Take Two

General Safety – “Take Two”

General Safety – “Take Two”

Take TwoPicture this scenario. You are walking through your operation and notice a puddle of oil on the floor. Hopefully, you recognize that this is a safety hazard and proceed to clean up the oil. Feeling that you have done all you can to prevent an accident from occurring, you return to your usual job. But did you really do everything you could have done to prevent an injury? How about if I told you that the next day your co-worker slips and falls on the same puddle of oil and injures his back? You may argue that you had cleaned up the puddle of oil the previous day. What went wrong?

True, you did clean up the puddle of oil, but you did not take “two” minutes to figure out how the oil got there in the first place. In other words, the root cause was not determined; and therefore, the oil on the floor still remained a hazard. Take Two is a safety process where you take two minutes to think about the hazard. In this case, the real cause of the oil was from a leaking hose fitting from above.

The T-A-K-E (Talk, Actions, Knowledge, Equipment) Two checklist is an effective method in investigating and preventing accidents. Let’s use the incident with the oil on the floor as an example. Your first step should have been to Talk with others, including your supervisor, to determine what caused the leak and how and when repairs will be made. The next step is to take Action and conduct a formal incident investigation and gather facts about the hazard. The process of talking to others and performing an incident investigation brings you Knowledge about the incident- when and how it occurred, its cause and appropriate corrective actions. Lastly, you would realize (in this case) that a leaky hose fitting (Equipment) was the root cause.

The Take Two process could be used in a variety of operations and settings to prevent accidents. Take a few minutes and ask yourself and your fellow co-workers the following questions:

1) Have we put ourselves or a co-worker in an unsafe situation because we thought we had fixed a hazard when we really had not?

  1. Why do we seek quick fixes and easy answers to problems?

3) What procedures can we follow to conduct a thorough investigation that will uncover root causes?

Understanding that we live in a “quick fix” society and that we have become conditioned to look for easy answers, is the first step in effectively applying the Take Two process. Sometimes answers to problems are not so obvious. They take time and a little detective behavior on your part. After all, in the long run, isn’t it better to have a “permanent fix” rather than a “quick fix?”