Environment and Safety Management
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) incorporates the guidelines to the safety management systems in the organizations (McKinnon 48). The ANSI Z10 standard forms a frame to offer critical management system requirements, in addition to principles for enhancing the occupational safety and health. The ANSI-Z10 Standard is more superior to a Safety Management System (SMS) because SMS is only involved in controlling accidental losses through supervising critical safety elements on an ongoing basis (48). The standard is usually utilized with other regulatory requirement guidelines to enhance safety processes.
The ANSI-Z10 Standard classifies minimum requirements that an occupational safety and health management system should have, and usually applies to all organizations, regardless of their sizes and types. Other SMS take business-like approaches to safety and do not offer minimum risk level; hence, they are not as efficient as the ANSI-Z10 Standard. The fundamental elements that make ANSI Z10 standard superior are:
- Enhancement of management leadership as well as employee participation
- Planning to meet the established goals
- Implementation and operation of processes to reduce risks
- Evaluation and corrective action to identify areas that operate against the ANSI Z10 standard
- Management review to identify weaknesses and correcting such problems
An acceptable risk is a type of risk that has low level of probability in terms of exposure and severity of harm, when the level of tolerance is being considered (Manuele n.p). A risk can be acceptable if its level is below the arbitrary defined fraction of overall disease burden within the community and the cost incurred in reducing the risk surpasses the cost saved.
Every undertaking has a tolerable level of risk. According to Manuele, acceptable risk is one of the proper approaches to risk management because it ensures that no one has lost his/her life while the losses of workday injuries are kept at a zero level (n.p). Safety professionals have to ensure that products are manufactured in a manner that is unreasonably dangerous. Being unreasonably dangerous suggests that some residual risks are inevitable. The ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) concept is applicable in acceptable risk to illustrate the level at which risks are tolerable, but cannot be condensed further without incurring expenditure that exceeds the benefits accrued from a product.
Many organizations utilize human reliability assessment to evaluate human errors that occur during the process of accomplishing certain tasks. Most serious injuries that occur at the work places can be avoided, but organizational and management systems insufficiencies often result in human errors. Safety professionals can do a desirable job if they concentrate on identifying human error causal factors (Manuele n.p). Most human errors can be reduced because they emerge due to inattention or mistakes made by operators, but some errors result from complicated system problems.
Latent conditions are physical situations that are not recognized in the initial stages of a process, and arise through errors made by top-level decision makers. Latent conditions include administrative supervision gaps, impracticable procedures, training errors, inadequate tools, and poor automation. The consent of drift involves the description of a systematic proliferation toward error-supporting circumstances. In safety management, the consent of drift incorporates the systemic organizational performance error that emerges out of predicting accuracy. According to Mauela, the worker-focused behavior-based safety hardly assesses the origin of human error beyond the worker level. Additionally, the worker-focused behavior-based safety has restricted impact concerning injury prevention.
As the organizational landscape continues to experience change, safety professionals are compelled to review their traditional role. They are expected to succeed in becoming culture change agents by striving to attain effective safety processes. While management is involved in establishing the culture, safety depends mainly on culture. Nowadays, safety professionals are mainly discussing workplace design, quality leadership, performance improvement, as well as organizational culture of leadership, as aspects that can bring change in the organizational culture.
Safety professionals should develop strategies that focus on sustainable and high level performance. They should focus on behaviors by knowing factors that influence behavior change. All actions that safety professionals propose should be tested against the principles of ANSI Z10. Safety professionals should challenge strategies that have failed to offer sustainable improvement by offering better policies to enhance performance. To succeed as culture change agents, safety professionals must work with leaders in implementing new safety measures.
The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is part of the Total Quality Management (TQM), which involves a continuous process cycle of approaching problems at work and implementing solutions. The PDCA ensures a constant improvement in the overall structure of safety and environmental standards. Three specific ways that the PDCA can be utilized in enhancing safety performance include:
- Planning: Safety professionals should make plans that establish the objectives, as well as processes prerequisite to deliver results that correspond to the customer needs. In addition, planning assist in following the ANSI Z10 standard that assists in improving on safety.
- Monitoring: Scrutinizing and measuring processes can assist in identifying new solutions and enable organizations to benefit from continuous improvement. Monitoring can help in setting performance criteria and making follow-ups to realize the best results.
- Taking action: Taking action can assist in improving process performance. Preventive and corrective practices can assist in ensuring continuous process. Taking action also incorporates utilization ANSI Z10 standard in production process to realize the best results.
Manuele, Fred A. Advanced Safety Management Focusing on Z10 and Serious Injury Prevention. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Internet resource.
McKinnon, Ron C. Safety Management: Near Miss Identification, Recognition, and Investigation. Boca, Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012. Internet resource.
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