Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Automated Online Personal Protective Equipment and Restriction Certification
In 1998, Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility upgraded its Automated Time and Attendance system to provide easy notification and accessibility regarding physical work restrictions. This system also handles personal protective equipment requirements and training per Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
In the past, Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) used restriction reports to notify supervisors of their employees’ physical work restrictions. The Human Resources department entered the information into a logbook and forwarded a copy to the employee’s supervisor. After receiving the copy, the supervisor placed the report in the employee’s file. This information normally fades from memory. Since many EBQP personnel are multi-trade qualified, they are routinely moved from one department or area to another. Many times the restriction information does not get passed to the new supervisor. As a result, employees often were assigned tasks beyond their physical restrictions and incurred subsequent injuries. This system of restriction reporting meant that medical personnel and supervisors had to manually search employee and medical files to locate an employee’s work restrictions. In 1998, EBQP addressed these issues by upgrading its Automated Time and Attendance (AT&A) system to provide easy notification and accessibility regarding physical work restrictions. At that time, the company also adjusted the AT&A system to handle personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements covered by work restrictions and training per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
The upgraded AT&A system is user-friendly and easy to maintain. Only the Human Resources department is authorized to enter employees’ physical work restrictions and PPE requirements and training into the system. Human Resources personnel also enter any follow-up or restriction review dates into the system. If an employee fails to keep an appointment with Human Resources for restriction review or follow-up, he or she is locked out of the AT&A system, thereby alerting supervision. This task is completed on a daily basis, and the information is updated as needed. Supervisors can quickly access the information to verify daily labor hours, determine equipment and training needs, and assign tasks within each employee’s capability. Since no specific medical information is provided, the work restriction feature does not violate employees’ rights.
The features of the AT&A system provide EBQP with many benefits. Supervisors now access up-to-date information on their employees’ physical work restrictions, PPE requirements, and training, and can initiate appropriate actions (e.g., determine task assignments, issue proper equipment, provide additional training). Medical personnel easily obtain this information without manually searching an employee’s medical file. In addition, the AT&A system is designed to generate reports that track the number of employees in each work restriction category. Since implementing the upgrade, EBQP notes an absence of occupational injuries for situations where employees were performing tasks beyond their physical restrictions.
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