Development of a practical and measurable health and safety management system
This study was performed within a major drinks company in the UK. The overall objective was to develop a formal, structured and measurable safety management system appropriate for the company. The system had to be effective for all sites and operations and be consistent with developing international standards. A comprehensive review of performance measurement, both positive and negative, was carried out. Measurements had to be practical and useful within the operating environment - showing real, understandable change over short periods of time. The study also considered the roles of individuals in relation to safety and pursued the active engagement of employees in the safety program. The success was that the profile of safety management was raised beyond recognition within the company; and was eventually integral to the way that the company managed its business. The system provided a mechanism to allow the company to progress. The study demonstrates what can be done, and what cannot. An interesting by-product of the study is that by changing hard systems, some soft factors have also changed. The study was intended to impact upon the core safety management systems and control measures, but over the period of study some people have changed their attitude and perhaps changed their behaviour. The main constraints to the study were that production came first and that senior management constantly changed. The amount of money available to spend on the improvement of safety standards was limited and also secondary to the requirements of production. Within the company there was almost constant change of personnel and operating structure. This problem was countered in part by the development of consistent, documented safety management systems. It was clear, however, that lasting improvements in safety can only achieved by the involvement of the actual work force.