During the recent 2012 District 2 Women of Steel and Spring Conferences in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Kevin Wilson Initiative CATS Team (Coordination, Training, Adaptation and Support) conducted a survey to identify the levels and types of safety involvement our Locals currently have in their facilities. The results of the survey will help the team plan for future projects. Thank you to everyone who participated.
A review of the survey results revealed the following information:
• 33% of the respondents indicated that their local has a “Union Only Safety Committee.”
• Almost half of the respondents feel that they are not involved in setting risk reduction priorities.
This represents a huge gap in our member’s ability to affect how health and safety is managed at their workplace.
• 43% of the respondents indicated that they have some involvement in identifying, rating, and eliminating risks in the workplace.
• 20% of these respondents are involved in USW-Hazard Mapping, which utilizes the experience of workers to identify hazards.
• 21% of the respondents indicated no involvement in identifying and fixing hazards.
• A significant number of respondents indicated that their members did not have any investigation training, thus limiting their ability to play an active role in accident/incident investigations.
• In many cases, individuals received accident investigation training from their companies.
• Company related trainings tend to focus on member behavior rather than fixing the hazards present.
• The overwhelming response here was that the respondents tend to go to their Union Officers & Stewards with safety issues & concerns, indicating a need for officer and steward training on USW Safety.
• One overwhelming barrier to workers participating at many locations is management control over the process through scheduling, availability, lack of training, or resources.
• The second largest barrier is a low level of worker empowerment due to lack of a union approach to safety, limited engagement, and a lack of education on hazard abatement methods.
• 28% of the respondents said that they didn't have any barriers in bringing USW Safety training to their facility.
Initial conclusions drawn from the survey show that a high percentage of our locals could benefit from training on “Union Only Safety Committees,” along with USW Safety training for Hazard Mapping, Near Miss, Accident/Incident Investigation and OSHA training. For more information on available Union Safety Training, contact your District Office.