Preventing Rear-End Crashes

Posted December 23, 2019 by Erin

Studies conducted by two Federal agencies reveal sobering facts about rear-end collisions.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that almost half of all two-vehicle collisions were rear-end crashes which resulted in the deaths of more than 1700 people each year¹.  Many of the crashes analyzed by the NTSB involved one or more commercial motor vehicles (CMV).  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered that 87 percent of rear-end crashes involved a driver failing to properly respond to the traffic conditions ahead¹.

Prevention of rear-end crashes depends on drivers making sound, well-planned decisions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends that professional truck drivers faithfully practice the following safe driving principles:

  • Maintain a safe following distance since large trucks take much longer to stop than passenger cars.  One of the most common crash types is when a CMV strikes the vehicle in front of them²
  • Double the following distance in adverse conditions including inclement weather, poor road conditions, low visibility and heavy traffic²
  • Avoid distractions outside of the vehicle including billboards, buildings and people³
  • Do not text or use a handheld electronic device while driving including cell phones, tablets or dispatch devices³
  • Do not read or write while driving including using paper maps³
  • Do not eat or drink while driving³

In addition to observing safe-driving practices, both the NTSB and the NHTSA strongly advocate for the use of available technologies which have proven to be very effective at eliminating or mitigating rear-end crashes. Specific technologies include collision warning systems and autonomous emergency braking. The NTSB further recommends that CMV fleet owners transition to fleet vehicles equipped with such technologies¹.

 

¹Source: https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts/Documents/SA-046.pdf

²Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-following-too-closely

³Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-driver-distraction

 

Why Trucking Companies Need Rate Increases – and How It Relates to Insurance

Posted December 23, 2019 by Erin

A common theme among the vast majority of trucking companies in 2019 is increased operational costs, and the corresponding need to negotiate rate increases in order to pay the bills and remain profitable. It’s a conversation that insurance agents are typically having with trucking company management around renewal time. In short, trucking companies need more money coming in the door, or face the very real potential of sudden business shut down, trucks and cargo stranded on the highways, etc. See example of Falcon Transport Co., who closed its doors without warning.[1](link here)

What is driving this increase in costs?

The American Transportation Research Institute (or ATRI) is helping to answer this question. They recently released the 2019 version of “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking,” which relies upon detailed financial data provided directly by motor carriers. Among the ATRI’s findings were the following:

  • The average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers in 2018 increased 7.7 percent to $1.82.
  • Costs rose in every cost center except tires, with fuel costs experiencing the highest year-over-year growth of 17.7 percent.
  • As a strategic response to the severe driver shortage that existed in 2018, driver wages and benefits increased 7.0 and 4.7 percent, respectively – representing 43 percent of all marginal costs in 2018.
  • Repair & maintenance (R&M) costs, at 17.1 cents per mile in 2018, have increased 24 percent since 2012;
  • Insurance costs saw the second fastest year-over-year growth at 12 percent.[2]

As one industry executive put it: “ATRI’s 2019 Operational Costs Research highlights the extent of the cost increases our industry experienced in 2018. Savvy carriers will continue to use this cost data as a benchmarking tool, and to better educate our customers on the financial and operating pressures our industry faces.” [3]

Insurance Costs Continue to Increase

As the severity (i.e. the total dollar amount paid and in reserve) of trucking accidents continues to increase, that cost is passed on to trucking companies in the form of increased insurance premiums in 2019 and 2020, which in some cases are increasing as much as 25 percent or more. The primary factors influencing the continued rise in accident severity include: ever-increasing medical expenses, attorney fees and nuclear jury awards (i.e. awards in the tens of millions). See $40.5 million verdict against Werner Enterprises.[4] (link here)

How to Reduce Insurance Costs

Accident prevention is the best way to ensure a reduction in insurance claim costs. For most companies, a great place to focus or refocus efforts is on prevention of distracted driving, as it is unfortunately the root cause of many serious and fatal accidents involving trucks. The proliferation of cell phones, tablets and other portable devices is a reality for most truck drivers – and these devices can take their attention away from the road, other vehicles and pedestrians at critical points in time. However, companies who are investing in safety training and technology such as inward-facing dash cameras and facial recognition software – are ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying and addressing distracted driving risk factors before a serious accident occurs. More importantly though, are the catastrophic injuries that never happen, and the lives that are saved as a result of accident-free driving on our country’s highways.

 

If you would like more information on accident prevention or safety resources, please reach out to your local Marsh & McLennan Agency representative.

