Historical Safety, Proactive or Reactive?

May 6, 2011 No Comments

By Allen F. Weitzel

Welcome back – I am looking forward to seeing your comments on our new management topic. I hope you enjoy what you read and gain some insight into this topic. Please post your comments to be shared with all readers. Thanks to the Disney folks for their kind words last month.

What Is Historical Safety?

Historical Safety is the record of safety incidents in a facility. There are times when referring to a historical safety record can be smart, and times when it is not.

When Is It Good and Not So Good?

When a facility has a low incident rate, insurance carriers charge lower premiums. A documented lack of injuries speaks well for the safety of the facility. A safe facility can benefit from strong attendance numbers and prospective employees are more willing to work for you. No one comes to an entertainment venue to get hurt – not guests, vendors or employees.

The downside to a low injury count is that management might believe it is their business skill creating the safety success rate, and they may discount the value of safety programs. We have all heard someone say, “We’ve never had an incident like that before,” or “If it happens, we’ll deal with it then.” The culture of the company relies on a reactive mindset, not a proactive one. When a significant incident occurs, they suddenly realize that they have no idea what to do about it.

What About “Near Misses” and “Trends?”

A “near miss” is an incident that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but could have potential to do so. Only a lucky break in the chain of events prevented it. If your staff feels overworked, following up on near misses is seen as additional work and it might be put on the back burner. Some managers feel relieved when a catastrophe is avoided, but fear that follow up might uncover that they or their staff made a mistake; hence, incident follow up is ignored. Workers may fear being punished, embarrassed or lose credibility so they move on quickly. Follow up to near misses must be looked upon as an improvement tool, even if it takes the staff out of its comfort zone.

“Trends” can also be difficult to manage. A trend is the reoccurrence of the same or closely similar incident, which may or may not have produced the same results or injury. A well-run organization will try to resolve every incident, similar or not, which should eliminate trends. Abating trends can be much easier knowing that the causes, mostly, are from employee blunders, improper training or procedures, mechanical failure or guest errors. Once the cause is established, then a correction can happen by using suggestions from everyone involved.

How To Keep It Good?

The secret to safety success is to pro-actively create programs and procedures that make it simple and rewarding for everyone to be safe. Guests and employees, alike, should be able to easily understand and follow your rules. Monitor and evaluate systems to see how well they are working. When you receive inspections from outside agencies (fire, health, and police departments, insurance carriers, legal counsel or claims administrators, etc.), ask that these parties to candidly assess your programs. When you do change long-standing procedures, you might experience resistance from your veteran employees. Proper training of new workers coupled with the upper management support of the changes will help veteran workers adjust their old habits and embrace new procedures.

Never dismiss suggestions from guests. Every suggestion should be reviewed to see if there is information that can improve your procedures. When you hear that another facility had a significant incident, use that to initiate a review of your own systems.

One essential proactive safety procedure is to have one person tracking incidents, “near misses,” and “trend” data as it occurs, and report it to key personnel. Allow that person to provide reminders when an incident is not properly followed up, or if proposed repairs or changes are not made. Do not let incidents fade away due to lack of attention from the staff.

This is a demanding world and amusement facilities can no longer rest on their history. The safety philosophy is simple, but the effort to improve safety must be never-ending.

Allen F. Weitzel has spent 45 seasons in the recreation field and is safety and training manager at a California amusement park.

Back

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sponsors

Wapello Fabrications

Inflatables and portable amusements.

Lil Orbits Inc.

Food equipment, donut machines and vendor carts.

Namco

Namco America is a premier manufacturer of coin-op arcade attractions, ranging from the hottest titles like Crazy Typhoon and Jumpin’ Jackpot to classic game-room experiences such as the Pac-Man 25th Anniversary upright that features Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga. Specialized pieces such as Wonka Sweetland and Flamin Finger are favorites too! For arcade gaming fun, Namco America is your answer.

