|Graphics by John Luchin|
We've all benefitted from the job-site safety mandates set foth by OSHA, but those standards are only a bare-minimum of compliance to ensure workers safety. However, the trend in industrial safety has changed drastically over the past decade. OSHA Standards are the legal "shall-do's" to keep employers compliant, but does very little to cultivate a positive climate of cooperative safety between employer and employee. The major shift in safety is evidenced by OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program, which encourages an atmosphere of safety awareness at every level of operation and self-policing for safety hazards and go well above and beyond the bare-minimum standards.
Although the exhibit production shop I work in is not yet VPP compliant, we are making strides to change the workers mind-set from legal "shall-do's" to self-interested "want-to's" (including increasing safety and safe practices on AND off the job site). One way to build-in safety awareness is through self-inspection, enter the 2012 SMILE campaign.
The goal of the SMILE campaign is to have the craftsmen regularly inspect all areas of our metal/wood fabrication shops and storage areas for hazards or safety violations. The inspection process is simple, and easy to remember, plus has the added benefit of catching and correcting any hazardous situations before injuries or penalties occur. For our purpose, the shop will be divided into pairs of inspectors, and all areas will be inspected with the SMILE acronym:
S - Spot check for safety hazards (is the area, in general, safe?)
M - Machine Guards (are machine guards in-place and to proper tolerances?)
I - I wear PPE (is personal protection available for use and used correctly?)
L - Liquids (are liquids labeled and stored properly?)
E - Electrical (are electrical cables used correctly or other electrical hazards present?)
Any safety violations or hazardous situations are corrected and recorded in the SMILE inspection log, for review by AF-OSH or OSHA. This regular inspection should keep our shop free from hazardous situations, keep our craftsmen safe, and reduce the stress of annual safety inspections from AF-OSH or others.