Course 700 - Introduction to Safety Management

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Key Elements of an Effective Recommendation

When recommendations are not acted upon it is usually because management does not have enough useful information to make a judgment and therefore doesn't act right away. To speed up the process and to improve the approval rate, you must learn to anticipate the questions that management must answer in order to sign off on the requested change. The more pertinent the information in the recommendation, the greater the odds for approval. What are the key elements to improve your odds?

Answer five key questions

Once you have decided to present a recommendation for some kind of change, you should research and have answers to the following five questions:

1. What exactly is the problem?

  • Hazardous condition, practice
  • Unsafe policies, procedures, rules

2. What is the history of the problem?

  • How has it affected direct, budgeted or insured costs related to past injuries or illnesses?
  • How has it affected indirect, unbudgeted or uninsured costs related to loss of efficiency and/or productivity and employee morale?

3. What are the options that would correct the problem?

    Include at least three. These options must address the hazards and the exposures.
  • Low/high cost solutions that eliminate the problem now/soon
  • Low/high cost solutions that reduce the problem now/soon
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution?

4. Who is the decision maker?

    Who can approve, authorize and act on the corrective measure and when can it be carried out once approved?
  • What are possible objections the decision maker might raise?
  • What arguments are most likely to be successful against those objections?

5. What will be gained...the cost/benefit analysis?

    If management approves the recommendation, how will the company benefit? What are the predictable costs if not approved?
  • Estimate costs of corrective action.
  • Review employer obligations under administrative law.
  • Address probability and severity.
  • Estimate insured and uninsured costs if corrective action not taken.
  • Discuss the "message" sent to the workforce as a result of action or inaction.