How to Implement a Results Oriented Safety Endeavors

“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

-Mark Twain

As safety professionals, we work very hard implementing programs and processes to reduce or eliminate hazards. Unfortunately, we seldom run them all the way through to a conclusion and then validate whether we achieved the planned result. I refer to this as “finishing”. If safety professionals want to reduce and eliminate hazards, temporarily they do not need to worry about finishing. However, if they want to know they reduced and eliminated the hazards, they must finish implementing the program or process. ROSE is an acronym that stands for Results Oriented Safety Endeavor.

It is a process I have developed that identifies a result for my safety endeavors that allow me to measure the results of my endeavors. I base all my large endeavors on the outcome of a business case. This process includes the goal of the safety endeavor. Then I identify the base from which I measure the goal. I then determine the endeavor I need and the cost of that endeavor. The business case must show the cost of the endeavor is worth the cost of implementing. After I complete the business case, I know what I plan to achieve and how I plan to do it. If the business case shows a benefit that is greater than the cost of the program or the return on investment I go ahead with the endeavor. Then I implement the safety endeavor. Once the endeavor is done, I determine whether I achieved the goal. I do this by measuring the change from the base when I started until now when I completed the endeavor.

Let us look at an example. I want to implement an awareness campaign. I develop a business case that identifies the goal of the campaign, the base from which I measure improvement, the cost of implementation, actions taken, and the return on the investment. In this case, the cost of implementing the awareness program with labor, printing, and distribution came to $1,850.00. The goal is for the awareness to prevent 12 injuries that average one lost workday each. The average worker receives $23.50 per hour or $188.00 per day. The total of 12 people losing a work day is $2,256.00. The average accident for this company is eight hours of lost time. The potential savings for this is $406.00. Since there is a positive return on investment, we would go ahead with the awareness program. We have the posters, table tent, and flyers printed. We place 12 posters on bulletin boards. Place table tents on all 32 table in the break room. Flyers are passed out to employees on each shift as they leave work. With the work complete the extra posters, table tents, and flyers are given until they are all gone. Do no other awareness campaigns or prevention endeavors during this year. Once all printed material is out for 90 days, a safety professional is tasked to interview a representative sample of employees to determine how many saw and understand the awareness message. At the end of the year, a review is conducted of the accidents. The accident rate is 15 injuries less than the previous year. There is a cause and effect relationship between the awareness program and the reduction in injuries. You cannot prove without a doubt that the awareness campaign prevented the injuries, but I think there is enough proof for the cause and effect relationship.

If you do this for any significant safety endeavor, you can identify the actual results of your endeavors. You know what is getting results. In some cases, the endeavor does not achieve the goal you had identified. In this instance, changes would have to be made for this type of endeavor is done again.

If you implement more than one safety endeavor during the same period, it is hard to bifurcate where one endeavor achieves results from the other. In this case, I often assign a percentage. Let us say I have an awareness program and a new Lockout/tagout standard operating procedure. I could determine the amount of work that requires lockout/tagout from the overall work endeavor. In this case I may decide that 25% of all work done requires lockout/tagout and 75% doesn’t. I would assign 25% of the results achieved by the new standard operating procedure and 75% of the awareness program. Determining the percentage is not an exact science, but focusing on results can help reduce whatever you target.

I have used this method for several years and have gotten good results. By focusing on results, I make sure that the endeavor I take accomplishes something. I can identify wasted endeavors and take steps to prevent that type of waste in the future.

About Fred Fanning Author

Fred Fanning spent over 20 years in the safety profession. His final safety position was as the Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He began writing in 1994, published his first book in 1998, and began writing professionally in 2015. He has authored and coauthored articles, written books, and chapters for technical books and stories for anthologies.
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