Between meetings, employee training, incident investigations, and seemingly endless documentation requirements, a safety manager’s job is never done. At companies large and small, they often take on additional responsibilities, as well, including first aid, emergency planning and assistance to legal counsel.
Fortunately, there are a few safety resources that can make the job easier, particularly where information gathering and documentation are concerned. If you’re trying to squeeze twelve hours of work into an eight-hour day, the following sources of information may be just what you need.
Need to learn the particulars on ammonia refrigeration, poultry processing or scaffolding? In our ever-more complex economy, specialized jobs require specialized safety guidelines. To help workers and safety personnel stay up to speed, OSHA offers free Etools explaining how their regulations apply to specific types of worksites.
OSHA Expert Advisors
As useful as OSHA’s eTools can be, complex and hazard-heavy tasks may require a little more hand-holding. Fortunately, the agency also offers “expert advisors,” software packages that include questionnaires, forms and automatically generated reports relevant to specific industries and hazards. For example, the Asbestos Advisor includes FAQs, detailed regulatory information and individual project guidance based on your buildings, worksites and tasks.
Buying workers compensation insurance is part and parcel of doing business, but you may get more for your investment than you realize! The safer your workforce is, the more profitable your account becomes for the agency, and many insurers offer a variety of information resources. From fire, electric and hazardous materials handling to drug and alcohol policies, you may have plenty of guidelines and best practices at your disposal.
Hiring outside help requires additional investment, to be sure, but if you’re not seeing safety improvements, a consultant may be just what you need. Third parties offer experience, unique skill sets and, perhaps most importantly, an outside perspective. Even the most seasoned safety managers may overlook hazards that will stick out like a sore thumb to a fresh set of eyes.
In addition to OSHA, the National Safety Council offers a wide variety of industry-specific safety guides. Most of these guides cost $100 or less, making them a great time-saving investment for safety managers who need to gather new information quickly. The NSC also offers a multitude of free resources on general safety topics, including risk reduction, performance management and audits.
Comprehensive guides and industry-specific tips are great, but ultimately, your employees may offer even better insights. The workers who actually navigate hazards on a daily basis are equipped to help you make impactful policy changes that result in lower incident rates. If you aren’t already, encourage participation with regular toolbox talks.
Finally, your existing incident data and job safety analyses (JSAs) should be your go-to sources of information. Third-party resources can only tell you how most companies solve their safety problems, but internal information will show you what your company needs to change. What are the greatest sources of injury throughout your company? Why does a particular worksite keep experiencing spills or falls? What are the most cost-efficient changes you can implement now? You’ll find all these answers and more in your incident data.
Electronic Safety Management Systems
Of course, managing years of incident reports, JSAs and procedural documentation is easier said than done—and that’s not even taking into account training management, process safety management and a bevy of other safety concerns. To keep all your documentation in one place, and to make the most of current and future data, consider BasicSafe, a comprehensive safety software suite. Call us today for more information, or to request a free demo.