The 10 Minute Safety Systems Health Check

Take this 10 minute test to determine the level of risk associated with your operations.

Many small organizations don't have the resources to determine the level of risk associated with their company. They sometimes ignore the importance of risk and hazard identification simply because they don't understand the benefits of good safety and health systems. Larger companies usually have internal resources and budgets to manage their individual safety and health processes where smaller organizations, in most cases, just do not know how it can benefit them and actually make them more competitive.

This being the case the Safety Systems Health Check was designed to be of interest to organizations small in size. The ideal size of the user company for this Health Check should be from between 25 and 50 employees. Sit down, take 10 minutes and complete the checklist and see how good or not so good your company really is against a standard.

The Warm-up

Before commencing with the Systems Health Check, rate the current health and safety processes at your company already in place. Using the 10 scale consider 1 as the worst and 10 as the very best.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

very low very high

When you have completed the Systems Health Check compare the 10 scale score with the actual score and see how the company did!

The 10 minute Safety Systems Health Check can help assess the current strength of the health and safety program in your company. Each section contains a related health and safety subject. Read each question and answer with a "Yes", or "No" or "Partly". Assign 1 point for Yes, 0 for No and _ point for the category Partly.

Simply answer each of the questions by placing a check mark in the appropriate space. When completed, use the scale (found at the end of this article) to determine the level of the health and safety systems.

If you determine through the Systems Health Check that the company is healthy, consider moving up to a more difficult assessment tool to assess the health and safety performance and systems.

Good luck and lets get started with the 10 Minute Systems Health Check.

Management Support/Commitment

1. Does the company have a written health and safety policy statement?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Does the company have a health and safety reference manual?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Does senior management take a personal interest in health and safety?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Does the senior manager encourage employees to work safely and follow established rules?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Inspections

1. Are workplace inspections conducted monthly?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. When hazards are found, are they corrected quickly?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Are inspection results shared with employees and/or the joint health and safety committee?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Are records kept for comparison reasons?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Training

1. Are all new employees given a short orientation to the company and its systems?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Does the company provide on the job skills training for all new employees?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Is health and safety part of all employee training programs?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Is specific health and safety training provided to supervisors and managers?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

5. Has the most senior manager taken any specific health and safety training?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

6. Does the company have any written health and safety training programs?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Rules

1. Does the company have general health and safety rules?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Are all employees aware of the general health and safety rules?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Does the company have specific rules for hazardous jobs?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Are all health and safety rules enforced?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

First Aid

1. Does the company have qualified first aid trained employees?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Is there at least one suitable first aid kit at the company?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Are records kept of all injury treatments?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Are all emergency telephone numbers with the first aid kit or the switchboard?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Evacuation and Fire Prevention

1. Does the company have an emergency plan?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Have all employees been trained in the company emergency plan?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Does the company have adequate fire extinguishing equipment?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Does the company have adequate fire/smoke warning devices?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

5. Are all employees trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

6. Are all fire fighting equipment inspected regularly by qualified people?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

7. Has the local fire department inspected your company within the last two years?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Joint Health and Safety Committee

1. Does the company have a joint health and safety committee?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Does the committee assist with workplace inspections at the company?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Does the committee assist with accident/incident investigations?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Does a committee member co-sign any reports?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Health and Hygiene

1. Do all employees understand the difference between health and hygiene?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Have all employees been fully trained and educated under hazcom (right-to-know)?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Do employees know how to read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Are all chemical agents at the company properly labeled?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

5. Do employees understand the meaning of the symbols on the labels?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

1. Do all employees wear PPE when required?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Are employees trained in the use and care of specific PPE?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Do all employees understand what kinds of PPE are available?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Is PPE readily available?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

5. Is the wearing of PPE enforced?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Total Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Accident/Incident Investigation

1. Are all personal injuries investigated?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Are all incidents involving a dollar loss investigated?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Are all investigation in written form?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

4. Is the written information reviewed for any trends?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

5. Is the joint health and safety committee involved in accident/incident investigation?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

6. Are all sub-standard findings correct in a timely manner?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Promotion

1. Does the company make an organized effort to promote health and safety?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Do you display health and safety posters?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

3. Does the most senior manager of the company ever show support for health and safety (i.e. posted letters of encouragement and appreciation?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Records

1. Are records kept of all workplace inspections, accidents, training and emergency situations?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Are all records available to the joint health and safety committee?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Total Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Summary

1. Does the company understand the need for health and safety systems?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

2. Can the company see the benefit from a health and safety system?

Yes______ No______ Partly_____

TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

GRAND TOTAL Yes______ No______ Partly_____

Score Sheet

(Total the score and compare the final rating with the "How Do You Rate" chart below.)

40-56 ______________

30-39 ______________

25-29 ______________

15-24 ______________

0-14 ______________

How Do You Rate?

40-56 Sound, effective process.

30-39 Good process.

25-29 Fair process but in need of some re-design.

15-24 Poor process -- need help.

0-14 Substandard action, costs high, accidents/incidents high, action required.

(CHECK ONE BASED ON THE SCORE)

Yes/No Re-evaluate in 120 days using this same 10 Minute Health Check.

Yes/No Contact a reputable consulting company for direction and assistance.

Yes/No Go onto the Safety Process Health Check Level 11 (available in a future article).

References:

THIHSEP -- Tourism and Hospitality Industry Health and Safety Education Program

Practical Loss Control Leadership -- Frank E. Bird, George L. Germain

Michael D. Crucefix is a principle consultant with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Duluth, Ga. He is responsible for providing health and safety consultative services to general industry clientele throughout North America. Activities regularly include conducting safety and health assessments, action planning and team building, providing detailed advice for program implementation and refinement and developing targeted risk intervention strategies. He has extensive health and safety experience in the mining , petroleum, steel fabrication and marine industries with worldwide responsibilities and site program management capacities.

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