Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

It’s tempting to think that hazard recognition begins and ends with a Job Safety Analysis or a completed Safe Work Permit. The problem with thinking that way is that it suggests the hazards to be found on the job are limited to what’s involved in performing a specifically assigned task. 

Picture a simple task, like making a delivery to a customer, that problem becomes clear. 

Sure, there are hazards involved with lifting and moving the product from a delivery truck to the location where it’s to be dropped off. So, for example, the JSA might read, “wear gloves to prevent splinters from the wooden pallet” and “use a skid mover to avoid a back sprain” and “be sure to set the parking brake and chock the back wheels to prevent movement of the vehicle” and “be sure to get permission before entering the customer’s site.”

What about all of the other hazards that might be encountered, from the point of departing from the warehouse to safely returning after the delivery has been made? There are bound to be many.

Here’s what can happen when one of them is encountered in an unplanned way, most likely caused by one of the most common routes of injury: a slip, trip and fall. 

The event is a reminder of one of the most basic principles of hazard recognition: everyone is surrounded by a set of hazards that is in a constant state of change based on where they are standing (or sitting) and what they are doing. That includes something as simple as coming and going from the job site. There’s always something that can hurt you, so don’t ever let your guard down.

Paul Balmert
March 2023

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