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Safety Management Systems Audit
Strong management and leadership is at the core of safety when it comes to any engineering organization. A leader in management or a manger needs to be someone who is comfortable with both technical issues and business issues and who can meet and guide the separate needs of these departments accordingly. This leader needs to be able to develop a product using the inputs from a group of experts. Such leaders need to have both education and experience in the latest leadership theories and styles. At this organization the leadership does direct and guide the implementation of OHSMS and establishes a clear health and safety policy, as outlined by AIHA (Asse.org). Just as importantly, the management and leadership need to be the ones who assume the overall responsibility for an organization and work hard for it to happen successfully. Rather than yelling at employees for mistakes and shortcomings at my organization, leaders assume responsibility for those mistakes and work to see that they're improved upon through strong leadership and better guidance.
Occupational Health and Safety Policy
The policy for occupational health and safety is very strong at this organization. Current policies and procedures along with new ones are constantly being upheld and evaluated according to a risk assessment matrix. This matrix is a quick and efficient way to determine how hazardous or potentially hazardous a new procedure is. For example, this matrix is used to determine how likely it is that a new tool, policy or method could cause catastrophic injury, disability, minor injury, or negligible accident (asse.org). In this manner, leaders and management members are constantly considering the worst case scenario and possibility, because that is essentially something that they must do to make arrangements to safeguard for the safety of their employees. Aside from giving all employees a copy of the OHS & P. regulations and keeping those regulations well posted, the company also subscribes to the following beliefs: "People are our most valuable asset - we are all committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of everyone in the workplace. Everyone has a responsibility for safety. Injuries can be prevented. We work together for a safer workplace by communicating and consulting with each other" (unsw.edu.au). Keeping this king of mentality strong is one of the ways in which the work place embodies a philosophy of safety.
Responsibility and Authority
The chain of command and leadership at this organization is extremely strong. Everyone is aware of who their immediate supervisor is and everyone knows who they can go to with a problem. With that said, the chain of command is never oppressive. Workers who are lower on the totem pole, never feel like they can't speak up about issues which are bothering them or if they have a new idea of how to do something. Together, all are aware of the collective and individual responsibilities and all are working hard to work towards common and separate goals. The leadership is very good with being responsible for their plans and can identify the resources and skill-sets necessary in current staff and staff being recruited. Part of the responsibility of all members is to perform quality control checks and to supervise the installation and proper running of new equipment. Everyone knows their responsibilities, even if their responsibilities are just to delegate to others or to resolve disputes. It is for all these reasons that the company works in a smooth and streamlined manner.
As already alluded to, because there is a clear balance of power and a great deal of transparency, employee participation is very high. Employees not only participate to ask questions and to share ideas (even at times offering more streamlined alternatives as to how things can be accomplished), but this participation extends to general safety and safety procedures. Employees have a responsibility to participate in simulated emergencies and to demonstrate the proper skills and techniques when acting in a simulated emergency (Stellman, 1998). Part of employee participation is simply demonstrating that one knows how to cooperate with others. The leadership and the employees can often work together to create an employee preparedness committee, and in the case of this organization, they've done exactly that.
Initial and Ongoing Reviews
This organization fully understands that initial and on-going reviews is one of the most important ways to establish accountability. Ongoing reviews can help to maintain project timing, keeping things on schedule, but can also prevent large mistakes that fundamentally take longer time to fix and which will have to be corrected later (Baker, 2010).
Assessment and Prioritization
Employees understand that they're going to constantly be assessed and evaluated; this process goes hand in hand with the review process. Assessing employees in a constructive and healthy way can help them to constantly improve; however, if employees feel like they're being constantly criticized or attacked, the review process isn't helpful. At the organization in question, employees are always made to feel like they're important and make meaningful contributions to the team -- even when they're being assessed. Furthermore, assessment can add to the prioritization process by make communication clearer and more meaningful and move more important projects up the ladder.
Hierarchy of Controls
"Put simply, the principle of the hierarchy of controls is to control the hazard as close to the source as possible" (Diane). Essentially this means communication the clear order that must be followed when choosing among options for controlling health and safety standards (Diane). All employees are aware of it and all of them work hard to implement and follow this hierarchy when relevant.
Design review is very much an ongoing process and is essentially to the success and proper functioning of the organization. Design review is vital when tools and equipment are being created, as well as when they're being put together. Design review ensures that everyone is on the same page, and that everyone is continually working towards the same vision with the same goals in mind. Furthermore, not only does this organization eloquently and succinctly employ design review with these goals in mind, but does so in order to prevent headaches later. Gradual and consistent design review means that any design flaws are immediately addressed along the way.
Management of Changes
During this audit it was clearly discovered that the company leadership was adept at managing change correctly. The change management systems that they had in place were all rock solid. Moreover, during development, the management was extremely good at addressing change orders. The management kept up with the change orders as they came in and was able to say which ones were important and needed to be addressed, and which ones were simply superfluous.
The procurement department is extremely well-organized and adept at securing all technical tools and forms of equipment which the firm needs. The procurement department works like an extremely well-oiled machine and has in-depth knowledge about all the equipment and supplies that are used in the industry, along with the companies that sell them. The procurement department has solid relationships with a range of other companies and they communicate extraordinarily well together.
During the audit, it was clear that this firm took emergency preparedness extremely seriously. Not only are all individual departments well-versed and educated as to how they're expected to react in an emergency, they've all been through countless simulated emergencies. For example, the appropriate departments have engaged in "… post-emergency services as records preservation, equipment repair, earthmoving or engineering. Meet with insurance carriers about property and business resumptions policies…" (ufl.edu). Furthermore, the physical location where the company resides has been reinforced in a variety of ways in the event of an emergency: "Adding steel bracing to frames, adding sheer walls to frames, strengthening columns and building foundations, replacing unreinforced brick filler walls" (ufl.edu). All of these safeguards, among many others have been long in place.
Education, Training and Awareness
While the majority of the engineers are extremely well educated, the firm makes it extremely clear that education is definitely something that they see as a form of continuing process. All engineers are expected to take classes and to get advanced degrees. In order to stay sharp on all processes and procedures, engineers have to train the new hires in a rotation so that it becomes everyone's responsibility. Education is one of the fundamental pillars of building awareness of advancements in the field or even mistakes that colleagues have made which can then be avoided in the future.
Monitoring and Measurement
Monitoring and measurement is continually engaged in on multi-levels so that this is accomplished in the most thorough manner. For example, processes like continuous level measurement, point level measurement, interface level density measurement, mass flow measurement, and continuous measurement are all aspects which are closely watched over, among many other dynamics. Consistent monitoring requires a certain level of vigilance. Team members also need to learn what to look for and what sort of abnormalities will…[continue]
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