The majority of the safety management systems that we encounter are neither effective nor efficient. They may tick the boxes required for compliance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations, and conformity with BS OHSAS 18001, but often do so in ways that are overly complicated. This is the last thing busy managers need in the face of many complex and often conflicting performance demands.
We can review:
- your whole safety management systems (SMS),
- specific procedures such as risk assessment or incident reporting and investigation,
- risk control standards for specific hazards.
Reviews are carried out against the requirements of BS OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001 (currently CD version), ISO 14001 (for integrated EHS systems), legal requirements and Hastam good practice criteria. SMS reviews provide the most value when they cover the system documentation and evaluate the quality of the outputs produced. Review recommendations may:
- address identified gaps in the system
- improve the quality of outputs from the system
- clarify and simplify SMS roles and responsibilities
- provide assurance that the system is a good match for the SMS needs of your organisation.
Most safety management systems are not user friendly. Individuals commonly need to read the all of the documentation to understand what they required to do. This is not effective or efficient. We can help you:
- restructure and simplify your SMS documentation.
- eliminate time wasting ineffective but common safety management practices.
- ensure your SMS implements current good practice.
If you are ready for a more radical updating of your SMS, you may like our ‘schedule based’ role instructions system. This system is based on ISO/TR 10013 Guidelines for Quality Management System Documentation and comprises:
- A high level description of the whole SMS.
- Procedures that provide route maps of the tasks that need to be done and who does them for each element of the SMS. These are best formatted as work flow diagrams.
- Work instructions, job aids and associated forms for each task.
- Role specific task schedules with links to the relevant instructions, job aids and forms,
It is the final element that makes the system user friendly and supports achieving sustainable active safety. Each role accesses the system using single page schedules of what they need to do daily, weekly, monthly, annually and in response to specified events. This approach brings many advantages:
- Easy evaluation of the SMS work demands on each role to ensure it is reasonable and manageable alongside a person’s other responsibilities.
- Straightforward training needs analysis – you can see everything a person should be competent in on one page.
- Basis for safety coaching and mentoring.
- Rapid response to organisational changes simply by reallocating tasks to the revised organisational structure.
- Integration of safety culture requirements, such as embedding engagement and cooperation, by tailoring instructions to specific levels of your organisation.
- Easy integration of learning, primarily through updating instructions.
Most SMS requirements are common to all organisations enabling straightforward adaption of Hastam’s work instructions templates and forms or linking to your existing forms. This approach is new and still evolving. It is a concept that can be expanded to quality, environment and all other management system requirements. We would be delighted to hear from innovative organisations in a variety of sectors interested in working with us as partners to further develop the concept and create a new approach to management systems that makes life less complicated for those charged with meeting today’s complex performance demands.
Drawing on our expert witness experience and many years of working with clients to improve safety management practices, Hastam’s independent SMS, risk control and legal compliance audits evaluate how well your system is working in practice. The outputs of Hastam independent audits are:
- Identification and reinforcement of strengths where present.
- Weaknesses revealed that are potential immediate and root causes of incidents.
- Opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your SMS and risk control practices.
- Support for the investigation of nonconformities.
- Improvement recommendations.
Read more about Auditing best practice here.
Business decision making relies on the correct understanding of carefully chosen and specified performance indicators. Yet despite this in health and safety management, lagging safety performance data, typically based on lost time accidents, is widely misinterpreted, and leading performance indictors often have little predictive or practical value.
Published guidance appears to encourage a proliferation of leading performance indicators despite warnings against over-measuring. It is clear that having too much information is as bad as having too little. The consequence is safety performance indicators that might look good on paper, but add little meaningful value to risk management. Use Hastam’s expertise in safety performance measurement, to:
- evaluate the reliability and decision making value of your existing safety performance indicators and how they are understood and used.
- develop leading indicators for senior managers that have meaningful predictive value for your organisations safety performance.
- develop leading indicators for work teams, supervisors and managers that have meaningful practical value for day to day safety management and risk control.
Take advantage of the depth and range of experience of our consultant team. We can provide practical advice to improve risk control in most areas of occupational health and safety and many specialised areas.
Examples of our work
Fine Chemicals Manufacturer
The requirement was to verify for their leadership team that appropriate action had been taken following an accident that had resulted in prosecution. The review was carried out by creating an ECFA diagram on which we identified causes that were non-conformities with documented requirements, human errors and the type of error involved and the recommendations made. This revealed that some important causal human factors had not been fully investigated. Furthermore, whilst many of the recommendations made had preventive value, about one third did not address identified causal factors. A significant finding was the number of ‘review’ type recommendations where the purpose of the review in relation to a causal factor had not been specified. We did verify that key preventive actions carried out should significantly reduce the likelihood of occurrence. One of the most useful activities was reviewing the ECFA diagram with the client’s Health and Safety Manager and showing how a simple visual problem solving tool can assist with the quality of thinking about a complex investigation.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
The CWGC has a large itinerant workforce who maintain grounds in many different countries. They required staff to be briefed on the contents of the wordy risk assessments and sign to say that they had seen them. This was unsatisfactory because:
• the risk assessments contained a lot of information that was not relevant to the workers.
• information that is not used is rapidly forgotten.
• the information provided about the hazards and risk control measures provided insufficient practical instruction.
We helped the CWGC create short focused plain language work instructions. These give the advantage of providing clear:
• information about the hazards specific to a task
• specification of the risk control measures
• instructions about what workers need to do to work safely.
These instructions provide a secure basis for short focused training briefings and practical aide memoires for infrequently performed tasks.
“Dr Tony Boyle’s recent work with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s 18001 health and safety management system, has helped us to achieved certification in five countries. With a diverse workforce, across so many countries, Tony’s practical approach has helped us to demystify the health and safety process – producing a set of clear instructions that can be easily understood and readily followed. Tony’s advice has played a key role in simplifying our training process.”CWGC manager Duncan Thomas