Rock Products

AUG 2017

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116 • ROCK products • August 2017 A majority of companies in the aggregates industry have a genuine concern about the safety of their employees. In their efforts to ensure employee accidents and injuries are kept to a minimum, safety professionals continually look for that one program, new initiative or "silver bullet" to eliminate unwanted events on company sites or projects. These efforts often result in a great deal of time and money being spent on employee safety programs and training. We should keep in mind it is important to devote all of the resources needed to improve safety performance of employ- ees. Unfortunately, in some cases, there are some who might question just how effective these programs and training are when unwanted accidents and injuries continue to occur? A review of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) workplace injuries reveals a somewhat troubling trend. Data from the past few years indicate the frequency of injuries in the workplace has remained at about the same level. On the positive side, this trend is not getting worse and if compared to the data from several years prior to that, there has been an improvement, but even during those years a similar trend was detected. Does this mean all of the safety programs companies use or money and time they spend on training are of no value? Abso- lutely not; but it may mean it is time to evaluate effectiveness of safety programs and training provided to employees. The results of such an evaluation could be used to determine if there are other topics or processes which might be used to improve employees' safety behavior and thus, lower accident and injury rates. It has been said, "if we continue to do things the same way they have always been done we should proba- bly expect to get the same results." If this is truly the case it is probably safe to assume com- panies, who continue to use the same "flavor of the month" safety programs and provide annual training which covers the same topics year after year, can expect to get the same results when it comes to preventing accidents and injuries on their mine sites. A cursory literature review of topics typically covered in face- to-face or instructor-led MSHA training are, and have been, the same for many years. Likewise, distance education, com- puter-based training and e-learning for miners, for the most part, are designed around these same topics. An online search of "MSHA Annual Refresher Training," in addition to MSHA's web page, reveals a multitude of companies, consultants, colleges, distance education, computer-based or e-learning sources, which can be used to satisfy annual miner safety training.* For the most part, these sources indicate their training will cover some or all of the following topics: • Accident Prevention. • Changes to Mine Site. • Confined Space. • Drug/Alcohol Abuse. • Electrical Safety. • Emergencies/Escape Defensive Driving. • Equipment Guarding. • Explosives. • Fall Protection. • Fire Prevention. • First Aid. • Ground Control. • Haz Comm. • Hearing Conservation. • Highwalls. • Lockout/Tag Out. • Miners' Rights. • Respiratory Devices. • Use of PPE. • Water Hazards. This is not to say these safety topics should not be discussed and when changes to them occur, they must be brought to miners' attention. But spending several hours each year at- tempting to teach miners what they already know is ineffec- tive. It can also turn what is a potential learning opportuni- ty, which can also get participants involved, into a session "where they display attitudes of disinterest and dread at the thought of attending a safety training" (Effective Safety Training; p. 2, Wikipedia 2017). Repetition of topics used in training, which should be fo- cused on changing or improving employees' safety perfor- mance, will become just another effort in teaching them what they already know. However, as pointed out by Robert F. Mager in his first two rules on doing training, this cannot be done: •  Rule #1: Training is appropriate only when two conditions are present: - There is something that one or two people do not know how to do. - They need to be able to do it. • Rule #2: If they already know how, more training will not help. Safety Training By Joseph P. McGuire and Bill Snead Aggregates Industry Almanac Safety Training

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