- Dale Duscher
The start of the new year kicks off for many of us with a set of resolutions, either things we would like to improve or bad habits we would like to kick. This tradition can be helpful for anyone wishing to make changes in the new year—whether an individual or organization is making them. If you are interested in creating a safer work environment for your team in 2019, it might be time to develop your safety new year’s resolutions.
The environmental services and drilling industry has inherent risk, which is why it’s vital to create and maintain a strong safety culture. But to do so, you need to be able to know your baseline, as well as track if you’re making progress or losing ground. Fortunately, there are many metrics that can be used to decipher safety performance and help determine which resolutions to put into place.
Consider some common metrics for tracking, including TRR’s, CIR’s, EMR’s JSI’s, C3PO’s, DFA’s, OFA’s, and MVI’s. Based on your existing data, you’ll want to select and prioritize a few key areas for improvement and determine reasonable and attainable goals for the year.
Setting the bar too high is not a good idea when determining new year’s resolutions, as it can discourage people from even attempting to reach it. However, if we don’t challenge ourselves at all, we are only meeting goals we have purposefully shrunk down to minimize effort.
For example, if only one employee got hurt on a job site, would we consider the safety program was successful? No, of course not. All injuries are preventable, so avoid the trap of setting the bar too low.
Another aspect of setting the bar includes making sure your team understands what the bar means. You can set safety resolutions, but without a clear idea of why the goal was created, it’s unlikely it will be met.
Setting company-wide resolutions to better safety performance is always a good idea, but a successful safety performance requires all employees to work toward a common goal of “no one gets hurt.” Therefore, I suggest tasking your employees with individual resolutions and challenge them to meet these goals. Here are a few examples of effective resolutions:
Participate and communicate. Employees must always feel empowered enough to approach their manager about any safety-related deficiency, and managers must always be willing to work towards providing a safe workplace. At Cascade, we have an open-door policy and every employee’s input is valued. This is a critical component to our overall safety culture.
Anyone can make a wish for the new year, but setting safety resolutions can put wheels into motion if you use data to select the right goals for your organization, set a bar that is attainable but a stretch, and make sure everyone on your team is invested in making safety a priority for 2019.