 

 

[1] Barradas, Samuel. “585 Truckers Stranded When Company Shuts Down Without Notice.” TruckersReport.com, 10 May 2019, https://www.thetruckersreport.com/585-truckers-stranded-company-shuts-without-notice/.

 [2], 3 Murray, Daniel. “ATRI’s Newest ‘Operational Costs of Trucking’ Research Shows Dramatic Increases in Industry Costs.” American Transportation Research Institute, 4 Nov. 2019, https://truckingresearch.org/2019/11/04/7851/.

 [4] Hawes, Clarissa. “Jury Slaps Werner Enterprises with $40.5 Million ‘Nuclear Verdict’ in Fatal Crash.” FreightWaves, 14 Oct. 2019, https://www.freightwaves.com/news/jury-slaps-werner-enterprises-with-405-million-nuclear-verdict-in-fatal-crash.

Happy Holidays!

Posted December 23, 2019 by Erin

We would like to wish all of you a very warm and happy holiday season! We are grateful for your partnership in 2019, and look forward to a safe and successful 2020! Our offices will close at 1 pm on December 24th and resume normal business on December 26th. 

Please enjoy these photos of our Leawood and Arlington offices celebrating the holiday.

Happy Holidays!

 

The holidays are approaching fast – beware of CARGO THEFT!

Posted October 18, 2019 by Erin

The holidays are approaching fast – beware of CARGO THEFT!

While you’re making preparations for company gatherings and thinking about holiday shopping, be sure to take some time to review the processes your company has in place to prevent cargo theft – because thieves are already making their plans to take their presents early. In fact, according to a Dec., 2018 Commercial Carrier Journal article, during the last five winter holiday periods, cargo theft recording firm SensiGuard has recorded about two thefts per day, with an average loss value of $182,260 – which is 6 percent higher than throughout the rest of the year.1

If you’ve ever been the victim of cargo theft, you’re likely familiar with what that terminology means.  However, the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board developed the following legal definition: “The criminal taking of any cargo including, but not limited to, goods, chattels, money, or baggage that constitutes, in whole or in part, a commercial shipment of freight moving in commerce, from any pipeline system, railroad car, motor truck, or other vehicle, or from any tank or storage facility, station house, platform, or depot, or from any vessel or wharf, or from any aircraft, air terminal, airport, aircraft terminal or air navigation facility, or from any intermodal container, intermodal chassis, trailer, container freight station, warehouse, freight distribution facility, or freight consolidation facility….”2

Most cargo theft occurs at truck stops, parking lots and warehouses – or in other words where most commercial vehicles are found. There are a couple common theft scenarios: First scenario involves a thief following a driver from the warehouse until he stops, then stealing the cargo at that location. Second scenario involves, what’s generally called, “fictitious pickups” or pickups where a thief impersonates a legitimate carrier and fraudulently secures a contract to transport cargo. The cargo is taken in this scenario with typically no trace of the thief upon discovery of the crime.3

So what can your company do to help prevent this kind of theft?  In his Dec. 2017 webinar (which can be viewed on our Recorded Webinars page HERE), NICB Special Agent Steve Covey suggests vetting potential business associates by way of internet checks (Safersys.org, FMCSA) and word of mouth/calling other companies; contacting local Cargo Security Councils and national associations to access the latest information and resources; and, making friends with the police before your problem happens. Other measures that can help include high visibility lighting, secured yards, high security locks, GPS tracking, and confirming receiving facilities holiday hours to help prevent unnecessary layovers with loaded trucks.1

For more information or assistance, please contact us at safetrucking@clinewood.com.  We appreciate your safety efforts!

1CCJ Staff. (2018, December 21). Be wary of increased cargo theft activity around Christmas, New Year’s. Retrieved October 11, 2019, from https://www.ccjdigital.com/be-wary-of-increased-cargo-theft-activity-around-christmas-new-years/.

2Cargo Theft, 2016, Crime in the United States (p. 1), U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation – Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

3Lienau, L. (n.d.). 2014 NICB Identified Cargo Thefts: NC, SC, VA (pp. 1–2). National Insurance Crime Bureau.

