I’ve spent the past few months working on Ebsco’s new Safety Management System. We are building the system to ISO standard 18001 anticipating being certified by November 2014. Ebsco had a very good safety program in place. Over the past two years the Safety Team has been hard at work improving it. So we were good….. then we got better….. and now we are starting an entirely new system. So when is it good enough? ARE WE SAFE YET?
The answer is yes and no. YES. I am confident that Ebsco is a safe place to work right now and has been a safe environment for a long time. NO, it’s not good enough and never will be. The core of our new system is CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. I wrote about that in a previous Blog “Continuous Improvement“. Continuous improvement is the holy grail of manufacturing but often doesn’t reach into the safety program. Safety is the one place it MUST prevail.
As our Safety Team has dug deeper into OSHA’s 29CFR 1910, General Industry Regulations, we continue to find opportunities to improve. Our system is designed that each section will be thoroughly reviewed every year looking for ways to improve. Our safety team has begun the process of Job Hazard Analysis. JHA is the process of prioritizing and reviewing every job, machine, process you have for potential hazards and then identifying ways to eliminate them. Everyone is involved from the support we are getting from Cheryl, our CEO to our newest operators offering input on their jobs. If you read my previous Blog “Doing the Right Thing is Never Wrong”, you know the boss, Ms. Dooley is committed to our program. She let me know very clearly that cutting corners is never okay. We haven’t left out sales and other support jobs out. We recently sent questionnaires to everyone who is held hostage by their computers, looking at Ergonomics and ways to improve. We are trying to look at everything we do to determine where every hazard may be. Safety isn’t something we do, it is part of everything we do.
As Vice President of Production I sometimes wonder if I am spending too much time on safety and not enough on production. I have finally realized that the time I spend on safety is about production. Our employees, other than being great people are our biggest asset. They are the ones that get the springs our the door. Without them producing, Ebsco ceases being. If our efforts avoid one accident or one injury then no I am not spending too much time on this. Everyone has the right to be safe at work. We need the entire team to reach our goals.
So as proud as I am with our current safety program, we’re getting better. With the involvement of everyone at Ebsco we are going to make Ebsco as safe as it can possibly be. We understand the word accident itself means we will never create an environment that no one will ever get injured. The goal is to get as close as possible.
So if you will excuse me, I need to go start reworking our Handheld power tools and hand tools safety program.