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Health and Safety is a relatively new science to businesses in Trinidad & Tobago and even though laws have been enacted, not all businesses have been bought up to required safety standard.
One of the most important parts of any safety programme is having a safety management system and developing one can be a very demanding task. An SMS according to Advanced Aviation Technologies Ltd."  is said to be branched from the organisation's Safety Policy. The safety policy expresses the commitment of the company to achieve the highest level of safety." The Safety Policy is the foundation of an organisation's Safety Management System. This shows the importance of a Safety Policy and how the success depends on the effectiveness of it.
This research will focus on an Electric Company particularly the Maintenance Department where workers deal with safety issues on a daily basis. The company had no safety systems in place in the year 2007 and there were a lot of safety issues being reported e.g. injuries on the job, exposure to risk was high, etc. However an SMS was implemented in February 2008 and this research intends to show how a Safety Management System aided in reducing risks and hazards and made workers more aware of safety as a whole. The results will show the benefits and importance of having a Safety Management System present.
It is important to any organisation establish some sort of safety programme where rules are identified and understood by all. According to Watson(1993) "2Safety Management System requires a continual process of teaching, implementing, auditing, action and management review. Such a system centres around four (4) major processes:
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most advanced nations in the Caribbean through oil, gas, and of course the development and implementation of both the OSH Act 2006 and the EMA Act 2000. The laws will no doubt inspire Trinidad and Tobago to uphold a culture of health and safety which legislation seeks to prop up.
It cannot be stressed enough the point of commitment to the Safety Management System by the highest level of management in order for this venture to be a success. The OSH Act in Trinidad and Tobago does not specify on a type of Safety Management System that an organization should use or that it is mandatory to have one, however it is left up to the organization to develop and to choose one that best fits its needs.
The aim of this dissertation is to look at the importance of an SMS in respect to Attributes, Benefits to organizations.
To research the characteristics of an SMS in detail.
Show how a small electric company benefited from implementing an SMS
Research will be based on a combination of sources of information that shall include library, internet and internet research, company's reports
Questionnaires will be used by employees to test effectiveness of Safety Management System
Analysis of Survey findings.
According to the Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team of the International Helicopter Safety Team(2007)"Safety Management Systems can be defined as a coordinated, comprehensive set of processes designed to direct and control resources to optimally manage safety. SMS takes unrelated processes and builds them into one coherent structure to achieve a higher level of safety performance, making safety management an integral part of overall risk management. SMS is based on leadership and accountability. It requires proactive hazard identification, risk management, information control, auditing and training. It also includes incident and accident investigation and analysis."
3The International Helicopter Safety Symposium Montréal, Québec,Canada,2007. Safety Management System Toolkit [Online](Updated 2007)Available at: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:HJeMgYWLVNYJ:www.ihst.org/Portals/54/SMS-Toolkit.pdf+definition+of+safety+management+system&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESij36w34AN7sX7nZwzoOXNUcTfGCZkntCNcpYc1br3slb6iYjWpuvC-jT12gyu-3fGyIcgBWryrhlEjywWjA1BMTLQsrtXd5Pxwb4Ut85dncQTXCCXPJdS5k5PF9QFraLqi02Lu&sig=AHIEtbTG35FpEeY1qoCSFfOZzm3ke0mDLw
WHY IS SMS NEEDED?
6 According to the Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team of the International Helicopter Safety Team(2007)"SMS is needed to help facilitate the proactive identification of hazards and maximize the development of a better safety culture, as well as modify attitudes and actions of personnel in order to make a safer work place. SMS helps organizations avoid wasting financial and human resources and management's time being focused on minor or irrelevant issues. SMS lets managers identify hazards, assess risk and build a business case to justify controls that will reduce risk to acceptable levels. SMS is a proven process for managing risk that ties all elements of the organization together laterally and vertically and ensures appropriate allocation of resources to safety issues."
By the definition a SMS was drastically needed by the electrical company, meaning hazards needed to be identified by the workers and necessary safety actions had to be taken. By doing this safety awareness will increase, in turn this will aid in developing a positive safety culture e.g. in 2007 the maintenance department reported 9 burnt injuries ranging from minor to severe, where as in 2008-2009 after the implementation of an SMS the number of reports were 4 burnt injuries, this clearly shows that workers were more aware of hazards present on jobs.
