- Safety management systems – HSG 65, 18001
- Incident/accident investigations
- Safety policies
- Safe systems of work
- Behavourial safety/human factors
Safety Management systems
HSG 65 Safety management
HSE sees safety management systems (SMS) as crucial mechanisms in the delivery of safety.
18001 Safety Management
HSE sees safety management systems (SMS) as crucial mechanisms in the delivery of safety. The system below reflects BS18001, we can provide you with help and assistance to enable you to embed this sort of system into your organisation.
Do you know your systems are working? Are the staff following the rules and safe systems of work that are laid down? Are you complying with current guidance?
We can advise on how to audit or conduct audits on your behalf to ensure your systems are working and you are complying with legal requirements.
Are the staff following the rules and safe systems of work that are laid down? Are you complying with current guidance?
We can advise on how to inspect your workplace or conduct inspections on your behalf to ensure your staff are working safely and you are complying with legal requirements.
I have had an accident at work, do I have to investigate the accident, what does an investigation entail? Should I report it and to who?
We can advise on how to conduct an investigation into an accident, identify basic and root causes and provide advice on suitable actions to prevent re-occurrence to ensure your systems are working and you are complying with legal requirements.
What is a safety policy? How do I compile a health and safety policy? Why do I need one?
Are these questions you are asking yourself then we can help you, we can provide a simple system to enable you to implement an safety policy to enable you to manage your safety hazards and communicate your key controls to employees in a clear straightforward manner.
Safe system of work
A safe system of work is the systematic examination of a task in order to identify all hazards. The aim is to produce a safe work method that will manage the risks associated with the identified hazards.
We can assist you developing simple, straightforward safe systems of work for your activities, it is important to involve employees that carry out the work or with detailed knowledge of the activity, so that the system of work produced is effective and practical as well as safe. Involving employees with the process helps them to understand why this level of control has to be established and maintained.
Behavioural safety approaches – an introduction (also known as behaviour modification)
Why is it commonly used?
- Significant number of accidents reportedly caused by inappropriate behavior
- Good vehicle for management and workforce participation
- Can improve the visibility of managers
- Behaviours and actions influence culture through attitudes and perceptions
- Behaviours determine the performance of systems
- Define ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ behavior
- All involve observation of behaviour in the workplace
- By managers and/or peers
- With/without targets
- Provide feedback
- Reinforce safe behavior
- ‘re-educate’ unsafe behavior
- Feedback ranges from on-the-spot specific feedback and discussion, to impersonalised general data
- Discussing safety in the workplace
- Learning to communicate constructively
- Management visibility
- Employee engagement in safety
- Managers/supervisors (when involved)
- Learn to observe
- Learn to act promptly on unsafe acts
- Can learn about safety leadership
- Learn to think about aspects of human factors
- Can provide some leading indicators for safety
- Can actually change behaviour (“cognitive dissonance”)
- Will identify dangerous situations Pitfalls
- Rule violation vs good rules?
- BIG, disciplined effort required
- Very often fails through lack of real commitment or discipline
- Some changes will be expensive
- Not ‘owned’ by everyone
- ‘Off the peg’ or consultant-led programmes can fail because of poor fit with local style/culture (UK/US)
- Trust levels amongst management and employees must match.
- Lack of friendly communication/Directive style of management
- May not be compatible with other messages
- Focus on easy, intuitive issues
- Tend to ignore low probability, high consequence risks. ‘Boots not leaks’ – can draw attention away from process safety
- Can shift onus away from management onto individual
- Don’t address significant impacts of management behaviour
- ‘Big brother’ /blame culture /Oh no, not another programme. . .
- High short-term expectations
- Failed programme = worse situation than start
Inspection & assessment issues
- What is the evidence that behaviour change will improve safety? (as opposed to better procedures or easier to use equipment for example).
- How is the programme linked to the Safety Management System (SMS)?
- How do they address tough issues? (i.e. costly remedial work, time pressure)
- Do they understand the programme and its strengths and weakness (i.e. competence)?
- Are programme goals linked to other goals, i.e. team working?
- What happens when an observation card is completed? (workforce experience vs. management view)
- Are they knowledgeable, intelligent customers?
Advice for companies considering behavioural approaches: Some Do’s and Don’ts
- Be sure that it is really what you need right now
- Find out (from employees) whether signals they get from management about safety are the first issue to address
- Network with others – not only those suggested by the consultants
- Learn what you can from alternative techniques available
- Make sure the system is your own, in style, language, presentation etc.
- Pilot, and only roll-out when confident of success
- Use it as a dialogue – and that means LISTEN to your employees.
- Spend considerable effort to get good, strong facilitators who understand safety
- Make sure that participants focus on root causes of behaviours
- Underestimate the effort and planning required
- Be over-optimistic
- Get carried away and lose focus on other aspects of safety
- Believe that the ‘Heinrich triangle’ works for occupational ill-health, minor personal injuries and major accidents
- Bother at all unless:
- You’re confident that you already have a strong SMS and a safe workplace
- Senior management can be made to think it was their idea all along
Increasing the effectiveness /chance of success
- Ownership – developed in-house is best
- Good fit with organisations needs, culture and SMS
- Commitment (involvement is better) from management
- Good communication and understanding of programme
- Approach seen as ‘fair and just’ – trust
- Managers act as role models
- There are many advantages to doing Behavioural Safety, but these programmes (and cultural change) take time, resources and a concerted effort – senior management commitment
- A useful addition to the toolkit for occupational safety, but limited benefits for the control of major hazards
- Bias towards measurable success; can pull focus away from basics of SMS and process safety
- Must address engineering and systems as well
- Include workforce and management behaviours
- Effectiveness of programme largely depends on existing culture.
“Human factors refer to environmental, organisational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics, which influence behaviour at work in a way which can affect health and safety”
This definition includes three interrelated aspects that must be considered: the job, the individual and the organisation:
The job: including areas such as the nature of the task, workload, the working environment, the design of displays and controls, and the role of procedures. Tasks should be designed in accordance with ergonomic principles to take account of both human limitations and strengths. This includes matching the job to the physical and the mental strengths and limitations of people. Mental aspects would include perceptual, attentional and decision making requirements.
The individual: including his/her competence, skills, personality, attitude, and risk perception. Individual characteristics influence behaviour in complex ways. Some characteristics such as personality are fixed; others such as skills and attitudes may be changed or enhanced.
The organisation: including work patterns, the culture of the workplace, resources, communications, leadership and so on. Such factors are often overlooked during the design of jobs but have a significant influence on individual and group behaviour.
In other words, human factors is concerned with what people are being asked to do (the task and its characteristics), who is doing it (the individual and their competence) and where they are working (the organisation and its attributes), all of which are influenced by the wider societal concern, both local and national.
Human factors interventions will not be effective if they consider these aspects in isolation. The scope of what we mean by human factors includes organisational systems and is considerably broader than traditional views of human factors/ergonomics. Human factors can, and should, be included within a good safety management system and so can be examined in a similar way to any other risk control system.