Owners and managers—the bosses—don’t often like change. Try “continuous improvement” to improve safety and efficiency. Start with no budget, in a small area to prove it and catch their attention.
First, learn all you can about efficiency programs such as 5S, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and others. Their goal is to improve safety and workflow. Free information and videos are available from many websites.
Second, select a confined work area that can be improved. Implement efficiency ideas, and present the results to management.
Third, continue the continuous improvement. Little will be gained if changes are made, but not maintained. With proof of gains in production and safety, the managers may green-light additional continuous improvement programs.
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Dan Clark: Have no money to begin a safety and efficiency program? Do a sample of continuous improvement to show the boss safety and production can co-habitate.
Hi, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
Bosses don’t like change. Implementing a new program—change—has the potential of making them look bad. But continuous improvement—an ongoing effort to improve efficiency, and therefore safety, in the workplace—doesn’t have to come from the top down. Safety managers or workers can try to persuade those bosses. Try a small area in the workplace and whip a little continuous improvement on it. The small, positive changes will open their eyes.
You can show that improvements in safety give long-term benefits. Here are three steps:
1. FILL YOUR BRAIN. If there’s no budget for training, take initiative and look for guidance about Lean and 5S practices. You’ll find a truckload of free, digital info on the internet, including our sponsor, Creative Safety Supply. By showing you’ve already done homework, management will take your efforts more seriously.
2. TAKE ACTION THAT BOSSES WILL NOTICE. Managers may not be thrilled about employees doing things outside of their job scopes, but making small changes to make the workplace run better can get the attention of the folks upstairs. If an employee takes the time to organize a workspace, and then work starts happening faster, higher-ups will see the value in this kind of change.
3. STICK WITH IT. Continuous improvement must be just that: continuous. Once you have the attention of managers, keep looking for ways to improve work processes. With safety and process change comes attitude change. From the frontline workers to the head office, it’s a workplace that’s happier, safer, and more efficient.
That’s it for this episode on Continuous Improvement And Safety Without A Budget. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at creativesafetysupply.com