Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Personal Strategy for 2015-16

Greetings for the ensuing FY 2015-16 and looking forward to a year of positive growth. This would mean a revival of focus on Management systems , which I am looking forward to.   

Changes to standards 

FY 2015-16 is a landmark year for the management systems due to the major changes. 
ISO 9001 standard with a new look and feel with structural changes is being released in the 2nd quarter of the year. In view of this change, ISO 14001 is also being revised as per the revised format and aligned with ISO 9001.  
Also, OHSAS 18001, which is now a BSI standard is being adopted by ISO and amended and aligned with ISO 9001, as ISO 45001 and planned to be released in FY 2016-17.  

Accordingly, existing Integrated Management Systems with 9K, 14K and 18K, will need to be restructured, realigned and released for getting certified . Major changes would be in the area of risk-based thinking and larger involvement of the top management. Existing documents need to be realigned and tweaked to meet the changed requirements. No hurry, however, since companies will get at least 2 years from the date of release for the transition.  
You can therefore count on me to provide adequate support in terms of understanding, training and implementation.   

Integration of systems 

In view of the focus on environment, health and safety mandated by the various MNC's, it would be advisable for the existing clients who are certified only for ISO 9001, to integrate with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. The benefits of integration would be a better work environment, higher workforce discipline, and improved productivity. I would urge the companies, irrespective of industry domain, to therefore look at the IMS more closely and plan for the same.  

Automation of management systems 

Another area of importance is the automation of management systems. In my experience of more than 22 years in management systems, the major lacunae in implementation and compliance, is in the realm of documents and records- irrespective of whether they are in hard and soft. Companies do not seem to realise that system compliance is one of LINKAGES. Linking documents and records with practices is the real need for compliance. This cannot be achieved by simply converting a few documents and records to a paperless form. Another area of concern is controlling the documents and records. Little importance is given in this area and it becomes a major WORK for the MR to carry this out just before the external audits.  

What is needed therefore is an integrated software to link the following- Document management, Audit management, NC control and CAPA, Aspect-Impact (for ISO 14001) and Hazard- Risk assessment (for OHSAS 18001), Policies, objectives and programmes, legal and statutory compliances, monitoring & measurements, Continual Improvement, I believe that such a software would provide a robust management system to the company, and ROI will be both in tangible and intangible.  

Strategic Value adders 

As a strategy, I plan to go in for horizontal deployment of experience, expertise and skills during the coming year. 
Accordingly, the following areas have been identified for supporting my clients 
  • Provide support to automate IMS documents and records, with a proven software   
  • Provide customized on-site class room training , workshops, on specific topics- a training plan is attached   
  • Provide domain support in design/implementation of ERP solutions related to operational areas   
  • Provide support to carry out assessment on suppliers and service providers on technical/system issues including Quality, Environment, Health& safety 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Behavioural Based Safety

OHSAS18001:2007 – Clause number 4.3.1(e) specifies that the procedure for Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) shall take into account human behavior, capabilities and other human factors. The importance of human behavior can be seen from the above.
While the word “Behavior” is defined by the free dictionary as below, 
·         as the action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances, or
·         the way a person behaves toward other people,
·         manner of acting or controlling yourself,
the implicit meaning as required by the standard is the attitude, which is defined as “a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways”
Hence, what is required to assess as a part of 4.3.1 (e) is the hazards and risks resulting from the attitude of the employees while working in operating processes using machines or carrying out manual operations. It should be noted that the attitude as defined above is a dynamic state and hence the hazards identified in an office, may not reflect the reality in the work area.   While carrying out HIRA, majority of the risks are measured based on the activities and invariably this aspect of behavior is grossly overlooked.
Measurement of human behavior/human factors
How do we measure the above dynamic nature of the risks attributed by the human behavior and other human factors? While the risk assessment identifies 2 major factors, namely- unsafe conditions and unsafe acts, statistics reveal that the significant causes of the workplace accidents are due to “unsafe acts”, putting the blame entirely on the employees. The question is whether there is a link between the “unsafe conditions” which is the responsibility of the employers and the “unsafe acts” which are related to the behavior of the employees while at work.
Examples of unsafe acts that can arise can be summarized into internal and external to the organisation.

Some of the internal issues that can lead to unsafe acts can be visualized as below
Sl. No.
Process /machine unsafe conditions
Unknown  to the process owner
Continues to operate –leads to unsafe act
Process /machine unsafe conditions known to the process owner
Informs the management, who ignores and does not correct
Leading to unsafe act
Behavior by management
Process/Machine in good condition
Operator flouts instructions, procedures, etc.,
Leading to unsafe act
Willful behavior by employee
Process/Machine in good condition
Operator given defective PPE's
Leading to unsafe act
Willful behavior by management
Process/Machine in good condition
Operator does not know correct operating conditions
Leading to unsafe act
Inadequate training- management
Machine in good condition
Operator acts independently beyond the limits of working
Leading to unsafe act
Willful behavior- unwarranted initiative by employee
Everything is fine. Operator is unhappy with the working conditions
Expresses resentment through unsafe acts
Leading to unsafe act
Willful behavior by employee
Everything is fine Operator unhappy with Management
Intentional unsafe act to catch the attention
Leading to unsafe act
Unwarranted behavior y employee
Everything is fine a group of bad elements  unhappy with Management
Intentional unsafe act to catch the attention
Leading to unsafe act
Unwarranted behavior by employees
Some of the external issues that can lead to unsafe acts can be visualized as below
Sl. No.
Unhappy at home, disturbed mind

Unintentional unsafe act
Leading to unsafe act
Human factor- employee
Unwell and physically disturbed
Unintentional unsafe act
Leading to unsafe act
Human factor- employee
Falls sick while at work
Unintentional unsafe act
Leading to unsafe act
Human factor- employee
External forces incite to create unsafe conditions inside the workplace  
Intentional unsafe act
Leading to unsafe act
Human factor- employee

Remedies and solutions to prevent/minimize unsafe acts falling out of human behavior and human factors are given below:
·         Behavioral safety is the inclusion of behavioral approach in the traditional training programmes. Behavioral safety is the awareness and mindfulness of the hazards and risks in their workplace and use the knowledge and skills to prevent the incidents. 
·         Traditionally, significant reduction in work place accidents due to unsafe acts is done thro’ structured training programmes on the implementation of SOP’s, Safe Work Practices, etc., However, it is not enough. The following are some of the remedies and solutions that can be implemented.
·         Company needs a Leadership with personal accountability and responsibility. It is an everyday affair looking for warning signs, cultural clues and verifying “what could go wrong” on that particular day. The question is why a person chooses an unsafe behavior putting every one around him in an unsafe condition. The answer to this is the approach of “walk the talk”, looking at early warning signs, listening to the employees about their problems, to highlight the negative behavior, to discuss as to how it can harm the person and the work place and solving the problems proactively.  This is to be done on every day basis by the Safety Managers, Executives, and Shop floor managers.
·         During the above, some of the following actions will be helpful to identify  individuals who are likely to affect the safety culture of the company
o   Individual mentoring
o   Predict the likely mob behavior and implement solutions proactively
o   Providing engineering solutions as an alternate to use of PPE’s in a speedier manner
o   Active listening to identified problems during walk the talk
o   Initiating preventive health care, company wide
o   Prevention of monotony at the work place
o   Relying less on administrative controls
o   Initiating job enlargement/enrichment opportunities
Behavioral safety is a dynamic phenomenon and there is no standard solution to the unsafe acts falling out of human behavior and human factors. Solutions vary due to the company culture, products/services provided, level of unsafe conditions, type of leadership, etc.,