Dangerous jobs involve high and multiple risks, which naturally lead to high injury and fatality rates. But that doesn’t mean that those risks can’t be managed, and correct dangerous job risk management can greatly improve job safety and keep injuries and fatalities at a minimum.
See this proposed 5 step process to dangerous job risk management:
- Identification and Ranking: Identifying and ranking the causes for injuries and fatalities at the workplace is the first step in dangerous job risk management (Causes can be highway and road side accidents, falls, injuries by equipment, etc…).
- Root Cause Analysis: Next comes the task of understanding the root cause (or causes) for each injury and fatality cause. The main goal of this step is to pinpoint the major reason or reasons as to why these causes create so many injuries and fatalities – so that all the time and energy spent on preventing future injuries and fatalities is spent on the right factors, and not wasted on non relevant issues (for example – most highway and roadside accidents occur mainly due to driver fatigue, so preventing drives from driving when they are tired will be the objective).
- Safety Procedures: Following the identification of the root causes for each injury and fatality cause comes the creation of proper safety procedures, which will minimize or delete the risk from each root cause. Now, proper safety procedures must be planned. These safety procedures can be aimed at the root cause itself (preferably), or at minimizing the risk once a certain event has happened. Also, a procedure to manage and control the safety procedure should be planned.
- Implementation: The next step is implementing the new safety procedures. This includes training and installing new safety equipment.
- Management and Control: The final step is to manage and control the safety procedure. This step is continuous and never ends, but it’s purpose is to verify that the safety procedure is being used, and to improve if necessary.
Another aspect of dangerous job risk management is insurance. Once the main causes for injury and fatality have been identified, make sure that the insurance policy covers them properly. This may not stop future injuries or deaths, but it will at least take care of all expenses.
A good example of proper risk management and use of life saving equipment is the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Joseph Strauss, the chief engineer and project manager for the bridges construction pioneered the use of safety nets beneath the construction site, to catch workers who fell of the bridge. During the 4 years of construction, the nets saved the lives of 19 workers. This example illustrates that proper identification of dangers, simple solutions to dangerous situations and devotion to safety can save lives.
Dangerous jobs are usually more difficult and demanding than other jobs – and they are definately more risky. However these 5 simple guide lines can minimize the risk: Indentify and rank, Root cause analysis, Safety procedures, implementation and Management and control. Remember that safety is everyones responsibility, and that one good safety procedure can save many lives.