History of National Safer Workplace Day
The SAFER acronym is based on the 5 fundamental steps used to conduct a risk assessment and stands for STOP. ASSESS, FORMULATE, EXECUTE, and REVIEW. These steps are fundamental to properly addressing any concerns such as unsafe operations of machinery so that a safe and efficient solution can be created and implemented.
STOP – A stop in production often has a negative connotation. However, in this context, it is meant to prevent future production stops due to accidents and injuries.
It is important to stop and discuss safety concerns to create and foster a work environment where employees feel confident enough to speak up against unsafe conditions. This also helps to avoid potential near misses and accidents.
ASSESS – Identifying an unsafe condition is the first step. The next step is to assess the safety concerns to decide which steps (if any) need to be taken to minimize exposure to the hazard.
One method to estimate the severity of the concern is by calculating a Hazard Rating Number (HRN).. An effective HRN calculation during the risk assessment process will allow you to quantify a problem and take a closer look at a machine or process to ensure proper regulations and requirements are being followed.
FORMULATE – Once an assessment is completed and a concern has been reviewed by a qualified team, the next step is to formulate a plan. If actions need to be taken, this is the time to develop safe and feasible possible solutions. Team effort may be required to create a solution that is not only safe, but allows for effective and efficient human-machine interactions.
Solutions can range from administrative controls to machine redesigns and implementation of safety controls.
EXECUTE – After a plan is created, it is time to execute it to see how effective it is.
Sometimes the first solution is not always the best, so a redesign may be needed.
REVIEW – Once the solution is successfully implemented, the concern must be reviewed again. This additional evaluation is used to prove the system is out, confirm that the initial concern has been addressed effectively and that the new solution is not creating further hazards.