The theme of National Safety Month, 2021 is “Staying Safe 24/7”. This speaks not only to staying safe 24/7 while on duty, but about bringing the same mindset home, to make awareness in general habitual, thereby impacting the off-site lives of workers too. The ripple effect will spread throughout the communities to which they belong, influencing choices, stimulating consideration before action. The focus therefore goes back to reducing or eliminating risky behaviour patterns both in the home and workplace.
The landscape of health and safety in general has been in the spotlight and efforts have been substantially intensified, with many success stories of fatality-free hours being published. This is wonderful news however what systems have been put in place to ensure the longevity of these project and the sustained long-term benefits?
“We at RSPH have been privileged to walk the journey to sustainable safety with multiple large Mining Corporations determined to incorporate Electronic Permit-to-Work systems into their culture, not only benefiting the lives of their employees, but also their bottom-lines”, Guy Imbert, COO RSPH.
Complex Mine Health & Safety regulations seek to benefit everyone and if practiced effectively lead to a safe industry. Bearing in mind the complexity of the legislation, the use of appropriate technology can help guide the user through the defined processes and the morass of required behaviours needed to stay safe at all times, focusing the user on the specific behaviours needed to be applied in certain circumstances, as well as in general.
According to statistics, three times as many workers are injured off duty than those injured at work. Unintentional injury come at a great cost, not only to employers but to the families of those injured, not to mention the trauma and suffering attached to the injury itself.
Large industrial companies in SA abroad often use technology to limit access to only those who meet the requirements for safe work, through using an electronically defined and managed permit-to-work process. This benefits not only the full-time employees and artisans, but also external contractors performing work on site, while allowing mine supervision and management the insight and controls to remain compliant to both legislation and to company safety protocols. Technology allows management to flag irregularities and deviant behaviour patterns immediately, so deaths and injuries can be prevented through pro-active measures while also flagging non-conforming individuals for retraining.
The benefits here are not only measurable in the immense value of saving of human life to the families and communities, but also carry large beneficial financial savings through mitigating the risk of Section 54 shut-downs which can severely disrupt productivity and thus sustainability. Also, while accident and Covid-19 prevention is proactive, the right technology can also make it easier to react when things go wrong, by instructing what procedures to follow and how to trace the source.
The transparency and ease-of-use of these systems, create an habitually aware mindset, which if instilled properly will filter out of the work environment into the communities they serve.
With safety for all in mind, electronic permits-to-work can be implemented remotely within weeks, provided the on-site teams are results and project-driven with a view to total workplace safety.
In this age of 4IR and Artificial Intelligence, the technological tools to promote safe working practices and guide the workers to Do The Right Things, are proven and readily available.
Manual paper-based systems already in place suggest a willingness not only to comply to regulations, but also a level of genuine caring. The problem that these can easily get lost, or altered, but companies who have replaced their paper-based systems with electronic permit-to-work systems have benefited dramatically from the instant insights of danger or even potential threats, as well as financially by reducing waiting times for on-site clearance, for example.
Given the impact employees in industrial settings have on the business, the community as well as the economy, it would make sense to be using the right tools so support a Total Safety 24/7 mindset.
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Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings