OSH 410W Hazard Recogntiion Program
OSH 410W Hazard Recogntiion Program
Students will submit an open door policy, safety improvement card, verbal report of injury policy, and a peer reporting policy as a whole reporting program.
Students can use the student example submitted below for inspiration on improving their own work.
Hazard Recognition Programs
Hazard recognition is the most fundamental investigative skill. Building on the premise that those performing the work are most familiar with the process steps and hazards, it only makes sense to develop and utilize their hazard recognition skill. This imbeds safety as culture and empowers the worker to do their part to create a safe work environment.
The base of a solid hazard recognition program begins with setting the responsibilities of all members of the organization. There are 3 levels of responsibility: authorized safety associate, competent safety associate, and competent safety administrator. Each level has a level of responsibility that builds from the previous level and includes more duties on top of the other.
The authorized level of associates has the duty to recognize and report hazards and safety concerns plus follow the safety procedures and regulations. In order to accomplish these duties the authorized safety associate must be trained in hazard recognition, reporting procedures, and must understand the importance of their foundational role. Of course, authorized safety associates will be used in other capacities such as serving on safety committees and safety analysis or process safety committees in order to solve problems. However, these are the simple duties of participation in the hazard recognition program.
One of the shortfalls of many safety programs is the lack of establishing the reporting of hazards as a valuable and noble duty. Reporting safety issues, injuries, and hazards has a personal touch to it that sets it apart from reporting production line problems and suggesting corrections. Although safety related topics are production line problems, barriers such as a person’s reputation and ego, may add a touch that create a need for various reporting methods. Meetings in front of peers where it is asked to bring up safety concerns or hazards, is not adequate. Most view bringing up problems and suggestions that concern making the product, as improving their reputation toward commitment to the company and being a good employee. Perhaps this comes from the underlying premise that the company forms in order to make a product for profit.
Reporting procedures for this program should follow the overall reporting procedures. Of course when management makes hazard recognition an accountable program by recognizing performance and participation, reporting hazards can take on different avenues. This is based upon program maturity.
The competent safety associate has the previous duties of an authorized associate, but also has the added responsibility of assessing and planning correction and enforcement of safety procedures. Planning countermeasures includes serving on committees that will produce the corrections.
Depending on the organization this level can typically be supervisors, or non-supervisory personnel. The key is that the associate must have authority to stop a hazardous situation and order its correction.
The safety administrator must be capable and have authority to perform all of the aforementioned duties but also is responsible for overall program performance. This means collecting the information, tracking that the countermeasures are developed, implemented, and most importantly at this level, are effective. The administrator should also be responsible for auditing the facility or site for hazards not reported, as a gauge or effective participation. It is also plausible for the administrator to compare participation and effectiveness for correlation to other implement safety initiatives and should operate incentive programs through the hazard recognition program. This method increases employee participation.
Hazard Recognition Levels
Level Responsibilities Training Required
Authorized Recognize Hazards
Report Safety Concerns
Follow Safety Procedures
Serve of select committees
Hazard Reporting Process
Competent Previous Responsibilities plus
Enforce Safety Procedures/Regs
Administrator Previous Responsibilities plus
Overall Program Performance
Report forms for the hazard recognition program become an important supporting document process. Whether received via verbal report or from a peer, the formal hazard report should be generated in order to collect data for analysis and formally begin the process of correction. When audits from the administrator level or findings of a hazard not reported by the authorized level occur, the result must be considered an indicator of a lack of participation. The incident log previously developed should include all activity and this includes any hazard report. Therefore the incident log provides a quick means to assessing reporting accuracy and with employee participation measures, positive or negative data.
Formal Hazard Analysis
A safety management system must have a formal component of assessing hazards based upon the machine, process, task, or area. The hazard recognition program is a means of gaining employee participation in this process. However, the safety department must have an established means of performing this task itself. Redundant methods provide reliability in safety controls.
Initial assessment begins from the lofty overview picture and attempts to identify the categories, types, or sources of hazards that are present in the facility and the applicable regulatory standards that cover the hazards. Meeting basic regulatory requirements is a minimal acceptable safety performance goal. You will be tasked with utilizing a basic form for conducting this type of initial assessment.
In OSH 261 and OSH 366 you were introduced and developed skills conducting job hazard analysis. Machine hazard analysis is similar to a job hazard analysis, but also contains the potential machine failures, exposure ratings to the employees, and may also include the known failure rates. The Failure Modes and Effects Analysis is one way to conduct such assessments, especially in the design or modification stages to a machine or process. In OSH 367 you were introduced to the concept of human machine interaction, usability assessments, and to the concept that system safety analysis involved input from all levels of the organization; engineering, maintenance, safety, labor, and management. The FMEA is a good management tool for participation in system safety and supplements job hazard analysis.