 

CVSA Brake Safety Week

Posted September 16, 2019 by Erin

“The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week is scheduled for Sept. 15-21. Throughout that week, enforcement officials will conduct roadside safety inspections on commercial motor vehicles throughout North America. Vehicles with critical brake violations, or other critical vehicle inspection item violations, will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected. Vehicles without critical vehicle inspection item violations are eligible to receive a CVSA decal indicating that the vehicle passed inspection.” ¹

Many states start these inspections early and run later than the announced event date to work with inspector’s hours, facility hours and to accomplish several thousand inspections. We also know that tools used to normally by-pass the scale for carriers with Green/Pass CSA SMS Scores are turned off thus bringing more tractor trailers through the scale house for inspection.  Other states select designated highways in which they will assign numerous state troopers to work multiple sections pulling tractor trailers over to ramps for road side inspections

 It seems like we finish one inspection focus just to be followed by another.  Though the official violation counts and OOS data from some of the 2019 inspections are not in yet, it is still alarming to see the counts of violations being found, whether out of service or not, when we always know to expect these inspections each year.

 As safety advocates, most of us work with our state troopers numerous times a year at the scale houses or through our safety organizations where we can visualize and learn what they are finding during inspections. “During this year’s Brake Safety Week, inspectors will be paying special attention to brake hoses/tubing. While checking these brake system components is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting brake hoses/tubing as a reminder of their importance to vehicle mechanical fitness and safety.” ¹

“Routine brake system inspections and component replacement are vital to the safety of commercial motor vehicles. The brake systems on commercial motor vehicles are comprised of components that work together to slow and stop the vehicle and brake hoses/tubing are essential for the proper operation of those systems. Brake hoses/tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible. Brake hoses/tubing are an important part of the braking system so when they do fail, they can cause problems for the rest of the braking system.

“We all know how important a properly functioning brake system is to vehicle operation,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “All components of the brake system must always be in proper operating condition. Brake systems and their parts and components must be routinely checked and carefully and consistently maintained to ensure the health and safety of the overall vehicle.”

Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations represented 45 percent of all out-of-service vehicle violations issued during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck enforcement campaign. And, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics, brake-related violations accounted for six of the top 20 most frequently cited vehicle violations in 2017.

The goal of Brake Safety Week is to reduce the number of crashes caused or made more severe by faulty brake systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and identifying and removing unsafe commercial motor vehicles from our roadways.” ¹

Hopefully you are well ahead of this reminder and have decided to reduce your odds in becoming a statistic in these inspections. Remember to keep your entire company involved, accountable and ready for these inspections and the daily safe operation of the fleet. Many of our clients have added additional pre-maintenance programs to their fleet to not only combat these inspections but to reduce road repair costs. Often times road repair costs are 3 to 4 times of that in your own facility or with your selected vendor.  Many have also taken advantage of trailer pool locations and created the time to accomplish repairs and inspections to help avoid breakdown and prevent inspection violations.

What a great accomplishment it would be to have our clients’ teams show either “No Violation” inspections or a major reduction in all inspection violations affecting your CSA SMS scores for the next two years.

 

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

 

Source: ¹ Brake Safety Week is Sept. 15-21 (June 18, 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.cvsa.org/news-entry/2019-brake-safety-week/ , accessed 9/6/19.

 

Safely Loading and Unloading Grain Trailers

Posted September 13, 2019 by Erin

Safely Loading and Unloading Grain Trailers

Transporting and unloading grain at grain facilities may seem like the easiest part of the job, until you realize that some of the drivers may be farm workers who get little experience except during harvest season each year. Here are several safety tips to help keep both your experienced and seasonal drivers safe during this harvest season.

General Grain Transportation Safety Tips

  • Be aware of and avoid contact with all overhead electric wires when moving grain transport equipment.
  • Stay out of loaded grain wagons, truck beds and trailers in order to avoid potential grain entrapment and suffocation hazards.
  • Do not allow children to play in or near grain wagons, trucks or trailers.
  • Use extreme caution when backing grain transport equipment in order to prevent running over bystanders or other workers.
  • Use extreme caution when traveling on public highways.  Use hazard flashers as necessary to alert other drivers of your presence.
  • Be extremely careful when field loading and operating trucks and trailers near ditch banks.  At a minimum, stay away from the edge of the ditch bank a distance equal to the depth of the ditch.
  • Avoid rollovers by keeping grain evenly distributed, and slowly travel up and down the slope on hilly fields.
  • When the loaded tractor trailer rig reaches the mill or storage, it may be pulled across a grated dump.  In the case of a hopper bottom trailer, each section of the trailer may be emptied by opening a sliding gate and letting the grain from that section flow by gravity into the dump grating.  Then the truck will be pulled up to empty each segment of the trailer.
  • The truck may be pulled across the dump for weighing and then be backed up to the dump grate after weighing in.  The driver will not be able to see behind the trailer and may need a “spotter” or ground guide to back safely onto the dump, so as not to endanger dump personnel.
  • If the trailer of the truck is not a hopper bottom, the entire truck (both tractor and trailer) may be raised by a lift to an angle sufficient to allow the grain to flow from the rear of the trailer into the grated dump until the trailer is empty. The lift is then lowered to level, the truck is driven off the dump and returns to the field to be refilled and the trip to the mill is repeated.
  • Safety in the truck loading, transporting, unloading and return phases of the hauling operation cannot be overstated.  Operators should be   cautious during the transition from field roads to public roads, stops, starts, foot traffic during loading in the field and unloading at the mill because each phase has its unique safety hazards.
  • Although many of the drivers of hauling rigs may be owner operators and have many years of professional experience in over the road operations with large loads, some may be farm workers who get little experience except during harvest season each year. Caution and practice to build familiarity with the equipment and extensive training in the specifics of transporting grain should be seriously considered before allowing inexperienced workers to operate this equipment. ¹