4The International Helicopter Safety Symposium Montréal, Québec,Canada,2007. Safety Management System Toolkit [Online](Updated 2007)Available at: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:HJeMgYWLVNYJ:www.ihst.org/Portals/54/SMS-Toolkit.pdf+definition+of+safety+management+system&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESij36w34AN7sX7nZwzoOXNUcTfGCZkntCNcpYc1br3slb6iYjWpuvC-jT12gyu-3fGyIcgBWryrhlEjywWjA1BMTLQsrtXd5Pxwb4Ut85dncQTXCCXPJdS5k5PF9QFraLqi02Lu&sig=AHIEtbTG35FpEeY1qoCSFfOZzm3ke0mDLw
ATTRIBUTES OF AN SMS
5According to the Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team of the International Helicopter Safety Team(2007)"Although the details and level of documentation of a SMS may vary, there are fundamental attributes that will assist in ensuring the SMS is effective for any organisation. The core attributes of the SMS are":
1) SMS Management Plan
2) Safety Promotion
3) Document and Data Information Management
4) Hazard Identification and Risk Management
5) Occurrence and Hazard Reporting
6) Occurrence Investigation and Analysis
7) Safety Assurance Oversight Programs
8) Safety Management Training Requirements
9)Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement
5The International Helicopter Safety Symposium Montréal, Québec,Canada,2007. Safety Management System Toolkit [Online](Updated 2007)Available at: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:HJeMgYWLVNYJ:www.ihst.org/Portals/54/SMS-Toolkit.pdf+definition+of+safety+management+system&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESij36w34AN7sX7nZwzoOXNUcTfGCZkntCNcpYc1br3slb6iYjWpuvC-jT12gyu-3fGyIcgBWryrhlEjywWjA1BMTLQsrtXd5Pxwb4Ut85dncQTXCCXPJdS5k5PF9QFraLqi02Lu&sig=AHIEtbTG35FpEeY1qoCSFfOZzm3ke0mDLw
Let's look at the Attributes of an SMS in further details:
1.1 SMS Management Plan
A SMS Management Plan should clearly define safety objectives, how the organization intends to execute and measure the effectiveness of the SMS, and how the SMS will support the organization's business plan and/or objectives.
The electrical company management plan stated that safety was their number one priority and the need to reduce accidents and reduce the presents of hazards e.g. accident and hazard reduction is imperative to the success of this programme, all accidents and hazards should be reported no matter how small so the situations or conditions surrounding it can be closely investigated in order to reduce risk in the future.
Through the management plan commitment by the management team was shown and accidents and hazards reported was in fact looked at and suggestions were sought from the workers themselves, each section of the company was put in charge of different responsibilities to ensure the plan ran smoothly, including management. All employees were made aware of what was expected of them in this plan e.g. reporting of hazards, doing proper paper work in order for investigations to take place. And also the safety laws or requirements of the land were made available e.g. The Health & Safety Act, etc.
1.2 Safety Promotion
Safety must be recognized as a "core value." Procedures, practices, training and the allocation of resources must clearly demonstrate management's commitment to safety.
Safety in the electric company was included in all activity where the employees were expected to help develop a new safety culture by participating in safety while carrying out their daily work activities. Management made sure everyone was informed on safety policies making it readily available to employees when needed and stressed the importance of good health and wellness in the work place. It even included a safety work week where departments were rewarded for accidents reported in a timely manner and bonuses for departments with the most hazard identifications reports in a month every month. This encouraged employees to look out for hazards and risks present which may have led to an accident making them more aware of safety in their job activities.
1.3 Documents and Data Information Management
Organizations should have procedures to identify and manage the information
necessary to ensure compliance with SMS policies, procedures and goals.
The electric company started to organise their documents and data which became readily available when needed by employees and management to make informed decisions. Records and organizational data about operations were used to adjust documents. It was used by management and safety team to cross reference to find hazards or dangers associated with jobs. Record keeping was used to show trends in departments e.g. accidents/ injuries connected to jobs and was done graphically showing trends
1.4 Hazard Identification and Risk Management
The SMS needs to include a process to identify hazards and develop processes to identify and manage risks. Employees learned to identify a dangerous condition, assessed the threat to safety and then did something to correct it. The challenge for management was to show the employees that not all risks were to be deemed dangerous so their projection was important, they had to look at the situation and recognise all the ways it can fail. In the beginning of changing the safety culture of the company meetings were held and scenarios were played out for the employees to come up with some sort of safety mechanism in order to avoid an accident in the future. A risk matrix was used and thought the employees to assign values to risks from high to low based on the severity of the risk and likelyhood of occurance. Assignment of responsibility to people in different departments were done to help reduce risk.
