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Why Your Safety Committee Doesn’t Work A. Daniel Whitfield II, ACA, ARM-P Public Information Officer Director, Risk Management Val Verde Unified School.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Your Safety Committee Doesn’t Work A. Daniel Whitfield II, ACA, ARM-P Public Information Officer Director, Risk Management Val Verde Unified School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Your Safety Committee Doesn’t Work A. Daniel Whitfield II, ACA, ARM-P Public Information Officer Director, Risk Management Val Verde Unified School District Eric J. Preston, ARM-P Assistant Vice President – Risk Control Services Keenan & Associates

2 Safety Committee’s 101 History of Safety Committees – Concept traces back to 1692 – “Committee of Safety” – Used to communicate the safety needs of the people

3 Cal-OSHA’s View Depends on how you intend to use your committee (1) Meets regularly, but not less than quarterly; (2) Prepares and makes available written records of the safety and health issues, maintained for at least one (1) year; (3) Reviews results of the periodic, scheduled worksite inspections; (4) Reviews investigations of accidents and causes of incidents resulting in njury, illness, or exposure to hazardous substances and submits suggestions to management for the prevention of future incidents; (5) Reviews investigations of alleged hazardous conditions brought to the attention of any committee member. (6) Submits recommendations to assist in the evaluation of employee safety suggestions; and (7) Upon request from the Division, verifies abatement action taken by the employer to abate citations issued by the Division

4 Top 10 Reason’s Why Most Committees Fail

5 #10: Committee Has No Purpose Lack of direction/reason for the committees existence – Make it important Establish mission & vision statement – or Outline Cal-OSHA requirements

6 But remember to keep it simple… Mission Statement: The mission of the XYZ University Safety Committee (Safety Committee) is to develop and promote a healthy and safe work environment for all employees and visitors to our facilities through the involvement of all individuals with regards to education, communication and safe work practices. In addition to this primary mission, the Safety Committee encourages all employees to participate in the safety process for the betterment of all concerned. The personal safety and health of each employee of the XYZ Facilities Management is of primary importance. To the greatest degree possible, this committee will provide employees a voice to management to ensure that concerns and issues related to safety are brought to the forefront. In carrying out its primary mission, the committee is committed to four basic principles: Help to formulate and disseminate policies, practices, and procedures that promote health and safety. Assist management in the planning of action on occupational health and safety. This will include helping to set priorities to control hazards. Act as a problem solving group to help with the identification and control of hazards. Help to resolve health and safety issues. Activities: The activities of the committee will include, but are not limited to, the following: Identify unsafe work practices and conditions and suggest appropriate remedies. Review accident/incident reports. Types of accidents, causes and trends shall be identified and appropriate corrective action suggested. Assist in the development and implementation and maintenance of effective safety programs. Encourage feedback from all individuals with regard to health and safety related ideas, problems, and solutions. Serve as an advisory body to the Auburn University Facilities Management Safety Steering Committee on safety programs and issues.

7 #9: Voluntold Participation Committee members are not interested/vested in the concept & therefore don’t participate or contribute – You can encourage participation & suggest that there be a rep from each department/site – Be willing to take the “vocal” employees

8 #8 & #7: Too Few/Many Members Too few can’t get anything accomplished.

9 #8 & #7: Too Few/Many Members Too many, um, still can’t get anything accomplished.

10 #8 & #7: Too Few/Many Members Ok Goldilocks, how do you know what’s “just right”? – It depends on the objective Larger (Over 25) for creativity and brainstorming, just generating ideas Medium (around 20) for having back and forth discussions (usually discussing solutions to problems) Small (less than 15) for decision making

11 #6: It Becomes a Complaint Session The only things discussed are all of the “problems” without any ideas for solutions. – Committee is seen as a way to “speak your mind” – Authority of committee needs to be part of reason #10 – Stems from voluntold participation, size of the group, and most importantly, the next reason…

12 #5: Management Not Involved If there’s no upper-level support/involvement then the committee has no authority to execute recommendations – Try to get a 50/50 split – Management needs to be engaged and empathetic, even to the “vocal” members

13 #4: No Agenda The meetings MUST have an agenda to keep all parties interested and to allow the members time to bring thoughts to the table. – Can be used if the members get off-topic – Helps for recordkeeping & taking meeting minutes Requires a moderator or meeting “leader”

14 Tips for making a powerful agenda Start on time….end early! 8:15am – Put times next to every item Eric – Put names of topic speakers next to every item Include a topic for reviewing action items from the last meeting Include a topic for scheduling the or announcing the next meeting time/location Send the agenda out AHEAD of time

15 #3: No Action Items Assigned Follow-up on items discussed at the last meeting is critical to show members and the rest of the employees that the committee is actually accomplishing something and helps keep solutions & expectations manageable

16 #2: Committee Used to Make/Run Compliance Plans Compliance plans need to be written to suite the employees that the plan impacts. Some are organization wide but most are specific to a few key occupations. Tends to be overwhelming for a committee to tackle

17 Compliance Quiz Show! What’s Fed-OSHA’s annual budget? How many Cal-OSHA written compliance programs does a typical public agency need to have in place? If you held quarterly meetings and IF you could completely review one plan per meeting, how long would it take the committee to review all plans?

18 #1: Time

19 What is time? “Time” depends on your point of view: – Science = A continuous, measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence proceeding from the past through the present to the future – Religion = Started with a God and will end when the world ends (it already ended according to the Mayan calendar) – Business = Money – Sports = Reaction time, sprinting time, speed skating time, how many days until the trade deadline, etc.

20 What is time? – Philosophy = they can’t agree Time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Time exists. Time is an intellectual concept (together with space and number) that enables humans to sequence and compare events. Time does not exist in and of itself, rather, WE are time.

21 Some simple truths about time Time is irreversible (even with an awesome Delorean) Time has, and will continue to go on forever. We only get to use a sliver of forever’s time Our time here is finite How we choose to use that time is what matters, and how effective we are at using it is what will help mold our perception of that time.

22 Failure of effective use of time Being busy is not the same thing as being effective – Encourages waste of time on tasks rather than on accomplishing larger goals – Not focused on your primary goals Time management is a misnomer… Task & Action Management

23 Safety Committee Best Practices

24 Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate… Find out what is already in place Habits, rituals – workplace culture No one believes that they have additional time, so find out where they already spend their time and capitalize on it.

25 Think outside the…circle (boxes have sharp corners) Few people likes the term “committee” Call it something else. Labels can make all the difference in changing negative climates into positive ones.

26 Boasts and Gripes What’s working for you & your safety committee? What’s not working for you and/or your safety committee?

27 Thank you A. Daniel Whitfield II, ACA, ARM-P Public Information Officer Director, Risk Management Val Verde Unified School District (951) x10672 Eric J. Preston, ARM-P Assistant Vice President Loss Control Services Keenan & Associates (951) x1196


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