Category Archives: safety

Risk Management in ISO 45001

The new ISO 45001 has replaced the OHSAS 18001. Just like most other ISO standards, the ISO 45001 adopted the High Level Structure (HLS). This is a great step forward because it now allows for consistent management systems. A lot of companies have multiple certificates and with this newly adopted HLS it is much easier to integrate the different standards.

In previous posts we touched upon the importance of risk management in the HLS: Risk Management ISO9001:2015 , Handle risk management and Practical guide.  We even wrote an e-book about it. With the ISO 45001 the way of managing risks can be the same as with other standards, but the type of risks will be different. We will touch upon a couple of topics to take in consideration while identifying your risks.

Law

The most important aspects of the risks is the law. In many countries the laws are pretty clear when it comes to employees and everything surrounding it. This can be all kinds of laws from how to handle PPE to working hours or number of leave days. Not obeying the law will not only lead to fines but can also lead to a bad reputation and possible problems with unions. In order to make sure these risks are identified, just note down the laws and take appropriate action.

Work

The daily activities of certain people can inhabit serious risks. These might not always be clear on the outside but will reach the surface when you talk to people. The employees are a key source of information when it comes to identifying the risks involved in their day to day activities. It is always wise to plan a couple of hours with people in the field and identify the risks they face.

Company

Then there are the company wide risks and opportunities, more on a strategic level. These can be big macroeconomic challenges such as economic downturn or rapid economic growth, tight labor market or the rights of robots. All these topics and many more can have an impact on the risks and opportunities the company has to manage. Make sure you include these in the risk overview because they will be important to the organization.

Manage Risks

When the risks are identified it is important to start managing them. Some risks can be accepted due to the low impact or low likelihood, others can be transferred by for example getting insurance. However quite a few require a certain type of action on how to mitigate them. Make sure you assign responsible people to specific tasks. It is key to only make one person responsible for each task. This forces the person to take responsibility. Great automation solutions can help a lot in this case. Qooling users make use of the following flow to mitigate the risk.

Conclusion

In the end it is really important that the company has a good overview of all the risks involved, not just only for OH&S and how it can mitigate them. Make sure you have a good system in place on how to identify them. Also ensure you include the employees, as they are key in getting the right information.

Published by:

The Importance of Toolbox Meetings

Toolbox Meetings are key when communicating safety related topics with employees. However, a number of companies still feel it is a necessary evil, mainly due to all the administration involved. In this post there are just a few topics you can touch on to inform the employees and make the toolbox meeting worth their time.

Feedback on Incidents Filed,

The toolbox meeting is a great vehicle to inform the team about incidents and issues filed by certain team members. By giving them feedback on the status of the investigation they will be more likely to file incidents in the future. Even giving them insight in what actions have been taken to improve the company will give them a sense of importance. In this whole process it is crucial to give the employee credits for filing the issue in the first place. This helps to create an open and transparent culture and keeps the team engaged in the safety culture.

Informing

It is always good to share knowledge with employees during the toolbox meeting. This can be about everything related to safety of course. Touch upon the danger they face during their day-to-day job. Keep on repeating these risks because most accidents happen when work is done solely on routine and basically on autopilot. Tell them how they can lower the risks of the work they do.

Update

The toolbox meeting is also a great opportunity to update personnel on changes to processes or work instructions. Whenever there are any changes being made, use the toolbox meeting to inform the staff and give a short explanation of why they have changed. It is even possible to get instant feedback on these changes.

Free Input

At the end of the toolbox meeting give the team the opportunity to give input. This can be about an incident they would like to report or a suggestion to improve a work instruction. Keep the dialogue open and gather the knowledge of the people in the field share during meeting.

Running efficiently

The administration that comes with the toolbox meeting can be quite a pain; inviting people, keeping track of the attendance list and analyzing which person has been attending which meeting. Automating this process will save you a lot of time and allows you to focus on having the right information to share with the team. Want to know how Qooling can help you? Just drop us an email.

Published by:

The Real Cost of Safety

The real cost of safety, or perhaps better phrased the real cost of a lack of safety is something that is not always clear and can be hard to calculate. There are so many factors involved when someone gets injured on the job that it might not always be clear the moment the injury happened. There are a number of topics that have an effect on the costs involved.

Direct Effects

When an accident happens on the job a lot of costs are made to perform a proper investigation. These investigations are always very thorough and properly executed. This is of course a good thing but it also means they take up a lot of resources like money and time. A safety specialist might be hired for the investigation and the operational staff will be busy with this. Sometimes the production needs to be put on hold to perform the investigation. This will lead to a serious loss of production time.

