Recently, a miner had just finished welding on the plant’s crusher and decided to jump from the next to the last step of a fixed ladder to reach the ground. When he hit the ground, he fell backwards and was impaled by a pry bar that was left standing upright on the ground. The victim suffered severe injuries as a result of this accident.
Some workplace hazards are obvious, and easy to avoid. Some hazards may not be as easy to anticipate, which is why it important to pre-plan your work with safety in mind. S.L.A.M. (Stop, Look, Analyze, Manage) is an easy way to remember the plan for making the work and the work environment safe for you, and all around you.
Stop. Stop and consider the work involved. Think about the task. Can you do it? Do you have all the necessary training and skills to perform the job safely? Is it a one-person task, or do you need help? Will performing this task affect others?
Look. Look for and identify the hazards. Start before the work begins and continue until the job is done. What are the steps required to accomplish the work? Have you identified potential hazards for each step of the task?
Analyze. Analyze what needs to be done. Know what you need. What could go wrong? Do you have all the proper tools? Are you wearing the required and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Is everyone around you aware of the work being done? What are the procedures to do this job? Who needs to be contacted? What should be addressed? If you can’t eliminate the hazards, talk to your supervisor!
Manage. Manage safety by developing and implementing controls. Take the necessary actions to see the job is done safely. Control hazards by: following procedures, eliminating or minimizing hazards, using appropriate PPE, keeping guards, covers, handrails, etc. in place, continually reassessing safety, and asking for help if you need it.