ISHN Guest BlogWhen I was a young boy, I marveled at the time and effort my mother put into her annual spring-cleaning.  Mom planned a great deal – shopping for her supplies early to make sure that she never had to start and stop once she got moving. 

And mom was really focused on every detail of cleaning the windows, walls, floors, and all of the furniture.

Mom also kept track of her cleaning materials, year-to year, so she knew what worked best.   Yes, that meant materials and tools that made her work a bit easier, more effective, and efficient. 

Mom always knew that if she planned well, used the right materials, and with the right effort, she’d get the kinds of predictable results she always wanted.  It was a lot of work but mom took great pride in her results and all of her family appreciated all of her efforts.  We jumped in when we could but she mostly wanted to tackle everything on her own. 

Does this sound familiar?

When it comes to EHS performance, we need to take our spring-cleaning efforts very seriously and start in the fall rather than the spring. Think about what you should be doing for your annual safety spring-cleaning.

●What proactive measures most align with success when in it comes to reducing accidents and incidents?

●Does your safety dashboard reflect the four or five activities and measures that have the biggest and most positive impact on safety performance?

●Do you carefully and regularly assess and clean your dashboard with groups of people to gain greater insights into what needs to stay on the dash, while removing measurables that might be to be replaced or at least refined? 

●Do you have the kinds of tracking systems that enable you to accurately assess near misses and other potentially serious events, so you can proactively control hazards through associated abatement strategies and tactics?

Spring-cleaning involves more than simply assessing your EHS dashboard, it includes planning, training, communications, coaching, increased engagement, and improvement in materials, tools, equipment, policies, and procedures. 

No one can argue that spring-cleaning is an arduous task – but it needs to occur often.  It needs to be done so that you can ensure you are measuring the right activities that have the greatest impact, holding people accountable to perform those activities well, and ultimately aligning all of your EHS efforts for long-term success.

It’s time for your annual safety spring-cleaning – get moving – I think you may be at least a few weeks behind!