The purpose is to identify possible failures and outcomes to provide a severity rating to those outcomes, identify possible causes and provide a rating of probable occurrence, identify the current controls, possible controls, and identify the possible outcome of a safety control failure. The overall abatement of the hazards and priority of further correction can also be rated.
In order complete such analysis, an organization must have a commitment to system safety analysis and team input processes. Defining the ratings can be set by criteria utilized in risk assessment matrixes, or may be more complex or situational specific. Consider the following rating tables.
Here we can take vague definitions to quantified values.
Slightly Harmful (1) Harmful (3) Extremely Harmful (9)
Extremely Unlikely (1) Negligible Risk (1) Tolerable Risk (3) Moderate Risk (9)
Unlikely (3) Tolerable (3) Moderate (9) High (27)
Likely (9) Moderate (9) High (27) Unacceptable (81)
(Kausek, 2007, pp.58-59).
Now numbers can be changed. The idea is to have an increasing scale to prioritize countermeasures. The wording of tolerable is not and unacceptable are questionable from a public relations aspect. But in safety there is a concept of acceptable risk. It does not mean what you initially picture. Risk is only acceptable if an additional control does not reduce its risk scoring. So, safety aims at redundant controls. But when the technology or other advancement has not developed to the point of reducing likely hood or severity, then the control would not add additional safety to the task or process (Conklin, ANSI B11).
The ANSI matrix for risk quantification adds exposure. ANSI B11 actually uses better terms for quantifying risk and defines acceptable risk as above.
Probability, severity, and exposure together create a more applicable picture of risk because harm or severity can be greater with an increased exposure. Exposure ratings must be a combination of three quantities; frequency of exposure, duration of exposure, and number of persons or area of environment exposed.
Take a look at a suggested risk matrix based upon ANSI B11.
Remote (1) Unlikely (2) Likely (3) Very Likely (5)
Minor (1) Moderate (2) Serious (3) Catastrophic (5)
Rare (1) Little (2) Often (3) Routine (5)
Negligible (1) Short (2) Moderate (3) Lengthy (5)
Low (1) Moderate (2) High(3) Mass (5)
A simple assignment of value and addition of the categories of probability, severity, and exposure can help the organization prioritize countermeasures. Countermeasures require an expenditure of resources. This is not just money. More importantly it is time. Although no risk is ever acceptable in terms of moral duty, we must prioritize countermeasures to have the most efficient and effective impact. Based upon the ANSI rating system suggested above, acceptable risk occurs only when the additional countermeasure does not reduce the overall score.
Success Modes Analysis
Organizations can get fixed on tracking and evaluating failures only. Most agree though that strength comes from improving deficiencies and maximizing strengths. It is time that safety begins tracking organizational strengths, or the positive outcomes of risk in order to develop their own best management practices so to speak.
In order to do this the entire organizational team must begin to identify successes rather than failures alone, document the success elements, track the elements, and implement the elements in relevant projects across the organization. For example, if an organization was looking to win the contract to manufacture a new part for a company and began the project by designing and implementing existing machinery and processes, building new machinery and processes, and modifying existing assets it would likely utilize system safety where all organizational cross functional teams all looked for potential failures and attempted to identify counters as early as possible. However, the organization that understands what has worked in the past can also use the successes to implement counters before failures are identified. A good working example might be simple implementations that become standard. Sharp corners on squared boxes that housed controls for our machines, produced scrape/cut potential for workers when their legs would contact the work station. This examination of a failure or potential failure led to a fabricating round control boxes. This design was effective and developed into a standard for work station design.
But other successes can be behaviors that are occurring. A portion of the metrics that should be tracked from a behavior based safety initiative should include the positive behaviors. Projects that produce efficient results can be analyzed for elements that are common between them. This can lead to standardized policy and procedure that build upon common successes.
Organizations can utilize the Failure Modes and Effects Technique to identify elements of success, document them, and track its effectiveness across multiple process or workstations. Input from all organizational teams, departments, or subdivisions is necessary. Observation and survey combine to identify the successes. Worker input on what elements create success, combined with observational, and effectiveness ratings for implemented countermeasures and projects produce the information for standardizing success elements. In other words, we have to begin auditing for what is right as well as for failures or discrepancies.
We can identify the success elements, examine for the cause of success, list the potential workstations, projects, policy, and procedural uses that we can then reference when planning new projects. A sample form for compiling success elements is included in course documents