
Encouraging reporting "dog on site" and updating records

Issue and use of dog deterrent spray

Talks by dog wardens on understanding dog body language

and many more

The involvement and ownership of the staff in finding solutions proved very effective.

#7 Posted : 28 July 2000 22:53:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Geoff Burt

I was interested in your comment 'low risk supermarket sites'. You certainly couldn't say that about one of your larger rivals.

There are numerous instances of criminal and civil cases against the various supermarkets and a recent fatality within the last few weeks highlights the problems.


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