Grain Trailer Safety Tips

  • Make sure the trailer is in good operating condition, including all required lights.
  • Never overload the trailer or the tow vehicle.  Always refer to manufacturer’s specifications for details and limits when in doubt.
  • Make sure about 60 to 65 percent of the total load is placed in front of the trailer axles. Proper weight distribution affects how well the trailer “follows” the tow vehicle. It also affects the traction and “steer-ability” of the tow vehicle. When properly loaded, the rear of the tow vehicle should “squat” down a little. Too much “rear squat” and too much front lift of the tow vehicle indicates the trailer load is too far forward. On the other hand, lifting of the rear of the tow vehicle indicates the trailer load is too far to the rear.
  • While loading the trailer, remember to set the tow vehicle brakes and to chock the wheels. This is important to prevent tipping and movement of the trailer during loading.
  • Make sure that load will not fall from the trailer or move within the trailer during transportation.
  • If using tarps, protect ropes and straps from sharp edges or corners on the load; these serve as wear points and locations of failure.
  • Secure tarps so wind cannot get under the front edge of the tarp. This will prevent the low air pressure at the rear of the load from lifting the tarp. Avoid flapping as it leads to tarp damage which can reduce its capacity to protect/contain the grain. ¹

 

Source: Sadaka, S., & Johnson, D. M. (n.d.). On-Farm Safety for Grain Wagons, Semi-Tractor Trailers and Trailers. On-Farm Safety for Grain Wagons, Semi-Tractor Trailers and Trailers. University of Arkansas, United States Department of Agriculture, and County Governments Cooperating. Retrieved from https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-1065.pdf

 

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Posted September 13, 2019 by Erin

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

This year we refocus our attention on slips, trips, and falls during the week of September 23-29.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most incidents in general industry involve slips, trips, and falls. Such incidents cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of fatalities1.  Slips happen when there isn’t enough friction or traction between a person’s feet and the surface they are walking on. Common causes of slips include walking on wet or oily surfaces, loose or unanchored mats, and flooring that lacks the same degree of traction in all areas.

Trips happen when a person’s foot strikes an object, causing them to lose balance. Workers trip due to a variety of reasons, including clutter in walkways, poor lighting, uncovered cables, drawers being left open, wrinkled carpeting or rugs and uneven walking surfaces.  Common areas of slips and trips include offices, shops, public walkways, parking lots, and steps.

Falls occur after someone has slipped or tripped and they tumble to the ground or to a lower surface.  OSHA notes that the majority (67%) of falls happen on the same level resulting from slips and trips. The remaining 30% are falls from a height such as from a trailer floor, loading dock, a ladder or elevated walkway ¹.

Now here are some great tips on how to prevent these accidents from happening:

“1. Wear proper footwear.

This tip is simple enough, but is often overlooked. Encourage your team to wear comfortable, fitted footwear that has enough traction on the bottom.

2. Create traction.

It doesn’t take much for the ground to become slick, especially on sloped and smooth surfaces. Using anti-slip mats and tape can help to add traction when materials like dust and grease cannot be cleaned up or otherwise removed.

3. Keep it clean.

A clean workplace is usually a safe one too! Take the time to pick up boxes, ropes, and cords, and clean up spills to keep workers on their feet. This is especially true in work areas and in aisles.