Indirect Effects

Loss of production hours of the employee is one of the indirect effects. As long as the employee is not able to work his/her salary still needs to paid, and a replacement also needs to be arranged, as the job must continue.

The second financial effect comes from the lost of potential contracts. Some contractors prefer the subcontractor with the lowest number of injuries with days lost. These statistic can become crucial for winning tenders.

The last indirect effect might be the increase in insurance premiums. Insurance premiums are based on the likelihood of an accident. Past incident statistics can be used to calculate current insurance rates. When these statistics go up this can be very negative for the insurance costs.

Emotional Effects

The employee and his/her family can have severe psychological damage in case of a serious injury. However, not only the family can fall victim to this but also the colleagues of the person that had the accident. Some colleagues might have seen the accident happening. Certain injuries can cause serious psychological damage the moment you see it happening. All the visits to the psychologist and loss of hours work can lead to a serious financial impact for the company especially when several colleagues were involved.

As with everything when it comes to safety: it is better to prevent than to cure. Automation solutions like Qooling can help companies in this process. When employees have an easy way to file near misses the (Q)HSE people can start finding the root cause to these situations and take appropriate (corrective) actions.

Published by:

The Importance of Training

As with every aspect of training employees, training them on the management system and common ways of working is critical to maintain consistency. A management system will never be effective or functional if nobody can find the different procedures and forms. Automation can help here, for example by setting up access restrictions to prevent employees from getting an information overload. However, this will only provide guidance rather than replacing the complete training.

Way of Working

New employees will unfortunately not figure out magically how certain things are done within the organization. They either need to read about it or somebody needs to tell them. A combination of both is the best way.. First a colleague explains the process while the documents are there to check later. This might seems like a time consuming exercise but it is more than worth it. Not giving enough training can cost the company much more due to error and inefficiencies. An improperly trained employee can cost a lot of money either directly due to mistakes or secondary due to keying in the wrong data into systems.

Filling in Data

In order to build a gold mine of data it is important to explain to the employees what kind of data they need to fill in these systems. It is very easy to fill in data for the sake of filling in. When the employees fill in the right data, the analytics of the data can be done immediately without any alteration and cleaning. But keying in the wrong data will cost a lot of repairing and might even lead to misinformed business decisions. By setting up restrictions on what certain people can do, a lot of mistakes can be prevented. This will reduce the room for error significantly.

Awareness of Safety Risks

Especially on dangerous sites such as during construction, in the heavy industry or offshore, it is important to train employees on awareness of risks. Not being sharp throughout day can lead to serious accidents when people are working in dangerous environment. Furthermore, it is important to train the people on how to observe and report unsafe situations. Employees have to understand that sharing this knowledge can help prevent certain situations during other shifts or other locations. When it comes to reporting again great automation solutions allow you to instantly file unsafe situations with your mobile phone. This lowers the barrier to file the report and increases the knowledge of these situations within the organization. When an unsafe situation does occur, make sure that the lessons learned are shared with the employees.

Conclusion

Please prepare a proper training system on how to make sure a new employee is aware of all the different common practices within your company. The time you put into this structured training will pay itself back in the long haul. Having the people working in a structured way will increase the consistency of the output they deliver which will increase safety of the workers and the quality of the product and services.

Published by:

10 points to assess your company’s security culture

Do you know ten features that can be used to assess the culture within your organization?

Risk management has become an important part of the new ISO 9001-2015 standard. Therefore, I would like to pay attention to this topic. Currently not so much on the ISO norm itself but more on developing a culture of security within an organization. An organization is working from shared standards, values ​​and beliefs. This leads to a certain security culture within an institution or organization. The safety culture of an organization can be measured based on a number of aspects.

Recognize the statement: “We are not doing anything wrong, we always deliver good quality, why should we put time and effort in preventive safety measures?” In an organization where this is regularly said, there is a denial of security culture.In such organizations there is little to no investment in improving safety.

Do you recognize the following situation: Something in the organization goes wrong and the directly switch to a different method. The change is often abrupt and short-termed. Such a culture is called a reactive safety culture. An organization that makes many protocols and rules, where much information is gathered and where much reporting is done, is called a bureaucratic (calculated) security culture. In such culture, implementation hardly takes place, let alone evaluated.

But perhaps your organization has more the characteristics of a proactive security culture. Then there is a high priority for security, continuous investment in increasing security, implementation and evaluation. It is thought forward that information about possible bottlenecks is being broadly exchanged.

