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Safety Review: Feedback and Improvement

This is the final article in a five-part series examining each of the five core functions of SLAC's Integrated Safety Management System. The core functions are hands-on tools to help you plan and conduct work in a safe manner. Their relationships are depicted in the handy diagram to the right:

The fifth ISMS core function introduces quality control into the work planning process. Following this function, you apply experiences and lessons from earlier jobs to enhance work planning and further minimize risk of accident, illness or injury. The central question is, "How can I do better next time?"

Consider the example job, welding a girder. After the work has been scoped, planned and implemented within the planned safety controls, a review of the job can provide invaluable information to keep future work safe. A welder might learn from a co-worker that leaning toward the girder inadvertently brought him or her close to a slip or fall, or near to a previously unknown electrical or radiation hazard. Individuals may be aware of different "minor" situations that, when reviewed collectively, reveal a larger risk.

Please share freely with your colleagues anything of safety interest after a job is done, even if it seems insignificant. Morning toolbox talks to review the work of the previous day are an effective way to encourage such exchanges. Revelations from these exchanges should be fed back to the work planning process to ensure that risks are recognized and controlled.

Supervisors, please discuss this core function with your teams. Ask them to choose an example job and apply each of the core functions. Poll your team members to share their safety observations, thoughts and suggestions gained from their job experience, to help benefit safety in future work.

This article concludes the weeklong series on the five core functions of ISMS. Please use ISMS to encourage everyone at SLAC to think of safety as an integral part of the work day. Your wallet-size ISMS card is a handy reminder of ISMS and its five core functions.

See the Integrated Safety and Environmental Management Systems Web site for more helpful hints. Please call Steve Frey (x3839) if you have any questions.

Steven Frey, SLAC Today, August 1, 2008