Process led safety strategies

In order for organisations to become more profitable, they need to become more efficient and more effective. There needs to be continuous business improvement – and to improve the business you have to improve the processes within it.

You can’t just impose a system – you have to ensure that the processes that create the system are tried and tested, work for the people using them as well as the organisation’s bottom line and actively contribute to improved, efficiency, effectiveness as well as the safety of both the people involved and the environment.

A typical example of systems being imposed is when two organisations merge – it often appears to be an arbitrary decision as to which of two systems is kept, rather than an intelligent examination of the two systems to find out what works – and why – so that the best of both are retained and you get a 2+2=22 situation!

This is one of the key concepts behind PROPA – which examines critical risks and addresses them as part of the streamlining process. It allows taking a bottom up approach eliminating bad practices, examining good ones and their robustness. It’s focused on discovering what workers do to make life better for themselves – and, where possible, incorporating those paths of least resistance into the process.

RoSPA’s research shows that systems that are imposed on workers without consultation result in the workers ‘doing it their way’ regardless of what the system actually says. It’s far better to get involvement and understand why people find it easier to do things one way instead of another – and use that for the organisation’s benefit – than to force people into a system they will not follow willingly.

Workers ‘adjustments’ may not be safe, effective or profitable for the organisation – whereas proper examination not only ensures good practice, but also allows a reasonable explanation of ‘why it should be done this way’ to aid understanding. Understanding is half the battle to gaining co-operation!

Get the process right, get the workers co-operation – get much better results!