Special Topics in Safety Management

Successful Safety Audits: Critical Issues

Safety audits help identify hazards, set safety and health goals, and prevent accidents. Before conducting an audit, though, you need to address some practical and legal considerations.

How much will the audit cost?A comprehensive safety and health audit can involve a significant investment of resources. Control audit expenses by asking:

Do I need a consultant?Unless you have technically complex issues, you probably don’t need a paid consultant. Or, you may only need a paid consultant for technically complex portions of the inspection.

Do I have the manpower in-house?If your managers are cross-trained, you may be able to use managers from one department to audit another. If you have a safety committee, you can draw some of your audit personnel from the committee.

Will my insurance carrier help?Your liability insurer may provide risk management resources, including personnel, for the audit.

What legal services are already available to me? If your company has an attorney on the payroll or on retainer, any necessary legal services should have a marginal cost.

A solid accident and incident investigation process is a critical component of an effective safety program just as safety audits are. BLR’s upcoming live webinar will give you the tools and information you need to perform effective investigations and prevent repeat accidents. Click here for details.

What are my audit priorities?To maximize the return on your investment, always begin with the areas of highest risk or broadest exposure. Highest priorityshould be given to detecting hazards or violations most likely to cause serious injuries or cause injury to the largest number of people.Lowest priority can be given to hazards that are unlikely to occur, even if they could cause serious injury, or to hazards that are unlikely to endanger human life.

What about correction and abatement? Following your audit, you will have damning evidence of any potential hazards in your facility. It is vital that you correct serious hazards in a timely way. If you’re inspected later, and an inspector discovers that you knew about a hazard and did not correct it, you could receive a willful citation.

What about distribution of records? Some documents can be made available for the asking—to auditors, employees and their representatives, and OSHA inspectors—but others require more care. Low-security documents include inspection checklists, safety committee inspection reports, and meeting minutes. High-security documents include accident or serious injury investigator’s reports, documentation of serious violations, and unabated hazards. These documents may contain sensitive or confidential information and might need to be redacted before they are released.

Join us on March 28 for an in-depth webinar in which you’ll learn the key steps in effective accident investigation and how to use root cause analysis to establish and improve your investigation process. Learn More.

Root Out Hazards and Prevent Accidents

Successful safety audits root out hazards and prevent accidents. So do successful accident investigations.

A solid accident and incident investigation process is a critical component of an effective safety program. After all, if you complete a thorough investigation and determine why an accident or incident occurred, you have the information and knowledge for preventing a future occurrence. The way to successfully accomplish this critical task is by drilling down to the root cause.

Engaging in a methodical, systematic, and comprehensive root cause analysis is a proven method for achieving success. When properly structured, implemented, and followed, it is one of the most effective and efficient methods for performing investigations.

Join us for an in-depth webinar on March 28. Our presenter, a seasoned safety professional with extensive experience in the accident and incident investigation arena, will explain how to use root cause analysis to establish and improve your investigation process.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • How "root cause analysis" works, and how to use it to identify causes that are overlooked or missed in typical accident and incident investigations
  • 5 solid reasons to use root cause analysis
  • How to develop a more rigorous understanding of "cause and effect"
  • How to best train investigators
  • Best practices to consider when incorporating root cause analysis into your investigation program
  • How to establish a feedback process to make sure your root cause analysis is achieving excellent results
  • How to use the results and findings of your root cause analysis to achieve the greatest results

About Your Speaker

Fran Sehn is the assistant vice president of Casualty Risk Control Services for Willis of PA. He is the foundry practice leader and provides risk control consulting service for 11 ferrous and non-errous foundries in the United States. His consulting work also includes providing safety audits, hazard assessments, and safety training for a variety of manufacturing, commercial, and industrial clients.

Mr. Sehn also works with several educational institutions in the Pittsburgh area providing safety and risk control guidance for their safety committee efforts, is an OSHA outreach trainer for both general Industry and construction, and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on safety, risk management, and workers’ compensation issues.

Mr. Sehn recently presented "Not all Risks are Alike" at the Professional Development Conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). He is the past president of the WPA Chapter ASSE and 2001 Chapter Safety Professional of the Year award winner and was recently honored by the Risk Management and Insurance Practice Specialty of the ASSE with their Safety Professional of the Year award for 2010. He has published six technical articles for the practice specialty technical bulletin.

How Do Webinars Work?

A webinar is remarkably cost-effective and convenient. You participate from your office, using a regular telephone and a computer with an Internet connection. You have no travel costs and no out-of-office time.

Plus, for one low price, you can get as many people in your office to participate as you can fit around a speakerphone and a computer screen.

Because the conference is live, you can ask the speakers questions—either on the phone or via the webinar interface.

You will receive access instructions via e-mail 3 days before the event and the morning of the event. Your conference materials will be included in these e-mails for you to view, print, and download before the event. They are also available on the webinar interface when you log in.

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