Focus on Here and Now – 5/15/23

Safety E-Quick Tip

OWYN Safety Mgmt Platform

Focus on Here and Now

When it comes to protecting employees from hazards in the workplace, the word “focus” comes to mind.

I was reading a couple of daily inspection checklists a contractor had asked me to review before they sent them to OSHA, and I noticed something different.

They looked like the person who completed the inspections put real effort into making sure they focused on how the work was performed at the time of the inspection.

Let me explain.

Most safety inspection checklist answers that I review from a jobsite or a workplace look identical from day to day.  Often that is the case but sometimes it is not, especially on construction sites where the work taking place changes from week to week.

Items like whether there is adequate lighting, an available emergency action plan, equipment has been inspected before use, and employees are properly trained on equipment should always be checked yes, except when someone makes a mistake or forgets.  Then it is noted in the corrective action taken section.

But on these checklists, that was not the case. Items like use of hearing protection, use of respiratory protection, side rails of an extension ladder rising 3’ above upper landing surface, ladders being tied-off, and scaffold guard rails and full planking in place were marked yes in one checklist.  When I looked at the next inspection checklist, all those items were marked differently.

Although I understand that work activity changes from day to day and the hazards employees are exposed to also change, I must admit I was caught off guard.

So, I had them explain their reasons for the changes, and as I anticipated, the answers changed because the exposure changed.

Just the way it should be done. 

Focusing only on hazards workers are exposed to at the time of the inspection, not for the entire length of the project.

If you are focusing only on the work being performed at the time of the inspection, fantastic job.

If not, think about it. Doesn’t it make more sense that if you’re going to take the time to do the inspection, focusing on the current hazards will provide employees and your company the best protection possible?

Employee QuickTip

If you are caught working in an unsafe way, don’t get all defensive – learn from it.  It’s better than learning the hard way.

Employer/Management QuickTip

When doing safety inspections and finding an employee working in an unsafe manner, take the time to review the hazard and correct the employee. You could be saving a life or saving them from a hospital visit.

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Thanks for Reading and Please – “Work Safe and have a great week.”.