There are many tools for SMS analysis. Document review, employee interviews, and review of site conditions are quite important and provide you with valuable data for analysis. We'll also look at the 5-Why and Fishbone techniques.
Every worksite should have, at a minimum, written accident reports and the OSHA 300 Log of injuries and illnesses as required by law. It's a good idea, especially for larger companies, to have written procedures and records of all safety and health programs. A program evaluator should compare the written program with the performance record of the program.
In addition to documentation, interviews can be very helpful in establishing what has occurred. There are two kinds of interviews, formal and informal.
To assess how well the worksite safety and health policy is communicated and understood, and how well the disciplinary system is working, ask the employees to explain them.
To gauge the effectiveness of safety and health training, interview hourly employees and first-line supervisors:
Interviews with management should focus on its involvement in and commitment to the safety and health program.
Conditions in the workplace reveal much about SMS effectiveness. Workplace conditions can be observed indirectly by examining documents such as inspection reports of hazards, employee reports of hazards, and incident/accident investigations.
Inspections or tours may reveal hazards. Tips include:
The "5 Whys" technique is a brainstorming technique that identifies root causes of problems by asking why behaviors occurred or conditions existed. This produces the most direct cause of the event. As the diagram below indicates, each cause is, at the same time, the effect of a deeper cause. For each of these causes, ask why it occurred. Repeat the process for the other events associated with the problem.
The cause and effect diagram graphically represents the relationships between a problem (effect) and its possible causes. The problem is stated in descriptive terms that are observable and measurable. Possible causes are listed. The committee or team then assigns priorities to the causes and action plans are developed.
When a cause and effect diagram is constructed, thinking is stimulated, thoughts are organized, and discussions are started. These discussions bring out many possible viewpoints on the subject. The idea is each effect observed is the result of a deeper cause. Once all participants reach a similar level of understanding about an issue, an expansion of ideas can then be examined.
Cause and effect diagrams are developed in a form, commonly referred to as a "fish," where the effect is found in a box to the right which is the head of the fish. The bones of the fish show the organized causes. The effects and causes can be expressed in words or data.
Cause and effect diagrams are used to examine many different topics which include the following:
The technique is also useful in planning activities and brainstorming. The diagram is basically a controlled way of gathering and using suggestions through group consensus.
A cause and effect diagram is developed in the following manner:
Well, I hope you find one or two of these techniques useful in your effort to analyze your safety management system. The really do work! In the next module, we will take a look at taking all of the information and data collected to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency (quality) of the safety management system. See you there!
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