Every Industry is required by law to implement a safety program. This is a pretty loose term and often hard to know where to start.

National COR logoWhen AXIS first began the process of implementing a formal safety management system (COR),(COR is a trademarked name)  we hired a coordinator and a consultant and paid a lot of money for a bunch of paper. After 18 months, we had a program that made no sense, no formal certification or accomplishment, and most notably, no one had changed how they were working. A lot of money and time were spent on a “safety program” that really didn’t make anyone safer than they were before.

I realized at that point, as the owner of a small business, it was up to me. Not to do all the work, but to change my attitude about what safety meant. I truly wanted my employees to work safety, to go home each night , not only because if I didn’t, I might go to jail, but because I really cared about them.

So what did I do? First, I realized that I can’t get it perfect. If it is perfect, there is no room for improvement. I truly believe with safety there is always room for improvement. Next, I looked at the most hazardous aspects of our work. I looked through the safe work procedures provided by the consultant and discovered procedures for using a hammer, and other “helpful” procedures, but found nothing for our most hazardous tasks. I realized my frustration, what this consultant had done, was give us a general safety information, he didn’t take the time to understand what we really did.

After identifying our most hazardous activities, we starting working on forms to assess these risks, develop inspection check lists for each and work through the training of these items with our employees. It was possible that during this time, they may hit there thumb with a hammer (unlikely, because we don’t use them in our work), but I felt confident knowing that we were concentrating on the tasks that, if not done safety, would lead to serious injury or death.

Don’t get me wrong, any incident is too many, but as a small business, I knew there was no way to do everything at once. A prioritized list with manageable tasks implemented, was much better, then a bunch of information that was never adapted.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share with you some tools that we have developed over the past five years. Tools that I would like to share, because working safe isn’t proprietary, working safe is all of our responsibilities. If we are working together on a job site, it is in all of our best interest to have the best safety information available and to share our resources.

I would love to hear about any safety successes you have had!

Until Next week,

Bonnie Pankratz



Fall Arrest Harness Inspection Checklist

Fire Extinguisher Inspection Checklist

Ladder Inspection Checklist

Grinder Inspection Checklist