Major mistakes made in implementing OHS

Safety Reflections by the late George Robotham read more reflections HERE

Major mistakes I have seen made in implementing OHS

  1. The biggest mistake is management and supervision making decisions about safety without input from the workforce Bear in mind some are not interested in contributing, give them the opportunity but do not force them.
  2. Lack of management demonstrated commitment, leadership and drive from the top of the organisation.
  3. Too much concentration on lag indicators such as the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate at the expense of leading indicators. Thinking minor personal damage is a good predictor of life-altering personal damage.
  4. Not using the continuous improvement philosophy and other facets of Quality Management in your safety approach.
  5. Lack of succinct paperwork. There is not much point in having detailed paperwork that is too much like hard work to read. Bear in mind however your paper work needs to be detailed enough to be defensible in court.
  6. Using theory instead of real world approaches-Whatever you do reality test it with the workforce first.
  7. Ignoring “When implementing change-Remember, people support what they create”
  8. Not using face to face communications whenever possible. communicating change with the workforce use the supervisor not senior management, use face to face communications and frame communications relevant to the immediate work area and processes.
  9. Not training formal and informal leaders in Safety Leadership.
  10. Using enterprise “accident” experience to guide action rather than industry taxonomies of permanently life-altering personal damage.
  11. Putting too much emphasis on the risk ratings from risk assessments, the reality is that a lot of risk assessment is very subjective.
  12. Spending too much time in the office instead of the field where the action is happening.


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