Because deficient safety processes are the underlying causes of accidents, it is important to administer the most critical ones effectively. Here’s how employers can prioritize safety objectives when under a time crunch:
- Create a weighted scale for “prevention” and one for “compliance” (1-5 for effectiveness at “prevention” and 1-3 for effectiveness at “compliance,” where 1 is at the low end of the scale).
- Make a list of the safety-related activities that are administered.
- Apply the two scales (“prevention” and “compliance”) to each activity on the list and add the two ratings together to get an “effectiveness” rating.
- Select the top 1 to 3 activities, or the top 20 percent, whichever is larger.
- Reallocate resources from less effective activities to enhance the execution of the top rated activities.
To optimize this approach, it is important to apply a similar method to prioritize non-safety related activities and to consider using freed-up resources on the safety effort.
During busy times, it is common for accident rates to climb. Increased production and staffing demand more attention, stretching resources (money, people, time, etc.), and creating conflicting priorities. These pressures can lead managers and supervisors to neglect or overlook safety responsibilities.