Take time to review your APP
Is it necessary to report a close call?
Yes! A close call should be reported to the supervisor, safety director and safety committee so a prevention plan can be established. This safety poster reminds workers to report close calls.
Check out Washington's workers' compensation Rates Watch for information on why it's important to manage your workers' compensation claims.
Tune up your safety plan
First, look back over the previous year and review the activities you carried out. Then, to keep your safety program effective, review the past year to make sure that your program includes best practices and then see what you might need to add.
Were new employees:
Given a safety orientation?
Informed of reporting requirements for injuries and illness?
Told what to do in emergencies and how to report hazardous conditions?
What about your safety committee or safety meetings? Did you document the issues your employees brought up and track them to resolution? Were minutes of the meetings prepared and attendance taken? Each of these activities demonstrates management’s involvement and support for safety.
Does your safety program need changes? Based on research on distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently banned texting while driving a truck or bus. Does your company have a policy on this and other forms of distracted driving? If not, perhaps now is the time to draft one and implement it. Ask your drivers to give you feedback on the policy to make it better.
You could just continue with the status quo for your safety program, but then your program falters and becomes harder to maintain. Just like keeping your fleet in tune for best performance, a tune up of your safety program keeps it effective.
Does your company have a Safety Plan a.k.a. Accident Prevention Plan (APP)?
If your company does not have one, then it’s time to start developing one! WAC 296-800-14005 states you must develop a formal written Accident Prevention Plan.
Washington's Department of Labor & Industries has Sample Safety Programs & Plans to get you started. Or you can use one developed by the State of California as a guide. Please note, some requirements may differ between states. Click for more information on safety plan (APP) development.
Safety and health training programs are required too!
Keep it at the top of everyone’s radar by developing, supervising, implementing, and enforcing effective safety and health training programs (WAC 296-800-14020) New and seasoned employees can all benefit from training.
Wondering if you need a safety committee or safety meetings? 11 is the magic number
If you have more than 11 employees in one location on the same shift then you need a safety committee. Otherwise hold safety meetings for each shift and/or location.
Your job is to engage employees with an active and responsive safety committee (or monthly safety meetings). The requirements and definitions are in (WAC 296-800-130). Still confused? Here’s more information to develop an effective safety committee.
SHARP Program | Department of Labor & Industries | PO Box 44330 | Olympia, Washington 98504-4330
Phone: 1-888-667-4277 | Contact web developer at TIRES@Lni.wa.gov