Timber Products was looking for a way to efficiently track their audits that would ultimately help them maintain their Voluntary Protection Program certification through OSHA.
While OSHA holds companies accountable for following safety laws, a VPP-certified site adheres to even higher standards. OSHA looks for best practices that make a company a safety champion in their industry. With BasicSafe’s Audit Management tool, Timber Products was able to maintain this certification after a 2016 audit.
Using BasicSafe’s Safety Audit Management software, safety coordinator David Hanson developed a strategy for auditing the plant one-third at a time, which included identifying regular items to monitor and areas needing improvement. Progress could be tracked in monthly audits that would give the safety committee a clear idea of what needed to be monitored.
With the safety committee in the early stages of existence, it could also be used as a way to train members to know what to look for. The monthly audits in the Audit tool helped Hanson and the safety committee track:
This created a database for audit-related documentation in a single location. It could be printed if necessary, and notes could be attached.
When there was an issue, actions could be assigned to the employee or multiple employees responsible for finding a solution.
Modifications could be made when needed—if a new problem area was identified, it could be added to track progress resolving it; other employees not on the safety committee could be added to the audits to help them understand what workplace conditions were expected and to prepare them for audit passage.
In 2016, five auditors from Oregon OSHA came to Timber Products for a week. They conducted a thorough audit of the company and, because it was so extensive, Timber Products granted the auditors access to the BasicSafe Audit Tool. The auditors were able to easily identify areas for improvement, which they included in their recommendations.
OSHA provided 53 recommendations, and Timber Products was able to carry out 51 of them, which was more than enough to maintain VPP certification. Hanson was able to build an audit in the audit tool just for preparing the site for the VPP audit. This helped to organize and track the recommendations.
The BasicSafe Audit tool makes it easy for employees even outside the safety committee to complete an audit. The ability to add pictures is also a handy tool for examining incidents and audit elements. What used to take days now only takes hours. The safety committee can see how often the various elements at Timber Products are inspected, including hydraulic jacks, ladders, chains, slings and more. They can track who is completing the inspections to follow up when needed.
This provides a level of transparency, so audits can be found and identified by who’s completing them. That way, if there are questions, the corporate safety director or plant manager can go directly to the source. Because follow-up actions are also visible, employees are held accountable for completing corrective actions. Recording and tracking problems keeps them on the radar until they are marked completed.