Safetip #145: Additional Training at High-Risk Facilities
Start by Identifying High-Risk Facilities
For organizations with global operations, there can be big differences between facilities due to local cultural differences, different business units with different products or processes, or differences in the competencies of facility managers or workers. Differences between facilities also means differences in the level of EHS risks present at each facility.
High-risk facilities should receive extra attention because they’re the most likely to experience adverse events in the future. Start by identifying these high-risk facilities in your organization. There are many ways to do this, but the usual methods include analyzing the results of facility audits, and comparing facility-specific lagging metrics (injuries, illnesses, lost work days) and leading indicators (e.g. near misses, observations, participation in safety meetings, completed inspections, facility housekeeping, etc.).
Once high-risk facilities are identified, provide supplemental and targeted training at these facilities over and above the usual education and training that is part of your occupational safety and health program, in order to mitigate the risk of future adverse events.
Look Also Beyond Training
In addition to providing extra training, it’s also important to address other factors that could be increasing EHS risks. For example, is there a weak safety culture at the high-risk facilities? Are the local EHS, safety or facility managers doing a good job? Are there process or operational improvements that could significantly reduce risks, including the elimination of process hazards or the implementation of engineering controls? Extra training will help, but don’t assume it may be enough.
Finally, evaluate the effectiveness of the extra training provided at the high-risk facilities. Verify if audit results, and lagging and leading indicators are showing signs of improvement. If there is no improvement, it could be due to an issue with the training (content, delivery method, instructor, etc.) or other factors increasing risks and mentioned above, and which can’t be addressed simply by giving extra training.
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