4. See accidents before they happen.

Poor lighting in basements and stairways can cause anyone, at work or home, to misstep and trip. Adequate lighting makes it easier to avoid hazards (and also reduced eye fatigue). At home, leave a porch light on when leaving in the evening. You’ll be rewarded with a well-lit entryway when you return later that night.

5. Block off temporary trip hazards.

Use barricade tape, cones, and other floor safety products to restrict access to areas that present temporary slip, trip and fall hazards.

6. Mark out clear passageways.

Use floor marking tape to show where walkways are and that these areas should be kept clear. Tape out areas around swinging doors and stairways to help others avoid these hazards too.

7. Post safety signs to remind everyone of hazards and policies.

Posting the right safety signs will help to alert workers of trip and fall hazards, remind them to check ladders and scaffolding, and alert them to your policies for a clean workplace.

8. Gear up with the right PPE.

Fall arrest systems are important and essential parts of any fall prevention plan. Remind workers to wear the right PPE with OSHA compliant fall protection signs.

9. Inspect first, climb second.

Before you climb a ladder or scaffolding, inspect your set-up. Inspections require a critical examination from someone properly trained. If a ladder or scaffolding is in bad condition, tag it for repair or removal so no one will accidentally use it.

10. Train every employee to recognize and avoid slip, trip, and fall hazards.

Like any other safety hazard, slips, trips, and falls can be highlighted during safety training. Make sure that everyone can recognize and avoid slip, trip, and fall hazards and that they use PPE correctly when necessary.” ²

 

Additional Resources:

Inspect Your Footwear Poster

 OSHA’s Top 10 Most-cited Violations

 Prevent Same-level Slips, Trips and Falls

 Flooring Standards and Fall Prevention

  

 

 

Sources:

¹ https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/work.html

2 https://www.safetysign.com/help/h86/11-steps-to-prevent-slips-trips-and-falls

 

How Does Your Safety Program Impact Your Insurance Cost?

Posted August 30, 2019 by Erin

How Does Your Safety Program Impact Your Insurance Cost?

At Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, we are fortunate to work with many great commercial transportation and agribusiness companies as they continually look to improve their day-to-day operations. One of the areas that we focus on in particular is the development of an outstanding safety program within each company.

As many business leaders can attest, when evaluating pros and cons of either implementing a safety program for the first time, or enhancing an existing safety program, cost and budgeting are at or near the top of the list as far as factors to consider. From a cost perspective, it has been proven time and time again that an outstanding safety program helps reduce accidents, which in turn reduces the number of claims reported to the insurance carrier. But how does that translate to insurance cost?

Insurance Cost 101

At a base level, each company pays a certain amount of premium to their insurance carrier in exchange for the benefit of insurance coverage. The amount of the premium charged to each company is based on calculations that typically reflect past losses, estimated future losses, and amount of coverage requested. Along those lines, a frequent metric that helps quantify a company’s losses is called a loss ratio, which essentially is the amount of claims dollars paid out vs. amount of premium received (see below). If the ratio is 1.00 (i.e. 100%) or more, more dollars are being paid out than received, and the insurance carrier is going to have to increase the amount of premium being charged going forward, so the lower the loss ratio the better. Conversely, the less dollars being paid out in claims, the less premium the insurance carrier will need to receive, and the insurance quotes offered will typically be more favorable to the company.

Example:

$(claims dollars paid out) / $(premium received) = % (loss ratio percentage)

When it comes to safety programs and insurance costs, there is still much work to be done. According to A.M. Best, the commercial auto space, for example, hasn’t had a combined loss ratio under 100 since 2010 (Commercial Auto Market Should Improve This Year But Not a Lot: A.M. Best, April, 2019), which continues to drive insurance rates upward as well, especially for those companies who are not proactively developing an outstanding safety program.

Other Positive Effects

In addition to direct effect on insurance cost, there are several other advantages to establishing an outstanding safety program and safety committee that have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line, including but not limited to:

  1. Ability to pursue and secure high-value contracts with more lucrative customers.
  2. Reduction in out-of-pocket expenses due to injury and illness.
  3. Reduction in out-of-pocket expenses due to property damage.
  4. Reduction in your overall injury and illness rate (OSHA Recordable).
  5. Validation of senior leadership’s commitment to a safe workplace.
  6. Increased awareness and appreciation for the company’s safety culture
  7. Invaluable feedback to senior leadership to aid in decision-making. (Ray, 2018)

 Final Thoughts

As you begin, or continue to focus your safety program efforts on items such as growing your safety committee, determining root cause of accidents and providing comprehensive safety training, don’t forget to take time to celebrate the safety successes along the way. Some options include gift cards, cook outs, plaques and social media recognition. These celebrations don’t cost a lot of money, but can have a big impact and help the great people who work for your company understand that you appreciate what they’re doing on a daily basis to reduce insurance cost to the company. (Page, 2018)

For a more in-depth review of safety committee development, we strongly suggest reviewing the following great articles by our in-house Risk Consultants:

Safety Committees: A Valuable Tool for Business Success

Safety Committee Meetings – Tips to Get Started

 

References

Commercial Auto Market Should Improve This Year But Not a Lot: A.M. Best. (April, 2019). Insurance Journal.

Page, S. (2018, October). Risk Consultant – Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. Steve’s Helpful Hints – Safety Committee Meetings.

Ray, K. (2018, October). Risk Consultant – Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. Safety Committees: A Valuable Tool for Business Success.

 

Recognize Safety Successes – Safe + Sound Week

Posted August 30, 2019 by Erin

RECOGNIZE SAFETY SUCCESSES

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event to recognize the successes of businesses that have adopted programs to improve workplace safety and health. Implementing a safety and health program can improve businesses’ safety and health performance, save money, and improve competitiveness.

Each August, we invite you to share your safety successes with us! We know that successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, while improving business sustainability. We look forward to learning how your innovative efforts to be #SafeAndSoundAtWork have improved your workplace!

For more information, please visit www.osha.gov/safeandsound.

 

Here is the link to the web page: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsound/

Here is the link to a flyer to reference: https://www.osha.gov/safeandsoundweek/docs/Graphics_How_To_Participate.pdf

 

Safety Committee Meetings – Tips to Get Started

Posted August 28, 2019 by Erin

Formal Safety Committees

Safety Committee meetings can be positive and constructive if they have set goals and stay on task. I have seen many successful teams and also some that have failed terribly.

Here are some action items to keep you and your team on task:

  • Managers before you start a team sit down and put your thoughts together of items you would like to see the team to tackle and what time you are going to allow the team to meet and work on the tasks with an ending goal date.
  • Managers if you don’t have specific items for your team to tackle then a formal brain storm session should be held by you to decide what the team feels needs addressed areas of safety, improvements needed or even a company improvement. This requires a good brain storm facilitator to take the brain storm session to keep them on track and then break items down into objectives as you go suggestions or solutions listed in each category.
  • Managers once you have gathered your ideas (either manner above) it’s now time to select your committee team and set the specific task or tasks, goals and timelines. It will also require you to pick a team leader and note taker that will meet with you at least one to two days after each committee meetings to review progress or barriers in which they seem to reach.
  • Managers the first couple meetings should be attended by you. This allows you to set team guidelines and the letting the team understand that not all items that come from the team will be implemented and sometimes these ideas will take some re-work depending on the task or even cost prohibited item. Sometimes it might even require further corporate review or future cost planning to implement.

 

Non-Formal Safety Committees

  • Some of the best safety committee meetings I have seen are best called “Tool Box” meetings. It is done in a matter like a football huddle or coaches locker room. Most important it is completed in the teams work area with a cup of coffee and donut or pizza depending on the time of day.
  • Managers should have a small agenda in outline form in which they stay on track with team discussion and someone to assist them in taking notes as the “Tool Box” meeting progresses.
  • These types of meetings produce strong efforts from the team and build relationships needed to work safe together! These sessions create “self-policing”. You don’t need tattle tales running to you every time Joe fails to wear all his PPE using the cut off saw or Sally failed to lock out tag out a tool. You want to develop your team to handle this task as they all want to work safe even Joe or Sally that need extra coaching.
  • This style of meeting can also be completed on a phone from time to time though it takes real buy off from the team members to stay on track with you.

 

Last but not least, don’t forget to document all meetings to include attendees and make sure to take time to celebrate the success that your team brings to your business.

These celebrations don’t need to cost a lot of money! Certificates, Gift Cards, Cook outs, Newsletter Article, Plaques, Posters, Handwritten Notes, Company Facebook site and Company announcements of the change being brought to you by or sponsored by the committee will have big impact and help you change and improve your future business.

Keep in mind, safety committees can also be used in business improvements, retentions efforts, future hiring efforts and many other needs in which you must have the commitment of your company from the top down to be successful.

Safety Teams are your company’s future success!

 

Non Distracted Driving backed with Good Decisions and Good Judgment Calls will provide many Safe Miles!

Steve Page | Risk Consultant C.D.