Many accidents in the workplace are avoidable and often occur during routine tasks. A worker that underestimates the hazards in their job is less likely to remained focused and take the necessary precautions to perform the job safely.
This week we will discuss a tool that can be used in your workplace to provide a final review of the task at hand to ensure employees are operating safely. This tool is the Last Minute Risk Assessment (LMRA).
Monday – Unsafe Behaviors
A high percentage of injuries are caused by at-risk behaviors. Injuries caused by unsafe actions and behavior are entirely preventable. Here are a few of the reasons people take risks at work:
- To save time (taking shortcuts)
- To improve comfort (PPE can be uncomfortable at times)
- Out of frustration
- Because of fatigue, being tired
And the most potentially harmful and most common reason of all:
- Because we’ve done the job so many times without being hurt, we have become complacent about the hazards and no longer take the proper precautions.
Tuesday – Why a LMRA is an Effective Tool
Understanding the why behind any new process is an important factor in getting buy in from your workforce. If used correctly, the LMRA could be a critical tool to keep yourself and your co-workers safe. Here are some of the key reasons why:
- Help Identify and reduce any risks of an incident at the workplace
- The working situation may have changed before the work has started, possibly creating new dangerous situations.
- Make workers more aware about their safety while working.
- Reduce the risk of bad habits or at-risk behaviors that could lead to creating a hazard.
- Confront and control any possible risks quickly: If a risk is reported, measures need to be taken to create a safe environment.
Wednesday – When and Where to Perform an LMRA
Conducting a Last Minute Risk Assessment will only be effective if completed at the right time and in the right location. Today we will discuss when and where to conduct your LMRA.
- Right before work starts
- If circumstances change while working
- If changes have been made to the workplace/area
- At the workstation, so you can review the current situation, the equipment, the environment (for example weather) and other possible risks.
Thursday – How to Perform a LMRA
There are many different methods of conducting a LMRA but there are some common elements in each method. We’ve already discussed the why, the when and the where. Today we will discuss how to conduct one yourself.
Whether documented, verbal or just mentally prior to starting a task, think of questions that will make the operator step back and focus on ensuring their workplace is safe. Here are some sample questions to help get the ideas flowing:
- Is this a routine task or a new task?
- Am I and everyone in my operation properly trained?
- Are there any unusual conditions that need to be considered?
- Is all equipment operating properly?
- Do all operators have the correct PPE?
- Do all operators have the corrects tools available?
If any of the answers to the LMRA are no, operations must stop and resume only after the hazards are corrected.
Friday – Discussion
This week we’ve discussed some of the most common causes for at-risk behaviors and the when, where, why and how of the LRMA. Now let’s take a minute to discuss these questions with the group:
- Do you perform an LRMA before you start work or when there is a change in the area?
- If so, what is your method?
- If not, what do you think about starting to use the LRMA?
- What questions would you add to the LRMA?
- Do you think the LMRA would have prevented any of the recent injuries in your workplace?
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