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MANAGING A SAFE WORK PLACE

1. KEY POINTS FOR GOOD OBSERVERS

1.1 Introduction

To improve safety performance, a supervisor must eliminate unsafe acts by


observing them, taking immediate corrective action and follow up to prevent
recurrence. To become a good observer, a supervisor must exhibit interest in
improving his observation skills and learn how to observe effectively. Effective
observation includes the following key points:

Be selective
Know what to look for
Practice
Keep an open mind
Guard against habit and familiarity
Do not be satisfied with general impressions
Record observations systematically.

1.2 Observation Techniques

In addition, to become a good observer, a person must:

(i) Stop for 10 to 30 seconds before entering a new area to ascertain where
employees are working.

(ii) Be alert for unsafe practices which are corrected as soon as you enter an
area.

(iii) Observe activity do not avoid the action.

(iv) Remember ABBI look Above, Below, Behind, Inside.

(v) Develop a questioning attitude to determine what injuries might occur if the
unexpected happened and how the job might be accomplished more safely.
Ask Why? and What could happen if ?

(vi) Observe using all senses: looking, listening, smelling and feeling.

(vii) Maintain a balanced approach. Observe all phases of the job.

(viii) Be inquisitive.

(ix) Observe for ideas not just to determine problems.

(x) Recognise good performance.

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2. KNOW THE HAZARDS

Continual part of supervisors daily work pattern. Must be constantly alert for:

2.1 Unsafe Acts

Bad Work Practices


- Method/deviations
- Posture/Position
- Speed
- Inadequate/Unsafe/Damaged equipment
- Housekeeping
- Unauthorised/forbidden procedures
- Storage, etc

Omissions (Failure to act)


- Protective clothing
- Unsafe clothing/hair/jewelry
- Security/warning systems

Improper behaviour
- Horseplay
- Disobedience of rules
- Improper use of tools & equipment
- Bypassing safety devices

2.2 Unsafe Conditions

- Workplace (site)
- Design & Condition
- Floors/walls/ceilings/roofs, etc
- Fittings/utilities/services
- Stairs/passages/entrances/exits
- Housekeeping
- Atmosphere controls
- Noise
- Illumination/shadows

Layout & Storage


- Sitting/layout of work areas
- Locations & contiguity
- Stacking & piling
- Security

Tools & Equipment


- Defective (unserviceable)
- Inadequate design/capacity, etc
- Outdated
- Poorly sighted
- Maintenance

2
Guards
- Mechanical/physical hazards
- Present and adequate
- Shoring/supports
- Security/grounding
- Electrical guarding
Secure covers
Insulation
Earthing
- Shielding
Heat/radiation/leaks

Systems and Procedures


- Adequacy/relevance
- Manning
Level/training/competence
- Communications
- Emergency response
- Traffic
- Custom and practice
- State of the art

Clothing and Personal Protection


- Not provided
- Incorrect type/style
- Inadequate
- Unserviceable

External Influences
- Other operators
- Contractors
Work practices
Tools/equipment/materials
Communications
Behaviour

Natural Hazards
- Weather
- Lightning
- Terrain
- Wildlife, etc
- Traffic
- Social environment