In a progressive security culture, security is fully integrated into each process and security forms a solid part of reflection and evaluation. As risk management in the new ISO standard is an important part, organizations will proceed to the development of a Security Management System (QMS). Before you get started it is important to recommend research, so you know in which fase your organization is.

A model has been developed that allows different cultures to be scored on ten objects. These items are:

  1. Priority and Responsibility of Security (How important is security in the different departments within an organization?)
  2. registering, evaluating and learning incidents (is there a reporting system, how is the reporting culture, what is being reported, what is being learned from the incident, are changes and incident actually implemented and evaluated?)
  3. resources used (how important are the equipment, materials and spaces with which / what is being worked in the context of safety?)
  4. communication on security (how is incidents communicated, are incidents organized widely discussed?)
  5. cooperation and security (how is cooperation in the different departments and between departments in the field of security?)
  6. personnel policy and safety (is employee-safety included, is the functioning of employees discussed when it comes to security in the performance interviews?)
  7. competence and safety (Is career development focused on the topic of safety?)
  8. compliance and compliance behavior (to what extent is someone responsible for unsafe situations?)
  9. Availability of customer / patient / customer information (Are there any rules regarding the provision of information to client / patient / customer? How is the knowledge and application of the rules in this area) 
  10. information security (how is confidential information about clients / patients / customers and others shielded for third parties? how is knowledge and application of the rules in this area?)

 

This article has been written by Jantina van Rossum of iConact.

Published by:

How To Spot Problems In Your Safety Culture

How to Spot Problems in Your Safety Culture

How important is customer safety within the organization if there is a denying security culture?

  • The employees involved will always be guilty if an incident has occurred.
  • Security is not seen as the responsibility of the organization, incidents are not preventable.
  • Employees and customers can meet someone in case of failure.

How important is the registration, evaluation and learning of incidents when there is a denial of safety culture?

These include aspects such as: if there is a reporting culture, what is being done with reports, and what is learned from the incidents.

  • In a department, incidents are rarely reported.
  • It is common to hide errors and nothing is learned from it.
  • Management and employees do not want any hassle and are going back to work as quickly as possible.

How important is equipment, materials and space in terms of safety?

  • Manufacturing is the only thing that counts, but rarely is money spent on safety (insufficient resources to work safely).
  • Materials and equipment are not structurally controlled.
  • Logistics processes are mainly aimed to optimize production. Safety does not play a part in this.

How is the communication about incidents (in terms of security culture) to the departments informed of each other’s reports?

  • Incidents are preferably not discussed. Everyone is talking in a negative sense about an incident with an emphasis on who is guilty.
  • Incidents are hardly discussed or not at all.
  • Customers are not informed about previous incidents.

How is the collaboration and collected feeling in the department?

  • It is everyone for themselves in the department.
  • There is a rigorous hierarchical structure.
  • Work consultation does not take place or hardly occurs.
  • Transfer between employees hardly takes place.

How is staff policy arranged to ensure optimal security?

  • The occupation in the department is variable. Usually there are insufficient employees and there are regular invasion forces.
  • Functional conversations do not take place.
  • New employees are not structurally incorporated.
  • Staff policy is rigid and rarely changes.

How is it done with the ability and safety?

  • Legally required education / training in the field of safety is available or unknown.
  • There is no control of participation of managers and staff in training / retraining.
  • Employees are already trained to do their work so why should they need more education / training?

How is the response culture and compliance behavior within the organization?

  • Nobody speaks to each other.
  • Many employees only work according to the rules when control takes place, otherwise they will ignore it and work according to their own insight and habit.
  • Audits are only used to point employees out on mistakes.
  • Protocols are there to comply with the rules from above.

How to handle customer information and how is the availability of customer information?

  • Within the department, there is little attention to the accuracy of customer information. This is often unavailable or unclear.
  • There is no attention to the accuracy and accessibility of protocols.
  • Information about incidents, malfunctions and equipment failures are not known.
  • Being aware of risk, regarding the use of customer information is hardly known to the management and the employees.

How is the information security?

  • Within the department there is no attention given to information security.
  • The rules and arrangements (such as privacy rules) are almost all unknown. There is no monitoring of the follow-up and the risks have not been brought to the attention of the employees.
  • Workplaces are (often) freely accessible, badges are often unsupported and passwords are on paper. Accounts are exchanged and / or shared, sometimes illegal software is used and unauthorized users have access to confidential information about customers or other interested parties.

This article has been written by Jantina van Rossum of iConact.

Published by: