Calgary Herald article on Pulse-8 Safety
Some Personal Thoughts on H & S Consulting
The Critical Task 3-Step
Some personal thoughts!
The most important element of an effective HSE program is the level of commitment and motivation of Senior Management.
If management is just going through the motions then the system is sure to fall into disarray and eventually failure.
If management is totally committed to integrating Health, Safety and Environmental responsibility as the foundation of the overall management system and provides the appropriate resources to support it, then success is probable, if not, guaranteed.
The real benefits of an integrated HSE management system have been proven time and again. Increased production and morale, increased margins, long-term employees, lower production costs, less turnover of employees and long-term profitability. These are fundamental components of Total Quality Management.
The utilization of external consultants to advise, coach and mentor an effective HSE program can be of tremendous value to any company. However, it is important to examine the motives of each group and ensure their corporate philosophies and ethics are compatible.
The corporation must be able to trust the consultant to maintain confidentiality and more importantly offer reasonable and practical advice that is well-grounded in modern Behavioral-Based HSE models and philosophy. Recognition of the existing systems that are already in place and building on those is also essential. Change, if required, must take place at a pace that is complimentary to the existing corporate agenda.
The consultant must be able to communicate how they see the situation honestly and without rancor or political motivation. Their ethical responsibility and commitment should ensure they can state their true opinions, even when it might be considered unpopular by the client. Consequently, it is important that the client is willing to accept these unpopular opinions or advice and not attempt to circumvent the dialogue and ultimately undermine the system itself.
The consultants should also be considered advisors and coaches at all times. The only way an integrated HSE program is successful is if all levels of an organisation buy in to it! All employees are a part of the system and ultimately are the system.
A successful system has to ensure certain basic elements are considered.
HSE Mission Statement
A corporate statement that communicates to employees, contractors and clients the HSE culture and philosophy of the company and its commitment to the protection of employees, contractors, the public and the environment
Hazard Assessment and Control
The proactive approach to Job Safety requires a systematic analysis of the hazardous (critical) tasks each occupation is required to perform as part of their regular duties. The eventual objective of this process is to develop effective Safe Work Procedures for identified Critical Tasks. It should be understood that developing these procedures is a Three-Step Process and requires specific analytical and writing skills that, with effective guidance, most workers can master. It is important that the workers who perform the tasks are involved in the analysis of hazardous tasks, as they are integral to the process. Appropriate training in this skill-set for Managers and key workers is highly recommended. The Safe Work
Procedures created from this process should be used as tools for training and orientation of new employees and contractors during the performance of any critical tasks.
Documents and forms must ensure they include datelines, printed name-blocks and a review section to generate action in a complete communications loop that includes senior management. These items are important in establishing closure with employees and are a requirement factor for Due Diligence.
Contractors are most often not specifically examined for their own H&S commitment, legislative certifications and approvals to ensure they can fulfill the Prime Contractors requirements. As the Prime Contractor, the company is ultimately responsible for all Contractors, whilst performing work at their sites. A formal examination and inventory of Approved Contractors is an important consideration in developing Contractor Control. A specific list of all their responsibilities for contractors, such as Pre-Job Inspections and Incident Reporting must be communicated to them that alleviates any confusion. Valid professional and trade certifications should be examined and tracked.
Well organized and timely Orientations for new employees and contractors is fundamental to the underlying intent of the OH&S Regulations legislated throughout Canada. New employees or Contractors, no matter what their experience and qualifications, when first exposed to a new environment lack the knowledge to understand and appreciate the potential hazards inherent to a specific location. A formal HSE Orientation package that can be used as a Training Tool in conjunction with a "Buddy System" fulfils these requirements. More importantly, they reduce the potential exposure of the worker and the company. These orientations should be in the form of briefings and discussions relative to the established policies and procedures, facility hazards and control systems, in conjunction with the applicable supervisor. Managers must not fall into the habit of providing an orientation by simply directing the employee to "read and sign for it!"
Standards and Measurement
Setting specific measurable goals and objectives in essential areas such as Inspections, following Safe Work Procedures during the performance of Critical Tasks, Reporting Hazardous Conditions and Near-Misses is integral to the success of an effective H&S program. This is an important aspect of Due Diligence. Setting these standards and measuring performance against them allows for the review, correction and evolution of the program. Additionally, recognition of excellent performance is more obvious, allowing positive reinforcement, an increase in employee morale, a higher quality of work output and a reduction in operating costs.
Informal tours are an integral part of a Safety Program. However, more formalized scheduled Inspections are also recommended to ensure all personnel are aware of the commitment to health and safety and to ensure that all substandard conditions, acts, and behaviors are observed, documented and corrected. Inspection responsibilities should be specifically assigned and scheduled to ensure that standards are set, observed and measured to test performance. See Standards and Measurement.
The most important aspect of Accident Investigation is to identify the true underlying Root Causal Factors, to correct, reduce or eliminate them. Finding fault and/or blame should not be considered in this process. These Root Causal Factors can be ascertained by the application of effective Root Cause Analysis. This is a skill that is integral to, and the focus of effective Accident Investigation therefore the companies should ensure their managers and essential personnel are trained in these skills.
There are always opportunities to improve an HSE Management System, as it is never complete.
|Alan K. McDonald,CRSP
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Often called: Job-Task Analysis, Job Safety Analysis or Critical Task Analysis
This is only one aspect of Hazard Assessment and Control
The Three-Step Process is as follows:
Step #1 - Task Inventory
Initially a Task Inventory is completed for each occupation in the facility and/or company. All Tasks are listed for each occupation in no specific order. Subsequently, each task is rated by a simple and effective hazard classification system identifying the level of hazard/potential-severity and frequency of performance. This subsequently allows reasonable prioritizing for analysis.
