Integrated occupational safety management practices (occupational, industrial and fire safety, disaster emergency prevention, health protection, transport safety, all together known as “OHS” or “occupational health and safety”) have been actively developing at industrial sector companies. Specifically, they involve the implementation of processes, certification of management systems, appointment of committees responsible for OHS issues at the boards of directors, organization of OHS directorates at management companies, inclusion of OHS values in management’s KPIs, action planning and providing for stand-alone line items in investment and operating expenses budgets.
However, activities aimed to implement the present-day approaches to occupational safety management are often accompanied by difficulties arising from inconsistencies and mismatches with other corporate management processes. For example, implementation of a risk-oriented approach gets hung up either during the budgeting process, which is organized based on the ‘prior year’s budget utilization’ concept, or at the implementation stage when it becomes clear that the majority of employees need special training and the process of training and engaging internal OHS coaches is missing.
Common issues of occupational safety management systems
Identification and solving of problems in occupational safety management systems require key management personnel buy-in, as well as a non-biased and competent outside perspective.
Provided that problems in occupational safety management systems are seen at all 4 levels, it is vitally important that proven diagnostic and transformation tools are applied at each level.
- Diagnostic review of compliance of the Policy and the Strategy with the requirements of applicable international standards and guidelines, as well as Russian standards.
- Analysis of consistency of the company’s KPI system with its Policy and Strategy – Assessment of the agenda relevance of the Committee responsible for OHS issues.
- Verification of KPIs for the reporting period for inclusion in the annual report.
- Diagnostic review of conformity of the company’s Policy and Strategy with its commitments (e.g. in terms of ensuring safety of works performed by contractor organizations).
- Development and updating of the Policy and the Strategy with due account for the specific aspects of the company’s activity and corporate management, as well as Vision Zero principles.
- Development and updating of the KPI system used by the company to assess the efficiency of occupational safety management processes.
- Assessment of the company’s commitments (including in terms of programs of actions aimed at reducing occupational injury rates and preventing accidents at hazardous production facilities) to shape a mid- or long-term Strategy implementation plan.
- Support in communications with the company’s board of directors / Committee responsible for OHS issues, including so far as it relates to the preparation of the Committee’s agenda, verification of materials submitted to the Committee’s consideration.
- Diagnostic review of compliance of the company’s Values, Code of Corporate Ethics and other corporate documents with the tasks set as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other sustainable development principles.
- Diagnostic review of standards of conduct during work performance (behavioral audits).
- Diagnostic review of the level of the company’s Safety Culture using quantitative methods, analysis by various personnel groups, including identification of the attitude towards safety existing within the team.
- Diagnostic review of the influence of psychoemotional factors on an employee's condition.
- Development and updating of Values, Code of Corporate Ethics and other corporate documents formalizing the corporate culture.
- Development and implementation of Safety Culture transformation tools (depending on the current level, e.g. “Internal Investigations” to shift to “Responsive”, “Cascading KPI System” to shift to “Formal”, “Safety Contact Person” to shift to “Personal”, “Safety Action Team” to shift to “Distributed”, etc.).
- Description of the company’s business processes from Level 1 (“Occupational Safety Management” business process) to Level 5 in their current state, development of a business process model, with its description provided in the notation (ePC, BPMN, 4FM).
- Diagnostic review of the structure of business processes, identification of mismatches and omissions.
- Analysis of allocation of responsibilities for business processes and adequacy of resources.
- Development of a target business process model, revision and updating of the model currently in use.
- In-depth development and attribution of business processes.
- Restructuring of the OHS function (with a rationale for an effective staffing provided) and re-engineering of OHS processes – Getting business processes ready for digitalization projects, including development of ToR for the automation of business processes of the occupational safety management system.
- Diagnostic audit of Occupational Safety Management System processes (subject to the requirements of international standards, industry and corporate standards) at a level of the company, division, and entity.
- Assessment of personnel knowledge and skills as regards occupational safety, according to the competency model.
- Periodic monitoring of efficiency of occupational safety management system processes under implementation.
- Verification of results by specific processes (verification of risk assessment results, internal investigation results, etc.).
- Initiation of risk assessment processes, internal accident investigation processes, a Near Miss recording process, OHS internal audit processes, contractor organizations’ safety management and other transformation processes.
- Implementation support of OHS processes (competency model preparation, development of communications and training materials, training of internal coaches, training sessions for top management, efficiency control of processes under implementation).
- Quantitative and qualitative assessment of OHS risks with the use of HAZOP and other risk assessment methods and, among other things, the Customer’s methodology.
- Integration of a risk-oriented approach into the management of occupational safety investment programs.