OSHA: Six-Step Assessment Process

Here I continue the helmet shaming tirade that I began a few weeks ago. Our wonderful journey has taken us into the realm of real safey, Instead of the nonsensical world of NHTSA where it seems like their safety tips were made by an intern and MS Works TM.

OSHA actually has the notion of a walk through for a dangerous sight. Here we pretend that they care enough to walk down the 50 MPH highways that they have designed so that they can say something a bit more enlightened and caring than “put a plastic bucket on your head.”

This is from the excellent 1241FinalPDF that I had quoted from earlier.

“Step One: Conduct a survey

The area supervisor, safety officer and/or experienced employee should conduct a walk-through survey of the areas in question. The purpose of the survey is to identify sources of hazards to workers and co-workers.”

Note, I’d love to see these safety “officers” from the NHTSA walking down Fairmount, hugging the should, hanging onto the guard rail and hoping that a fellow “co-worker” doesn’t drift into the two inch should. Haha.

“Step Two: Determine sources of hazards”

I don’t think that the safety officer would think that they themselves are a hazard. They’d probably think that the high speed cars are the problem.

“Sources of motion; i.e., machinery or processes where any movement of tools, machine elements or particles could exist, or movement of personnel that could result in collision with stationary objects;”

“Step Three: Organize the data”

“Following the walk-through survey, it is necessary to organize the data and information for use in the assessment
of hazards. The objective is to prepare for an analysis of the hazards in the environment to enable proper selection of protective equipment. In addition, injury/accident data should be reviewed to help identify problem areas.”

Hmmm, unlike other “safety” write ups, this does not say, as other have said that the workers themselves are the inherent safety problem. Contrast this to anything about cycling which says that “cycling is a big source of danger.”

“Step Four: Analyze the data”

” * Nature of the hazard,
* Degree of risk.
* Seriousness or severity of potential injury
* Possibility of exposure to several hazards simultaneously”

“Step Five: Select the Personal Protective Equipment”

“Involve employees in the selection process;”

Hmm, I’ve never been consulted on whether I thought a helmet was a good idea. Yet another fundamental step missing before we blindly and haphazardly issue PPE when it’s not appropriate.

“Select the protective equipment which ensures a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect employees from the hazards;”

Again, I don’t think that there are any PPEs aka helmets that will make a difference. Seems like a huge missing step here in the cycling helmet world.

“Fit the user with the protective device and give instructions on care and use of the PPE. It is very
important that end users be made aware of all warning labels for and limitations of their PPE.”

Limitations,what are those? Again, I’m still searching for how fast the cars can go before I die when wearing a Snell Rated helmet.

“Step Six: Reassess for Hazards”

Haha, if we didn’t look once, are we going to look twice?

In summary, I have found that recommendation of helmets by various organizations when they have not done a proper assessment to be highly negligent on the organization’s part. I’d suggest that we get some people trained in proper work safety techniques and apply them to our road systems. Otherwise, it’s amateur hour every day.

A special thanks to the morons who cut n’ paste studies that they don’t understand and apply them indiscriminately to every single cycling situation instead of getting out from behind their desks and confronting the realities that we face on a daily basis.


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