Safety audits conducted by the supervisory staff is just one of the tools an organization can use as part of a safety process in order to control work related incidents and related costs. This is a perfect leading indicator that is both measurable and observable in terms of identifying unsafe safety behaviors and/or unsafe conditions.

In order to obtain an understanding of how safety audits work and their impact in our organization, you need to have an overview of the Boston Globe from an historical safety perspective. The Boston Globe was founded in 1872. We have 12 unions with over 2,200 employees. The supervisors are also in a specific union although they are considered management. We merged with the New York Times in 1993. Thecompany is a newspaper publisher categorized as a medium manufacturing facilities with delivery, mailroom packaging operations, pressroom and associated editorial, advertising and support functions. Circulation is 250,000 daily and 350,000 on Sunday with a time sensitive product that changes every day that creates production, quality and safety pressures on a daily basis.

In 2000 our self insured worker's compensation costs were projected at over 6 million dollars with future years at over 10 million dollars. Our injuries were about 50% musculoskeletal in nature with75% of our worker's compensation costs from MSD's. Worker's compensation abuse was an issue. Management was not engaged or accountable. We had real injuries with employees being hurt. Safety Culture was weak at best.

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