For sealant and adhesive manufacturer, the busy season is in full swing. At a time when things are moving at breakneck speed, making safety a priority is more important than ever. At Premier, this includes practicing situational awareness – not just at busy times, but all year long.
Situational Awareness is being aware of what is around you in terms of where you are, where you are supposed to be and whether anyone or anything around you is a threat to health and safety.
Our knowledge, education and experience allows us to understand what is around us and to determine if it is safe. Situational awareness is important to everyone. We all need to know what is around us. Without awareness we will not see potential hazards. As a result, we cannot protect ourselves or others.
Implementing situational awareness training, can be as easy as SLAM. The SLAM (Stop, Look, Assess, Manage) technique reminds workers to stop work if they think their health and safety is at risk.
By remembering SLAM, workers are more likely to stop work if a task appears unsafe or risky to their health, or to stop their colleagues behaving in an unsafe or unhealthy way.
Breaking down the four stages to SLAM:
- Stop the task and think. Look at each step. Ask:
- Is this a new task?
- Has the task changed?
- When was the last time I did this task?
- Do I feel comfortable doing this task?
- If not, do I need training?
- Look before, during and after completion of the task. Always:
- Inspect the work area for potential hazards.
- Identify the hazards for each step of the job/task.
- Evaluate what to do about them.
- Are workers equipped to perform the task safely? Check they have the correct:
- What else do they need to perform the task safely?
- More training? (Workers should not perform the task until they have been trained.)
- Managers should take appropriate action to eliminate or minimize any hazards on site by:
- Ensuring the proper equipment is used and is well maintained.
- Thinking about the task just completed and ask, “What went well? What did not go well?”
While utilizing the SLAM technique may appear straightforward, creating a policy where it is actually implemented day in and day out can be an up hill battle. To implement this process successfully, training operators immediately upon hire will increase the likelihood that they stick with the process.
Management buy in is essential to the SLAM process as well. After all, it is important that managers enforce the process by implementing written policies and sign offs to ensure its continued use.
Implementing a process to enforce situational awareness during the busy, Spring season may seem impossible. But, taking the time for safety is always a must.