Going Back to Basics for a Healthy Safety Program

We often get frantic emails from people wondering “how do I start a safety program?” “What do my people need to be trained on?” “What is required?”

Most of the time, these requests are accompanied with an explainer with a slight tone of embarrassment. As they say, identifying that you have a problem is the first step! We welcome these frantic requests. In fact, we THRIVE on them.

Going back to basics is healthy for any company, whether your safety program is established or not. There is nothing wrong with recognizing that safety is NOT rocket science, and ensuring that you have your basics in place even as you strive for a world class program. Here at The Ferri Group, we have a systematic approach we use with our first-time safety clients. Beware, the information I’m about to share with you is NOT rocket science. It comes from years of experience, with some of those years spent barking up incorrect trees.


Consider this your Basic Training –

1. Assess your workplace: Look at all of your current written safety programs, have they been updated in the past year? If not, start here. If yes, then assess your field operations. Look at every job title and do a Job Hazard Analysis. The act of conducting a JHA will force you to take a simplified look at your operations because you are looking at each step of a task. It is a GREAT exercise and one to involve your new safety staff, production veterans, and new workforce in.

The goals of this step are updated written programs and polished JHA’s for each task conducted by your employees.

2. Assess your training program: If you do a good job at Step 1, the next logical and natural step will be to look at your training. Are your employees up to date on the minimum training they need? What about the “nice to have” training? Identify any gaps in required training and the nice to have training.

The goals of this step are a polished Safety Training Matrix (or a Training Matrix that addresses topics other than safety in addition to safety) and an understanding of what training is needed NOW and later.

3. Do it! Take the items from Steps 1 and 2 and get your action plan together. You may have identified some MUST HAVE NOW training, so do it! If your programs and training were on the up and up, you are in the continuous improvement loop – so keep assessing, identifying opportunities, act on them, and evaluate again.

As always, if you are stuck as to where to start, contact us!




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