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FOLLOWING PROCEDURES FOR

A SAFER WORKPLACE A significant contributing factor in some workplace incidences is the inability for an employee to easily find and access up-to-date standard operating procedures and safety information relating to their role. Safety Solutions talks to Bruce Nixon, CEO of Holocentric, who explains how adopting a modelling approach to help align procedures for employees’ roles, equipment and systems can help to overcome this challenge and result in a safer workplace.

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afe work procedures are a means of briefly documenting the risks associated with a work task and incorporating the appropriate risk control measures into a sequence of steps for doing the task safely. They also provide a useful tool for training and supervising workers, and responding to incident reports and changes in the workplace. But if the worker can’t find this vital information in a timely and efficient manner, the value of the procedures is lost. According to Nixon, other reasons why procedures are not followed can include: the worker didn’t know they existed, the worker couldn’t understand them and sometimes, even when the worker can find them, the procedures can be out of date.

How can organisations make sure procedures are kept updated and used appropriately by the relevant workers? “First and foremost there has to be the right culture in an organisation,” says Nixon. “The organisation has to be genuinely safety conscious. Not just seen to be compliant, but actually operating in a very safety conscious fashion.”

Nixon says next, the organisation must “provide the right information to the right people at the right time”. “Many organisations have a safety manual in place but it can sometimes be a huge document (or set of documents) that is unwieldy and inappropriate for the purpose.” Nixon says the workers have specific responsibilities; therefore, the information supplied must be pertinent to the job at hand, on a device or in a form that is suitable for the task. “There’s myriad documents, regulations and information that need to be understood and every worker has a different requirement from this information. Having to wade through endless amounts of documents is time-consuming and confusing, and when there is a change in regulation or policy, it can be difficult to know how it affects every worker.” Nixon says this is where modelling may help. “Understanding the relationships that naturally exist between the regulation, the policy, the processes, the control points, the people and their responsibility and procedures is a complex undertaking. If you’re trying to do this with a whole set of documents, it is very difficult to coordinate all those documents so that we have a consistent and reliable set of information to provide to the workers. This issue is sponsored by — MSA Australia — www.msa.net.au 21

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Safety Solutions Jun/Jul 2014  

Launched in April 2003, this bi-monthly magazine provides vital information on safety products and services in the industrial, construction,...

Safety Solutions Jun/Jul 2014  

Launched in April 2003, this bi-monthly magazine provides vital information on safety products and services in the industrial, construction,...