Thomco Insurance (Fun Pro)

Fun Pro is an insurance program especially designed for party planners and party rental businesses.

Broaster Co., The

Food programs and food service equipment.

Tube Pro

Waterpark tubes.

Embed

Provides innovative IT products and services with a primary focus on card-based solutions and database applications for the leisure and retail industries.

Max Flight

Manufactures interactive virtual reality motion-platform game systems including networkable flight and roller coaster simulators.

Coast to Coast

Coin-operated entertainment, crane machines.

Hamilton Manufacturing Corp.

Manufacturer of unattended entry systems and change machines.

Nieco Corp

Nieco automatic broilers.

Richie's Italian Ice

Italian Ice Kiosks and Carts

National Rock & Sculpture

Dedicated to the conceptual design and development of themed environments.

Lazer Runner

Laser Tag Systems

Adventure Glass

Unique paddleboats.

Omega Carpets

Printed carpeting for all your facility needs.

Rio Syrup

Over 250 flavors, syrups and concentrates for shaved ice, sno cones, shushes, food colors. Now featuring Hawaiian Flower Cups.

Castle Golf, Inc.

Planning, design and construction of miniature golf courses and family fun parks.

Mahoning Valley Mfg.

A complete line of Imperial strollers, wagons and safari utility vehicles.

Sureshot Redemption

One-stop source for prize redemption counters at entertainment centers.

Art Attack

Theming, miniature golf, parade floats, 3D props, air-brushed murals, signage and art panels.

Weldon, Williams & Lick

Admission systems and wristband ticketing.

Rides-4-U, INC.

New and used rides, kiddie, family, major and thrill.

Friedman Group Ins.

Insurance for amusement devices.

Brunswick Bowling

Entertainment bowling center developer and manufacturer of bowling equipment and entertainment products.

Gould Manufacturing, Ltd.

Concession trailers and Antique, Jeep and Grand Prix auto rides.

U.S. Bowling

Award-winning independent company brings bowling to your venue.

Jane Farrell Turf and Carpets, Inc.

Commercial carpet, printed and decorative patterns, loop and cut-pile construction. Wall coverings in fluorescents, Class A fire rated. Colored turf, both traditional and neon colors.

Water Wars (T&D Enterprises of Brainerd)

Water Wars water balloon game, portable or startionary.

Formula K Raceways

Go-karts, kiddie cars and bumper boats, go-kart parts and tires.

West Coast Netting, Inc.

Experienced netting manufacturer on the leading edge of innovation.

Master Pitching Machine

Batting cages and pitching machines.

Qubica

Sells capital equipment to bowling centers.

Beckman Insurance Agency

Amusement attractions insurance.

Fast Corp Vending

Frozen food vending machines

Look Solutions

Fog machines.

Tokens Direct

A wide variety of tokens.

Challenger Industries

Sports surfaces, carpets and mini-golf surfaces.

Laser Star

Laser shooting galleries, laser tag, dark ride target systems, overhead target ranges.

Lakeshore Merchandise (Smart Vending)

Premier vending supply for all of your vending equipment and supply needs.

Northeast Insurance (NIC)

Insurance programs.

Tarobots

Boxerjocks robotic boxing amusement ride game attraction.

Adventure Golf

Miniature golf courses, consultants, architecture and design.

Birthday University

Concept development, training and birthday party touring seminars.

Poly Products

Tables, benches and related products. Green products for a green world.

Sippers By Design

Design and manufacture of specialty custom-shaped drink containers.

Davis & Davis, Inc.

Planning consultants for wet/dry attractions, mini-golf, go-kart tracks and laser arenas.

Quik N' Crispy (QNC)

Quik n’ Crispy greaseless fryer.

Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM)

Premier entertainment consultants.

Spectrum
LMap Powered by Silvercrest
Premier Polysteel
Spectrum Sports
Cannonball Blaster
Funovation