1.5 Occurrence and Hazard Reporting
It feeds into the risk management process. Recording of hazards and occurances in the company, when records were made it was put together to look for any common elements in the company e.g. near misses/ injury on a specific job or equipment. Management recognized it was critical to establish a just culture in the company, they had to gain employees trust to report accidents, incidents, etc. therefore when an accident was reported management decided to omit the employee names in meetings held to discuss safety matter when relating to the particular subject area in safety. It was taken as a group participation to come up with solutions to the problem. Blame was not put on any individual and the fear factor of loosing one's job was gone. Management looked at the "what" and "why" and not the "who".
1.6 Occurrence Investigation and Analysis
Occurrence is often easier to analyse than risk because there is a sequence of events, evidence. The company worked backwards to determine accident sequence and the occurrences were closely inspected to determent the factors that lead to an event. The employees were thought to analyse their findings and add them to records to prevent similar events in the future.
1.7 Safety Assurance Oversight Programs
At the beginning of implementing the SMS management had to make sure that actions being taken were not causing unwanted consequences, so programmes were put in place to observe all employee practices to ensure only desirable effects i.e. safe effects. This was done by measuring all what was being done in different processes and the process that had undesired outcomes- was looked at and the question was asked â€¦why?. In other words the company observed its operations and used the data they collected to evaluate the performance of the programmes. It was then determined if it was getting better or worse.
1.8 Safety Management Training Requirements
Before the safety programme was implemented management observed that without proper training that employees will do tasks how they feel it should be done e.g. if hazard reporting is done differently by everyone it make it difficult to analyse data to come up with possible solutions to the hazard. So employees were trained in doing tasks how management wanted them to be done so employees did what management wanted them to do and not what they wanted to do. In other words show and tell employees how to effectively participate in the system. For employees with responsibility e.g. managing risk or information establish authority and duties.
1.9 Performance Measurement
Performance is measured by management of the company looking at the SMS and asking "is it making the work place any safer or worse?" "Are company's goals being reached?" " Are accidents and injuries being reduce?" Management measures performance in case changes need to be made in order to make the work environment safer for all and to accomplish what management wants.
There are different types of international standards when it comes to SMS. The most common standards will be briefly looked at to see what each require from organisations.
OHSAS 18001: Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS).
Developed by the British Standards Institute.
According to OHSAS 18001"13Voluntary standard for developing an occupational health and safety management system (HSMS).
Enables an organization to more proactively control health and safety risks and improve performance.
Developed in response to demands for a recognizable OHS management system that compliments the ISO 14001environmental management system".
There is currently no comparable ISO related HSMS standard available.
What Are The Requirements?
The 18001 standard features the following key elements:
OH&S Policy Statement
Implementation and Operation
Checking and Corrective Action
13Ron Scholtz-REA, CHMM Manager-Environmental/Safety Analog Devices, Inc
14BS8800:2004 gives guidance on:
a) The design and implementation OH&S management systems;
b) The evaluation of effective OH&S management with a view to continual
c) The relationship to and integration of an OH&S management system with other management systems standards.
15OC 203/12 British Standard 8800: 2004 Occupational Health and Safety
Planning and implementing
IMPLEMENTING AN SMS
Integrating a coherent SMS can be done in incremental steps. This allows the
organization to become acquainted with the requirements and results before
proceeding to the next step. The following checklist is a guide in validating that the attributes of a SMS are implemented.
