Do you have situations in the workplace where one person thinks the job is safe and others do not? Do you have jobs stopped because safety is held "hostage"? Do you have jobs where the worker and the supervisor have differing opinions on whether or not the employee is at risk? Do you have situations where no one takes the time to identify the risk and the job is done because it has always been done that way?

The ART (Assessing Risks Technique) of Injury Reduction is a logical, less subjective process in determining what is risky. The ART process lessens the use of personal opinion and similar subjective thinking and introduces a more objective process to better align the worker and supervisor in determining the risk level of a job task. The take-a-way with this process is a risk assessment tool which will enable the employee both at home and at work to analyze a job task, mitigate the risk and determine a safe solution.

Throughout industry, accidents which result in injury occur and the root cause identifies that the employee was in the line of fire, used unsafe work practices or bypassed a safe procedure to get the job done. Safety professionals are faced routinely with situations where employees have put themselves or supervisors have put employees in harm's way to get the job done. Working under the premise that no one purposefully tries to get themselves or others hurt while doing their jobs, one group of safety professionals and union officials met as a team to address this issue.

The team's objective was to answer the question "What is it that we have always done that is no longer an acceptable risk?" The team looked at several injury prevention training programs with companies who either had excellent safety records or who had consistently reduced their accident incident and severity records.1 The team used parts from the training programs to develop the ART concept and a training program to educate interested parties on the concept. This training program will explain how, why and when to use the ART Tool.

In every situation, at home or at work, people have a personal risk tolerance.2 This personal risk tolerance is influenced by a three factors: Personal factors, Situational factors and Organizational factors. Personal factors include knowledge, skill, age, physical ability, and experience (negative and positive). Situational factors include stress and control. Organizational factors include the safety system, leadership behaviors, and peer behaviors.

How we decide what is risky is influenced by Personal factors. For example, an individual's knowledge of a particular activity will influence whether or not they take a risk. A person who has never operated a table saw may find that cutting a piece of lumber on the table saw is extremely dangerous and intimidating. There are some of may look at bungee jumping as a high risk activity.

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