This is the third step and most important piece of the puzzle. All of the work done with regards to investigating incidents and maintaining statistics come together with the creation of recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The recommendations should relate directly to the surface and root causes for the accident. These recommendations should include:
-Engineering Controls – Engineering controls should be used first, if possible; they provide the highest degree of control because they eliminate or control the hazard at its source. The use of engineering controls includes: Elimination, Substitution, Redesign, Isolation, Automation, Barriers, Absorption, and Dilution.
-Administrative Controls – If engineering controls are not feasible or practical, then administrative controls are the next approach to preventing reoccurrence of an incident. The uses of administrative controls include, but are not limited to:
o Planning and communication;
o Safe Work Practices;
o Clients Safe Work Permits;
o Work/rest schedules limiting exposure to the hazard;
o Limiting hours of work;
o Scheduling hazardous work during times when exposure to workers is minimized;
o Monitors and alarm systems;
o Safety meetings; and
o Posters and bulletins.
-Personal Protective Equipment – Personal protective equipment (PPE) must always be used as a last resort in controlling hazards. PPE is less effective as a control as it does not eliminate the hazard.
It is crucial that, after making recommendations to eliminate or reduce the surface causes, that the same procedure is used to recommend actions to correct the root causes. If root causes are not corrected, it is only a matter of time before a similar accident occurs.
These recommendations will cumulate into an action plan that must be communicated to all affected workers with a defined action, implementation and completion dates, and names of workers responsible. The expectations of workers and management must be clear.
All affected workers must be informed of the action plan and enforcement of the changes. The more information the workers have on the reason the actions are being taken the more likely they are to understand and comply with the new rules or tighter enforcement of the existing rules.