Identify Safety Issues by SLAM

One of the ways that we look to identify risk is through the use of SLAM assessments. SLAM comes from the mining industry and is an acronym used to help workers remember a way to work safe. SLAM assessments are similar to Behavior Based Safety observations and simply look at a way to perform a task safely. The best way to minimize risk is to follow SLAM….

Stop – take a pause and look at the job. Think about what could happen and how to correct it.
Look – look around you and identify what could hurt you. Look at the work area and pay attention.
Analyze – think about the task. Think about what it will take to work safe, identify the tools needed.
Manage – once you identify the risk, we need to fix the situation so that we are not hurt.

When you STOP work, you should be taking a 360 degree look around you to identify all possible hazards from the left, right, front, behind, above, and below. Think about the job. Is this a new job? Has anything changed? Do you understand what needs to happen? These are things that can help to ensure that the job is done correctly, safely, and the most efficiently.

When you LOOK around, take a few seconds to look in all directions and consider all of the work going on around you. Are there things that you cannot control? Do you have the correct tools to do the work? Are you trained to identify hazards in the work area? Sometimes it is a good idea to communicate with others in the area, on the crew, or in supervisory roles. Don’t always trust yourself, as we can become complacent in our work.

When you ANALYZE the situation, you are thinking about all the steps to do the task. You are taking into consideration the tools needed, the time, any additional help needed, and thinking through the entire process. Remember, it is important to ask for help or an explanation if you don’t understand. It is ok to say you don’t know or don’t understand something. Look carefully, think about it, and break down the steps. Think of this as an investigation or study of a particular task.

When you MANAGE the activity, you are taking ownership of the situation, its actions, and its completion. This doesn’t mean that you are a manager, but that you own the responsibility to do it correctly and are taking into consideration all of the things to do this work safely. Managing correctly involves all steps of the process and is efficient, by the book, and as expected. Managing could also involve others that may be in the area or performing the task.

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