Summer is gone, and so are the summer interns, college students, high school kids, teachers and other seasonal workers. Fall is the time when your regular employees take over all the tasks that were delegated to summer help. It’s also the best time to get back into the safety and efficiency mode.

Many duties that were handled by summer employees may be considered grunt work by regular employees. If you let this culture set in it will soon begin to compromise the safety of your entire workforce.

Instead, start with the basics. Outline the tasks that need to be done, assign individuals or groups to take care of the work, and set timeframes and deadlines.

Above all, make sure someone knows how to safely accomplish the work so he or she can show everyone the correct and safe way to get the job done. Also, monitor the work or assign an employee who can verify that all is well.

If something does goes wrong, try finding out the facts instead of the faults.

Then correct what went wrong and broadcast the correction so it doesn't happen again. Surprisingly you will probably find employees who are ready to assume greater responsibility and are ready for a promotion.

This is also the time of year when regular employees have the opportunity to look at their work with fresh eyes and fresh thinking. What can emerge, especially with good management and mentoring, are better ways of doing things as employees assume some of the tasks they had handled before the summer.

This applies to both land-based work and on board. Don’t be afraid to look at any task in a new light with the goal being improvement. You can also have your insurance company send a risk management or loss control person to your vessel or yard to help you assess risks.

A safety assessment from your insurance company or agent is free. The company or agent provides expert advice that can save you time and money and make your workplace better for everyone.

A collection of stories from guest authors.