Comments

  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    I enjoy the ambiguity and grey areas. There is no right answer, despite the way many people have approached safety as a compliance issue. I guess this is a nice way to close the strategy discussion as well. There is no right strategy. Some are more successful than others, but often you won't know until later. It's messy, it's uncertain, it's complex. A lot of people struggle with that because they like certainty but I would be very bored, very fast in a certain world. Safety captures that complex stuff really well and that keeps me challenged.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    @Jon re frequency rates
    I have replaced it with a simple graph of incidents occurring broken down by potential harm. Those which were high potential get a detailed review in the monthly report. It’s a rolling graph so we can see if they’re increasing or not without putting a number to it, because I’m interested in direction of travel not absolute numbers. I’m also tracking effectiveness for critical risk controls. I changed our reporting template with a Board paper explaining the rationale and there was no pushback. I’m also looking now at ways to get better information coming through from the field and reporting on that – see the sensemaker tool from Cognitive Edge as an example.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    @Jon's advice question
    On a personal level, be bolder. I’m naturally introverted and it took me a long time to learn how to assert myself in meetings etc. Not sure that’s very strategy-related, though. On a professional level, be prepared to challenge convention. As safety people we all challenge the ‘I’ve always done it this way and never got hurt’ answer. But I think we need to turn that type of challenge on ourselves more.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    Hi Emma See my earlier response to Russell. I believe most senior leaders genuinely care. It takes a while to educate them, though, that compliance and counting may not be the best way to do this. I think that this education is the key factor. Unfortunately, the most effective tool in practice is a bad accident. Sometimes a very high potential near miss is a good lever, but please don't try to engineer one!
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    @Robert P
    Lots of questions here - see my earlier reply about the role of the leadership in setting strategy and worker input. Keep the conversation going and help them understand their role in delivering the strategy that is relevant to them – I wouldn’t expect them to know the whole thing, but would like them to be able to talk about their components of it.
    Partners – yes if they are embedded enough.
    I don’t believe there is too big a tension between compliance and progressive practice if it’s all done well. WorkSafe is moving in the right direction, I think, to help with this but their job is not easy. I wrote a blog about this here https://safetyquo.com/2016/09/04/stick-stick-stick-carrot/
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    To Chris
    A bit of both. Regularly review and tweak (although most tweaks will be to the shorter term actions rather than the strategy itself) and then a more detailed review every year or so. I would only advocate a hard re-set (by which I mean completely changing things) if there is a major upheaval in the business environment. In terms of KPIs, be very wary about the behaviour they drive. On the whole, we have indicators, but not targets. These help you steer without biasing the direction.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    To Jon’s covid-19 question. We are moving into thinking much more about complex systems. Our overarching strategy suddenly just becomes recovery + adapt to the new normal. There are many interlinked factors and we cannot honestly predict how it will go. We are currently developing different broad scenarios and high-level approaches against each of them so that we can respond to whichever arises. It’s about putting in things that are resilient and agile. It’s a great case study for bad strategy – if you project ahead and fix on an outcome to move towards you may get it hopelessly wrong and fail spectacularly.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    Measuring strategy can be hard because it’s long term. You need to understand clearly what success looks like for each objective and set this out at the start. That is where you’ll agree the value and whether it is worth the effort. When you break it down into shorter term actions, line these up with your overall success measure. Review the strategy routinely and make sure you’re still on track and that the objective is still valid and providing value in the renewed context. You may well have to change direction if, for example, a pandemic disrupts everything.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    How to answer that in one paragraph? Thanks, Jon!
    Least helpful to me is the accident triangle (or at least how people have interpreted Heinrich’s original work and used it). It has driven obsession with counting and focusing on low risk issues. The most helpful is probably the underlying theme of several different, and newer, schools of thought which is to put the worker at the heart of H&S and better understand their reality.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    Your headline strategy information should be simple to understand because it’s at quite a high level (if you have a multi-lingual workforce, do some translated versions). The key thing is to link the strategy to the work people do so it is clear why it matters to them. If your strategic objective is to reduce paperwork (hint: do this), it will be fairly obvious. But if it is to increase technology use, this may be less clear, so show them what it means to have a virtual reality version of their workplace.
    Afterwards, keep the conversation going – when people make suggestions, raise issues or ask why we do things, look at how it links to the strategy and discuss it in those terms so their understanding grows over time.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    I always make sure there is a really clear alignment between the safety strategy and the overall business strategy – how do they help and support each other? How will the strategy we are developing make the overall business better? But the real key is groundwork with them before the strategy is developed. I spend a lot of time emphasising the link between safety and business. The underlying aspects of good safety also support good quality, reliability, efficiency and profitability, so safety is effectively a health indicator for business performance.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    It is the role of the executive to lead the business. They should have the discussion around the strategy and what direction to take. But this should always include input from the teams. This will mainly be to flesh out detail and refine things, but the leadership and team views should mostly align. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to change things, but only make fundamental changes if there is a radical mismatch that will derail the strategy.
  • Previous live chat: Craig Marriott on developing an effective H&S strategy
    Before we start – would just like to say well done to all the H&S people managing their teams through this pandemic. I have had positive feedback from lots of organisations about how well things are being managed – even though it’s a tough time.
  • Covid Risk Assessment
    The situation is fairly static right now given the lockdown, so this is reasonable for essential workers - and I gave similar advice to somebody yesterday when discussing ppe requirements for current work.
    Where an epidemic is different to other risks is that the risk is continually increasing at an exponential rate (when not under lockdown). Five weeks ago Italy had 67 new cases in one day - three weeks later it was over 6000.
    It also rapidly expands to impact on areas outside of your immediate control - availability of staff, equipment, health care, emergency services, etc and so becomes very complex very quickly. A standard risk assessment becomes mostly obsolete in a complex environment because cause and effect get messed up. Great article about this topic posted a couple of days ago here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-coronavirus-may-stress-test-which-finally-unmasks-warren-black/?trackingId=FrT%2BA6fVcBGDaK7cku70zA%3D%3D
  • Return to work risk assessment
    Not necessarily. If you are assessing the risks, putting in proportionate controls to the best of your knowledge, monitoring them etc then probably not. If you tell your worker to come in even though they tell you they're sick and then put them in close proximity to each other with no other protection, then probably yes. If the virus is ebola, the controls would have to be way more rigid than if it's the common cold.
    The Act does not require absolute prevention of every possible consequence, hence 'so far as is reasonably practicable'
  • Safety Policy Statements - you are committed to what?
    Personal pet hate. I once reviewed almost 200 policies for a government ministry as part of a supplier review. There were probably really only 4 or 5 different policies there. The rest were boiler plate nonsense.
    David Provan wrote a good article about his experience in changing this here https://safetydifferently.com/safety-policy-from-compliance-to-desire-driven/ and I have done something very similar in the past - link the policy to your specific organisational approach and make it meaningful, if you're going to have one.
    You need to be careful with this series @Simon Lawrence. This is how my book started and mutated into something a lot more time consuming!
  • Compliance with other enactments
    It just says "may have regard to" Surely this means it could go either way depending on the particular overlap/conflict?
  • toolbox meetings
    Have a look here - particularly the video titled 'paperwork'
    https://vimeo.com/showcase/3938199