Â¨ Policies, objectives and requirements of the SMS are published
Â¨ Organizational structure and key individuals and responsibilities are defined
Â¨ Elements of the SMS are defined
Â¨ Expectations and objectives of the SMS are conveyed to employees
Â¨ A method to identify and maintain compliance with safety and regulatory
15Health and Safety Executive Operational Circular OC 203/12 Review Date 24/09/2014 Open Government Status Fully Open Version No & Date 2: 24/09/2004 Author Unit/Section HID OPU Target Audience: All HSE Professional Staff (Bands 0-4 and unallocated)
Â¨ Senior management's commitment to the SMS published
Â¨ Senior management visibly demonstrates their commitment to SMS
Â¨ Outputs of the SMS is communicated to all employees
Â¨ Initial and recurrent training is provided to all personnel
Â¨ Competency requirements are defined for those individuals in key positions
Â¨ Training requirements are documented and periodically reviewed
Â¨ Lessons learned are shared to promote improvement of the safety program
Â¨ Employee safety feedback system is established
Â¨ A "Just Culture" process is in place
Document and Data Information Management
Â¨ Safety policies, objectives and SMS requirements publicized
Â¨ Safety regulations that govern the organization identified
Â¨ Pertinent safety and regulatory information provided to all employees
Â¨ Documentation describing the systems for each SMS component consolidated
Â¨ Change control system in place for applicable documents
Â¨ Personnel are educated on changes in documents
Â¨ Obsolete documents are promptly removed
Â¨ Periodic review of documents
Hazard Identification and Risk Management
Â¨ Procedures exist to proactively identify potential hazards
Â¨ Potential hazards are considered when making changes within the organization
Â¨ Risk Management Plans are prioritized and approved by appropriate level of
Â¨ Identified hazards are tracked for closure
Occurrence and Hazard Reporting
Â¨ Employees receive feedback on reported hazards
Â¨ Safety data analyzed
Â¨ Corrective actions monitored for effectiveness
Â¨ Hazards are monitored to identify trends
Â¨ A non punitive disciplinary policy in place for reporting hazards
Â¨ Provisions for anonymous submittals of hazards
Occurrence Investigation and Analysis
Â¨ Investigations conducted to determine root cause
Â¨ Person(s) conducting the investigation technically qualified
Â¨ Investigations identify what can be done to prevent future occurrences
Â¨ Both the immediate causal factors and the contributory factors identified
Â¨ Investigations include looking at organizational factors
Â¨ Acts of "omission" and "commission" identified
Â¨ Investigation reports provided to manager that has accountability and authority
Safety Assurance Oversight Programs
Â¨ Evaluations of operational processes conducted at regular intervals
Â¨ Checklists are utilized to conduct safety evaluations
Â¨ Contractor activities included in safety oversight programs
Â¨ Processes evaluated by a nonâ€stakeholder
Â¨ Results and corrective actions documented
Â¨ Positive observations documented
Â¨ Findings categorized
Â¨ Results and corrective actions shared with all employees
Â¨ Available technology used
Safety Management Training Requirements
Â¨ Safety orientation for all new employees
Â¨ Competency requirements documented
Â¨ Training requirements documented
Â¨ Regularly scheduled safety meetings
Â¨ Key personnel continuously educated on safety management best practices
Management of Changes
Â¨ Operational procedures analyzed
Â¨ Changes in location, equipment or operating conditions analyzed
Â¨ Maintenance and operator manuals are posted with current changes
Â¨ Personnel are made aware of and understand any changes
Â¨ Level of management with authority to approve changes identified
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Â¨ Plan is readily available at work stations
Â¨ Plan is relevant and useful
Â¨ Emergency response plan periodically tested
Â¨ Be updated when contact details change
Â¨ Personnel briefed on the plan and their responsibilities
Â¨ Training in emergency response procedures provided
Â¨ Responsibilities defined for immediate response personnel
Â¨ Responsibilities defined for secondary response personnel
Â¨ Responsibilities defined for site security and accident investigation
Â¨ Procedures for next of kin notification
Â¨ Procedure for claims and insurance
Â¨ Procedures for aircraft recovery
Â¨ Safety performance monitoring used as feedback to improve the system
Â¨ Address individual areas
Â¨ Are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented, Timely)
Â¨ Linked to the organization's business performance measures
The International Helicopter Safety Symposium 2007 Montréal, Québec, Canada
Benefits of health and safety management systems
According to Business Link(2010) the benefits are "Taking a systematic approach to management makes managing your business both easier and more effective. You work out the best way to handle each key activity and make sure that everyone uses the same approach every time.
A consistent approach like this reduces the number of mistakes and the cost of correcting problems. It also reduces the level of risk and ensures that you comply with legislation. This can positively influence your business:
Improved health and safety performance by your business will reduce the costs associated with accidents and incidents.
Improved awareness of regulatory requirements reduces the chance that you will commit any offences. The Health & Safety Executive will generally regulate your business with a lighter touch if it is well managed.
If employees see that you are actively looking after their health and safety, relations and morale willÂ improve.
The public see that you are taking a responsible attitude towards your employees. This improves your image and helps generate positive PR for your business.Â
Improving the efficiency of your business reduces your costs.
You can demonstrate to your insurers that you are controlling risk effectively. This may help lower your insurance premiums.
Banks and investors will be more willing to finance your business if you can show that it is well managed.
Business partners have more confidence in your business. Larger companies and government agencies may only buy from businesses that can show effective management systems".
Confidence in your management systems will be highest if you can demonstrate that you comply with recognised management standards.
Business Link.,2010.Benefits of Health & Safety Management System [Online] (Updated 2010) Available at:http://businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?type=RESOURCES&itemId=1074403734
The following documentations were used to gather information from a small group of employees in an organisation. This section will also include analysis of raw data that has been collected using assessments. The procedure of data collection and data analysis will later be discussed. First though is a SWOT analysis of the methodology.
