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Ways to Measure Health and Safety Performance

Measuring occupational health and safety (OH&S) performance in your organization should be the most important aspect of your business. Many organizations downgrade the importance of OH&S, and rather focus on the importance of high productivity and finances. Having a system like ISO 45001 will be beneficial to your organization and will help manage risks, and in return you will see improved financial and work performance. When you are looking for ways to measure risks you want to ensure that your performance measures are sensible.

Be proactive

Being proactive is the best way to achieve a well-working (OH&S) management system. Many organizations have internal auditors to meet laws, regulations and requirements. Your organization should prioritize OH&S. All reports should be delivered to key decision makers in the business to ensure that corrective action takes place.

How to measure for occupational health & safety performance in the workplace

Measuring practices should add value to your business

  • Identify the nonconformance. A nonconformance is defined as anything that is hazardous that poses a risk to personnel. Once identified, you need to detail why it is a problem.
  • Locate the Cause. What’s causing this chemical leak? Why are extension cords becoming frayed? Once you identify the nonconformance then you can ask the question of why it is occurring and find the answer.
  • Identify the changes that need to be made. Almost all problems can be solved. First you need to know how, this can mean investing in new parts or materials or you may have to hire a professional to help fix the nonconformance and take corrective action.
  • Create a platform for improvement. Once you have identified and have fixed the problem, you now need to establish a plan to ensure that the problem does not occur again. This will keep your business functioning and your OH&S performance progressing.
  • Feedback. After you have identified a risk, made the improvement and created a platform- you should ask for feedback. When it comes to risk and safety, it is not an area you want to breeze through, rather you should be thorough to ensure that it doesn’t happen again and what you can do better next time.

Keep Personnel in Agreement

When it comes to OH&S policy and procedure all personnel within your organization need to be on the same page. As an organization it is key to update your policy and procedure documents. If it has been awhile, you should rewrite these documents (if updating is needed). Every single employee should have a copy of these documents. Further, anyone who is involved with equipment must know what to do if they see or experience anything accident related whether its minor or major.

Maintaining and Measuring your Occupational Health and Safety Management System

As an organization, it is paramount to understand the laws and regulations that pertain to you. Certain regulatory bodies will expect you to monitor your OH&S management system periodically. It is important that as an organization you conduct internal audits to ensure that you are meeting both the laws and regulations and keeping up with ISO 45001. When you are monitoring your system you should be ready to spend an adequate amount of time to do it, and do it right.

Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing your OH&S performance:

  • Are there non conformances in your OH&S management system?
  • How far along is the company’s OH&S performance compared to your goals?
  • What improvements are still necessary?
  • What resources/time/personnel do you need to meet your goals?

Hierarchy of Hazard Controls

Hierarchy of hazard control is a system used in the industry to minimize or eliminate exposure to hazards. It is a widely accepted system and is used by a variety of safety organizations. Usually, managers will learn this concept and promote its practice within the workplace. When it comes to 

Occupational Health and Safety, the hierarchy of hazard controls are as follows:  

  1. Elimination

Can you eliminate the risky part of an activity? Can you mitigate the issue by not having to perform the activity? Can you find the root cause?

  1. Substitution 

Can you perform a different activity, change part of the process to avoid risk and produce the same results?

  1. Engineering Controls

Is there a technical or mechanical role that will take humans out of the process?  

  1. Signage / Warnings

Can you inform and change the habits of personnel that may be involved in the risk?

  1. PPE 

If you can not mitigate the risk is there Personal Protective Equipment that will prevent or minimize the impact of an incident occurring?

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