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Launched Aug 26 1996.

 

  Posted 3 Nov 96

The project was completed. See May 97 report

 

Project

Safety management effectiveness investigation

Objective: The overall purpose of the project is to develop a methodology and undertake a number of case studies to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of good safety management practices. This is a Health and Safety Executive / WS Atkins Joint Study into the Cost Effectiveness of Good Health and Safety Management, by investigating health and safety incidents, etc.
Status: I am currently working on a project for the Health and Safety Executive in the UK. The overall purpose of the project is to develop a methodology and undertake a number of case studies to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of good safety management practices.

 The way I intend to achieve this is to investigate health and safety incidents in a company to identify the costs arising from the incident and the management / system causes that contributed to the occurrence of the particular incidents (latent failures). In this way hope to develop a profile of the areas of weakness in a company's safety management system which are resulting in the highest costs.

 Once this has been developed an action plan to address those weaknesses will be drawn up with the company. The data collection process will be repeated again, when the improvement actions have been implemented and had time to take effect, to identify whether they have achieved a reduction in the number of incidents and the associated costs.

 The study will be examining not only incidents that result in harm to people, but property damage events and near misses on the assumption that the latent failures in the management system that lie behind a near miss, could on the next occasion lead to a harm event.

 Clearly this research hinges on the use of an appropriate root causes analysis technique. This is one of the greatest challenges to the project and there are a number of perceived constraints as follows:

 1. it is necessary to use the safety management model presented in the HSE's document HS(G)65, which identifies the main components of the system as: Policy, Organising ( control, communication, cooperation and competence), Planning and Implementing, Measuring, Reviewing and Auditing.

 2. I need to be able to identify the causal relationships between the incident and the failures in the safety management system as described above.

 3. the method used needs to be straight forward and prescriptive to a degree to ensure that it is applied consistently by different personnel in different companies, yet it must guide the user to valid results.

 4. I have only 2 months remaining to develop an RCA tool or identify / amend an existing one to suit our needs.

 I have been working on this project for over a year and have reviewed a number of techniques and authors including: MORT, STEP,  SCAT, TOR and various taxonomies. I have only recently obtained access to the internet, but have already come across a number of interesting ideas which I may be able to incorporate into the study.

 I would appreciate any suggestions or comments that would assist me in my work.

 Thank you

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