SWOT Analysis of the Methodology
Availability of resource materials
Lack of goodwill from employers
Personal questioning of workers
Inability to gather objective data
Getting answers through calculations
Workers privacy issues
Appropriate research tools
Discontinuation of the affected employees
Getting less serious cases
Questionnaire documents were sent to a small based energy company of 35 employees (which had no SMS in place at the time in 2007 but in 2008 the OHSAS 18001 was implemented) in the beginning of February, and collected two weeks later. It focused on Maintenance Departments and Electrical Departments. The data gathered from the questionnaire respondents was interpreted and tabulated. The table below shows the data collected.
# of Accidents
# of Accidents
Electrical Burns, Shock
The variables that were used to gauge the types of injuries in the company were: age, gender, number of accidents, injuries. Workers were required to tell of the effects they suffered while working in their departments.
2. 31-49 years
3. 50-63 years
Number of Accidents Recorded-2009
Diagram showing percentage of injuries that occurred in the Mechanical Department.
It is seen in 2008 the rate of injuries were high in the areas of cuts, scrapes and busted toes, gashes to employees occurred less than these two.
Diagram showing percentage of injuries that occurred in the Electrical Department.
The diagram shows the rate of injuries in 2008 were high in the areas of Electrical burns and shock.
These results will now be compared with injury reports of 2009 where an SMS was implemented.
# of Accidents
2.85% Fig 3.3
Diagram showing number of injuries after SMS was implemented: Maintenance Department.
This diagram now shows the rate of injury when the Safety Management System was implemented. One can see that injuries were drastically reduced, cuts and scrapes dropped tremendously from 8.57% I figure 3.1 to 2.85% in figure 3.3 The SMS made the employees more aware of hazards and preventative measures. Busted toes were also reduced and gashes came down to nil, making no injury in this department the highest in a year time.
# of Accidents
Electrical Burns, Shock
5.71% Fig 3.4
Diagram showing the number of injuries after SMS was implemented: Electrical Department
In the electrical department electrical burns and shocks were reduced as seen from fig 3.2 and fig 3.4 Electrical burns dropped from 11.42% to 2.87% and Electrical shock dropped from 8.57% to 5.71% No injuries was the highest it has been in a year.
Seeing the reduction of injuries on the job made management even more dedicated to the implementation and continual improvement of the Safety Management System.
RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Safety Management Systems is one of the most important systems one can find in an organisation and it should be encouraged by management for the development and continual improvement of one. The cost of such a system may be high but the end benefits are priceless, the reduction of hazards, risks and changing work cultures are a few benefits that cannot be measured financially. The laws have already been put in place in many countries, Trinidad and Tobago being one of them. However, the laws have not translated to standard that an organization should undertake for development of such a standard. It is left up to management to decide the standard in which it so chooses to embark upon. Such as in the case mentioned above OHSAS 18001 was chosen by management because it suited the needs of such an organization.
There are a few recommendations in this section to encourage the development and implementation of such a system. These measures should be taken by government and the employer and the employee themselves. Hazards and risks are a part of everyday work life in many industries, and it is important for employees to know the risks of their job. It is wise to have weekly meetings to discuss the jobs that are being undertaken and be reminded of the risks involved. Training and remedial training for new and well seasoned employees at an organisations, management must stress the need for these reminders and demonstrate commitment to such a system.
Another recommendation is that the government should make SMS mandatory in industries, with a recommendation of what international standard would tailor for different businesses. It should also set up a government body to assist industries in such a venture where even management will be taught the value of implementing such a system. Also aid should be available to industries on how to go about developing, implementing such a system and gaining international recognition by registration with different bodies e.g. ISO, BSI, OSHA.
These are some of the Assessment Forms used by the company in their Safety Management System.
1. Name of respondent â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦
2. Age of respondent
19-30years [ ] 31-49 years [ ] 50-69 years [ ]
Male [ ] Female [ ]
5. What types of hazards are you exposed to?
Shock [ ] Cuts & Scrapes [ ] Gashes [ ] Burns [ ]
Squeeze fingers [ ] Busted Toes [ ]
6. Do you use protective gadgets?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
7. Did you have any history of any medical problems prior to joining the industry?
8. How long have you been on the job?
Less than 5 years [ ] Between 10 and 20 years [ ] Over 20 years [ ]
9. Do you report all injuries?
Yes [ ] No [ ] Sometimes [ ]
11. How often does injury occur??
Several times a day [ ] Once in a day [ ] Once a week [ ]