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Resolution #8: Use Your Monthly Audit Forms as a Catalyst for Change

- November 9, 2017 by Leslie Stoll, CSP, ARM (View all posts by Leslie)

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That being said, are your safety committee, managers, or department supervisors insane? Are they doing their monthly audits and inspections and finding the same deficiencies every month? Hopefully not, but too often I see that this is the case. We go through our checklist and constantly find ourselves making the same notes month after month.

    • The west exit door is blocked
    • The semi-truck’s wheels are not chocked
    • Ken did not stop his forklift at the intersection
    • Bob is wearing prescription glasses instead of safety glasses
    • The machine guard is removed.

Instead of getting mad and frustrated about reporting on the same issues, let use these issues to initiate some changes that will not just correct the conditions but prevent them from re-occurring. We need to use the same concept discussed in my last blog on root cause analysis.

If we determine why the west exit door is being blocked, we can prevent future occurrences. For example, after investigating I find that the west exit door is always blocked with shipments from supplier XYZ. Those shipments are arriving 30 minutes after the receiving and warehouse department leave for the day. Once I figured this out, I can ask the warehouse manager to staff someone 30 minutes later, ask the supplier to show up in the morning, ask the supplier to leave the shipment in a designated location or task another qualified employee with managing that shipment.

Don’t wait for an injury to occur to find the permanent solution. Treat your monthly audits/inspections as if each issue was a near miss and investigate them. For more information on the concept of a near miss reporting program, check out Mark’s blog. A near miss reporting system can benefit your company in many ways. Stay tuned for my next blog about incentive programs where I address alternatives to tracking injury-free workdays.