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RESEARCHING FOR A BETTER SAFETY ASSESSMENT-part 3

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO ASSESS?


There are a lot of checklists for safety assessment- some of this could be found also on Internet. A systemic approach to the safety assessment would however focus on general components- that could be developed by the safety assessor taking into account the specificity of the assessed workplace.
We have chosen- on the basis of our experience- a system with three main components:
-HUMAN RESOURCE- as humans are the root cause of more than 75% of the occupational accidents- this component is a must for every assessment. It should include- in our opinion:
- Technical training involved in the performance of specific tasks; was such training done properly and in time- taking into account not just the technical details but also the capacity of understanding of the employee?  Is this training updated when needed? Is this training enough?
-General and specific safety training;
-Employee experience in work and also at workplace;
-Employee abilities connected with the tasks to be done;
-Employee history of accidents and incidents;
-Team working abilities;
Part of these attributes are used and presented below in the model developed for this paper.
-EQUIPMENT AND MACHINES
-MANAGEMENT
The following table (Table 1) shows the data collection format used for the primary safety assessment.
The 10 attributes were chosen in the idea to assess various workplaces- with different activities. The auditor could change these attributes- taking into account however to have a unitary structure for the plant assessment.
The place of each attribute could be found in the figure...
The theory behind the assessment is considering that each workplace could be described by:
-its human resource, including also experience at work;
-Its technical resource- equipment’s and machines;
-its managerial resource;
A well trained human resource, with people selected taking into account their abilities in relationship with the tasks to be done; with the necessary experience- could be the greatest asset for a safe workplace.
A workplace should be designed having safety as one of the main goals. However, if this was not done in the beginning it could be done- partly- during the “active life” of the workplace. Re-designing for safety is one of the win-win solutions.
A workplace should have as much safety devices in pace as needed- considering the specific activities that are done there. The assessor should verify that the safety device is in place- functional- and that it is used accordingly with the safety goals. Some safety devices could be tampered with- in the idea to increase production by cutting safety paths.
Personal Protection Equipment’s should also be available in connexion with the safety design of the workplace and also with the safety devices in place. The last stand before an incident/accident should be the PPE.
The third component of the assessment should be the (safety) management of the workplace. A good manager would always include safety in his/hers management. However, a very good safety manager would assure commitment- from all the human actors at workplace, would also assure the necessary supervision and the maintenance activities that should be done on a daily basis (including cleaning, waste disposal, etc.) .The safety culture is developing in time- as the ideal link between employees and managers in assuring safety- anyhow these three attributes should be pursued from the management and assessed accordingly.



Figure 1.Place of assessment attributes in the whole image

 

ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF THE RESULTS


To illustrate the possibilities of safety assessment and some instruments that could be helpful in the activities that are following the analysis and the interpretation of the results- on the basis of the previous graph we have developed a simple checklist- that could be re-developed as much as you like. It has (in this demo) 10 questions and the primary assessor- the one which goes to the workplace to perform the assessment- evaluates each of the questions on a 1 to 5 Likert scale.

Table 1
No
Item (Question)
1
2
3
4
5
Motivation

HUMAN RESOURCE
1
Task specific abilities of the employees in the workplace (please consider the main task and all the tasks that are important from the safety point of view)






2
Training (we are considering here the professional training)






3
Safety training (including all the given safety training and its implementation into the workplace)






4
Experience at work- although this is a debatable item, experience at work has its importance to keep the employee out of  risks action







EQUIPMENTS AND MACHINES
5
Safety design of the process, the afferent activities and the workplace- we recommend to ask for plans in order to have a full image






6
Safety devices in place, functional and that are known by the employees






7
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)







MANAGEMENT
8
Supervision of the employees






9
Maintenance of the workplace (including clean-up)






10
Commitment of the employees and their supervisors to safety (if there is a safety culture then it should be evaluated too)







As you can observe- there are general items (questions) that could be changed, modified or replaced- taking into account the workplace that is being assessed. However, once modified for a specific workplace- the checklist should be saved and used as a referential for the future assessments of this workplace. Eventually- a copy of the assessment checklists should be saved and sent also to the Competent Authority- so that the assessments that should be accepted and controlled by the Competent Authority could have a certain referential.
For the interpretation of the primary results we are using a software named ””Expert Choice”- that could be downloaded for free from Expert Choice Inc. Using this software we would try to optimize the assessment and make this assessment as objective as possible.  
Figure 2 shows the defined decision tree that has as its goal the safety assessment. On each branch there is an item.


Figure 2. Decision tree

For our demo we have considered a fictive”Manitoba Enterprise”; we worked with 5 workplaces to be assessed accordingly to the field results for each item. It is possible to make a direct evaluation- as seen in figure 3.

Figure 3 Direct evaluation

For a specific branch- like ”Task specific abilities” we are evaluating the five workplaces and are using a priority coefficient that is based on the results of the field assessment. As seen in figure- the first workplace performs the best for this item.

We could also compare the performances of two workplaces- like you can see in figure 4.


Figure  4 Comparision between two workplaces considering a specific item

It is also possible to perform the comparative evaluation by using a questionnaire to fill in the data.


Figure 5 Evaluating the results by the usage of a questionnaire

The software offers the possibility of a synthesis of all results like in the next figure.


Figure 6 Synthesis of the results taking into consideration all the items

Various graphs regarding the sensitivity of the evaluation can be obtained, like in the next figures.


Figure 7 Graph showing the performance sensitivity for all the nodes
We could also obtain a dynamic sensitivity.


Figure 8 Graph of dynamic sensitivity


Figure 9 Graph for gradient sensitivity

We could also compare head to head two nodes- like the Workplace 1 and Workplace 4.


Figure 10 Head-to head comparison


A global report could be obtained at least.

Figure 11 Global report preview.


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