• Peter Bateman
    189
    In the Jan/Feb edition of Safeguard magazine we pose three questions based on stories in the magazine. One of them is this:

    To reduce safety clutter, which activity done in the name of safety would you most like to eliminate from your organisation (or from a client's organisation), and why?

    Feel free to respond here on the Forum, or privately here via a Survey Monkey form.

    An edited selection of responses will be published in the Mar/Apr edition, but with no names attached. One randomly selected person will receive a prize, namely a copy of the book Paper Safe, by Greg Smith.
  • Michael Wilson
    80
    Sign in books that people sign without any briefing. We are moving to a digital system but I end up signing these all over the country at other businesses. I do enjoy asking them what I am supposed to have "read and agreed" to.

    ALL PERSONS BEYOUND THIS POINT MUST COMPLY WITH THE HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK ACT (or sometimes Health and Safety in Employment Act still) AND IT's REGULATIONS.I am amazed at how many people are willing to spend money to point out that laws are laws.

    Prequalification requests for "Your Health & Safety System" that actually just want your one page policy statement.
  • Garth Forsberg
    4
    Paper folders with pieces of paper that have to be kept up to date across multiple sites
  • Robert Powell
    15
    Butt covering paperwork that everyone needs to sign before starting a stupidly simple job
  • Sheri Greenwell
    211
    ANY requirement to document something that is not connected to any other part of the system - records that are not reviewed or assessed in any way or that have no clearly defined purpose for advancing safety - ie all those mind-numbing butt-covering tick-box exercises. If you are going to collect information, what are you going to do with it?? That should be decided and organised right from the start.

    I also abhor stand-alone safety requirements that duplicate or overlap significantly with other types of work processes. Why not create integrated systems and tools that work together?

    Another pet peeve is collecting data via forms - especially handwritten documents - in scanned, PDF or Word documents where you can't do anything with the data in the documents - this creates so much extra handling!
  • Steve H
    43
    Another pet peeve is collecting data via forms - especially handwritten documents - in scanned, PDF or Word documents where you can't do anything with the data in the documents - this creates so much extra handling!Sheri Greenwell

    With you on that one Sheri, yay I get to print off, fill in by hand and then scan and send it back to you, so it can languish in your In Box until you send me a reminder to complete it and I suggest you trawl for it.

    Also used to love getting requests for all the hazards that I would be introducing to a clients site, not unreasonable if I was going to dig a hole in the ground, but slightly superfluous when the mission was to test and tag their dodgy electrical gear. For the ones that wanted me to don Lycra and jump through multiple hoops, requesting they provide evidence that their electrical installation and any modifications/extensions to it complied with the requirements in force when it was installed or modified usually prompted a touch of realism in their approach
  • Mark Taylor
    25
    Introduce a 5S management system and get the employees involved in the development
    Implement a KanBan scheme to rationalise the amount of stock used
    Get people to capture good housekeeping and promote it during meetings and post it on notice boards
    Show the finance benefits of waste reduction schemes and introduce a group incentive scheme with vouchers awarded where significant savings can be made
    Transfer all documents to a fully electronic system management system where forms are completed using apps
    Don’t use multiple forms when one form will suffice
    Use shadow boards which show where tools should be placed after use
    True eliminisation is the complete removal of a product not day to day housekeeping so keep that in mind when engaging your audience
  • Chris Peace
    41
    Some great comments above!
    I think the "decluttering" idea emerged from an academic paper in 2018 (Rae, A., Provan, D., Weber, D. E., & Dekker, S. (2018). Safety clutter: the accumulation and persistence of ‘safety’ work that does not contribute to operational safety. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 16(2), 194-211. https://doi.org/10.1080/14773996.2018.1491147).
    Last year I did an online presentation on the subject and will revise, reuse and record the slideshow for my Victoria University OHS Master's students in March. I can make a link to the recording available when it is done if anyone is interested.
    Preferably email me direct at
  • MattD2
    154
    think the "decluttering" idea emerged from an academic paper in 2018 (Rae, A., Provan, D., Weber, D. E., & Dekker, S. (2018). Safety clutter: the accumulation and persistence of ‘safety’ work that does not contribute to operational safety. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 16(2), 194-211.Chris Peace
    Any chance you have a copy of the paper you could share Chris?

    From what I have heard Drew and Andrew talk about regarding safety clutter on their podcast the main point really is that it is oganisation specific, what is clutter to one organisation can be very much critical to another (and again key part of Peter's original question is "from your organisation" and providing the reason why).

    5s, Kanban, etc. can improve efficiencies if implemented well and into a organisation that can benefit from them, but they can also be completely disastrous in the wrong orgnaisation.

    As for my answer... I would suggest adding something to the process, a well defined systems audit program which includes both confirmation that the system meets the business's requirements, the system is being used as intended, and (what usually gets forgotten in an audit) the system's requirements are achieving their individual intended outcome (which means that the system requirements need to have a specified outcomes).
    as an example; In the case of forms, and the want to get rid of them / move to Electronic systems - if the intended outcome for completing a prestart checklist is to provide prompts to ensure that all pre-starts are consistent then a paper form / book is sufficient. And months/years of records / moving to an electronic system is practically worthless (having a prestart checklist book for each plant with 20/30/50/?? pages, being filled in should suffice an auditor). And if the actual purpose of the form, as a tool to help the workers do their job well rather than as a monitoring tool for management, is clearly communicated to the workforce then they will likely be much more engaged with it, stop seeing it as (management-)ass-covering paperwork and use it more effectively.... I'd even go as far to say that personally I would not care if the pre-start forms got thrown out as soon as they are completed, and from an auditor's perspective as long as they can find well used forms in the site rubbish bins I would say that is a much better outcome than 5 years worth of ticked n flicked records!
  • Steve H
    43
    Use shadow boards which show where tools should be placed after useMark Taylor

    One tweak that a client of ours introduced to the shadow board concept was to place a photo of the item that showed any guards/safety features highlighted. This also had our tag number on it, which was a handy identifier for any item that didn't have a makers serial number on it, enabling easy Asset control and tracing, along with the oblivious benefit of showing missing items, and more importantly missing guards etc. .
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