It is important that when Tasks are listed, care is taken to ensure they are not too narrow or too broad. Admittedly, this can be very subjective. Most workers perform between 25 and 40 tasks per day of which only several would be considered Class A or B hazards and warrant specific Safe Work Procedures.
Step #2 - Critical Task Analysis
A Critical Task Analysis is a chronological step-by-step sequence of actions necessary for the performance of a task. These steps should be very detailed and can be as close as several seconds in time.
Typically, when completing this analysis, between 30-60 steps may be identified. Each step is then reviewed to consider any potential hazards that might, or could, exist. These are then listed beside the applicable step. Thought is then given as to how the hazard can be controlled in a practical manner. That control should then be described.
This analysis should be done by observation and interaction with the workers who perform these critical tasks and with the aid and guidance of their Section Supervisor.
Step #3 - Safe Work Procedures
Safe Work Procedures are a logical compression of the Critical Task Analysis down to approximately 15-20 (maximum) steps with an emphasis on indicating the key steps and hazard controls identified in Step 2.
It is important to understand that whenever there is a change to the process, equipment or tools involved in a particular Task, the Safe Work Procedure must be reviewed to ensure the change has not created a different set of hazards.
These procedures can and should be used as a step-by-step procedure for particularly hazardous tasks for existing employees and orientation & training tools for new employees.
This is a proactive approach to Hazard Assessment & Control.
The performance of this aspect of Hazard Assessment may seem daunting but it can be completed very effectively with the aid of a Hazard Assessment Training Workshop. The workshop encompasses the following skills:
Hazard Assessment Training Workshop
A 7 or 15 hour workshop, depending on the workplace complexities of the client, covering the following objectives:
To differentiate types and sources of hazards
Methods for Hazardous Condition & Near-Miss Reporting
Understand the methods to control hazards
Effective Health & Safety Inspections
Performing an occupational Task Inventory & Priority Survey (TIPS)
To recognize Critical (hazardous) Tasks
Prioritize Critical Tasks for Analysis
Understand and performing Critical Task Analysis
Creating appropriate Safe Work Procedures
This workshop will assist and guide Supervisors and Workers in all aspects of Hazard Assessment & Control, including the HazCon 3-Step, utilizing user-friendly formats that guide them through the process. Supervisors and Workers are integral to the success of this process and should be trained in the skills and techniques required for the understanding and application of effective Hazard Assessment and Control mechanisms. This is a proactive approach to Hazard Assessment & Control.
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1. Do you have a Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) Management Program?
Does it work?
What are the benefits of having an HSE Program?
How do you prove you have an effective HSE program?
Has it ever been measured?
2. What is the level of Management Commitment?
Does it help or hinder your efforts?
Is HSE an integral part of your management system?
Does your system assign specific HSE responsibilities to all levels of management and employees?
Does the system assign corrective action responsibilities, with completion date tracking, management review and sign-off?
Does the system form a complete LOOP that ensures all levels of the organisation are an integral part of the program?
Does management regularly review Incident Reports with the employees?
What is managements commitment to Quality HSE training?
Is there a reasonable budget dedicated to the HSE program?
Does management approach HSE issues in a positive manner, focused on correction and improvement and not fault and/or blame?
Is there a system in place that recognizes employees contributions and positive HSE behavior?
Is HSE part of the Personnel Appraisal and Career Advancement System?
3. Have you initiated a Hazard Assessment & Control system?
Do you perform regular formal Inspections?
What is your Reporting System for substandard conditions and practices?
Are workers motivated to use your Reporting System?
How are they motivated?
How do you identify hazardous conditions and health concerns in the workplace?
How do you identify hazardous acts & behaviours in the workplace?
Have you inventoried all Job/Tasks to establish their level of hazard exposure?
Have you prioritised the more hazardous (critical) tasks for analysis?
Have you analysed and written Safe Work Procedures for the more hazardous tasks?
4. How do you orient new employees and contractors?
Are they adequately trained and certified?
How do you know?
Do you have a standard training program?
Do you use a buddy system?
Do you understand the four levels of competency?
5. How do you manage the HSE activities of your Contractors & Sub-Contractors?
Do you have a Contractor Control System?
Do they have specific guidelines for working in your facility?
Do you have an effective Orientation system for your contractors?
Do they understand the hazards they may be exposed to?
Are you sure?
Do they know how to protect themselves?
Do you have a tracking system to ensure Contractors and Sub-Contractors are professionally and/or trade certified to perform their work?
Do you have a tracking system to ensure Contractors and Sub-Contractors are trained and certified in the appropriate HSE requirements for your worksites?
Do your Supervisors support these systems to ensure the company is protected from liability?
How do your Supervisors coordinate incompatible work simultaneously? Is there a system in place to control this?
6. What Emergency Response Plans do you have in place?
Are they sufficient to prepare for all potential emergencies?
Have you analysed your worksites to establish the various emergencies?
Have you included your local stakeholders?
7. What Incident Reporting and Investigation System do you have in place?
Do you understand the difference between Immediate and Root Causes?
Why is identification of Root Causes important?
Have you trained management and key personnel in Incident Investigation & Analysis?
Is blame an integral part of Accident Investigation? Officially? Unofficially?
8. What type of Leadership is exhibited throughout the organisation?
Is the system built on positive reinforcement?
Do employees feel comfortable and able to speak freely about any concerns they might have?
Are reasonable and achievable standards been set to ensure there is no confusion as to what is required by all levels of the organisation?
Does management allow the time required that ensures all workers are oriented properly?
Is the quality of the training provided sufficient to ensure all workers are aware of and are able to protect themselves from all potential hazards and health exposures?
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