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Box ticking exercise

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Ground and pound
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Box ticking exercise

Post by Ground and pound »

Hello,

I`m working in the place when we had fatal accident some time ago. Since then many things change in the H&S area but in my opinion not everything is going in the right direction.
Few weeks ago lower level managers had been informed about the daily targets for safety conversations and near misses. It quickly became box ticking exercise for the guys who are doing this and obviously did not improve the level of H&S on the site.

Had any of You ever worked for the company with daily target for near miss reports?

Is it allowed to set up the targets for such a things like safety conversations or near misses?

Thanks

G&P
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Ian Rienewerf
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Re: Box ticking exercise

Post by Ian Rienewerf »

I can see two problems here:
A) Setting targets for negative events - targets should be positive.
B) Line managers driving this forward - it should be the workers.

A) Many years ago the factory where I worked tried to reduce their "sick note" absentee-ism, by setting a target of 3% per person.
Many people with good attendance (myself included) saw this as a target to reach - we were now entitled to have 6-days off work every year on full pay.
Make sure you don't make accidents acceptable - the target should be zero.
Instead of targeting a reduction in negative accidents and near misses, try to focus on positive "opportunities for improvement" to make life easier - via staff suggestions.

B) Some of the best safety training sessions I delivered to construction workers were when I sat down and they talked to me about their work, and the issues they encountered day-to-day.
Initially they came to me with problems (negative) - and I told them I needed to know the solution (positive).
Together we came up with the answers, and this gave the workers ownership of the problem (instead of the managers)

Once the workers realised that they could make the changes happen, they were happy to identify the issues onsite as soon as they happened - instead of working around them.
My weekly safety checks were a lot easier once they started to do my job for me.
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Messy
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Re: Box ticking exercise

Post by Messy »

Ian Rienewerf wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 10:25 am
A) Many years ago the factory where I worked tried to reduce their "sick note" absentee-ism, by setting a target of 3% per person.
Many people with good attendance (myself included) saw this as a target to reach - we were now entitled to have 6-days off work every year on full pay.
I totally see your point, but IMHO targets need to be applied only where necessary and be realistic to promote staff motivation to achieve them

I had a boss who introduced a 0% lateness and sickness (unless related to a work event) target. I had to sell this concept to my shift

I explained to my boss we has 54 staff at this fire station providing cover 24/7/365. Some travel well over an hour - some much more - to get to work and its untenable to think that none of the 1000s of journey they collectively make will ever be delayed when you consider the M25, London's congestion and numerous public transport issues that arise annually.

Similarly, to think none of the 54 posted here will never get sick in 12 months is naive. His view is that he cannot sanction ANY absenteeism - not even 0.5%. The result was we all ignored the targets and they were all mostly missed.

Then we had a 0% target for fire deaths. Of course, a wonderful aspiration, but how do you achieve that. This target led to some curious conversations with management who said we should all be embarrassed and see a fire related death as us letting down the community we served :shock: That didnt go down well. My station had the worst fire death figures for a couple of years. I wrote to the local authority to help with projects to reduce this awful fact, only to be disciplined by my boss for publicly using (open source) information we the fire service should be ashamed of. (Lions and monkeys spring to mind ;) )

So you can see why I am skeptical about applying useless targets and like G&P has stated, dishing out targets often shows unimaginative & weak management who are intent on box ticking rather than grasping the issue
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Re: Box ticking exercise

Post by Ian Rienewerf »

Ian Rienewerf wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 10:25 am Make sure you don't make accidents acceptable - the target should be zero.
I can see where my words could have been clearer Messy.
Zero is an unrealistic target - the target should be to aim for zero accidents / not achieve zero acccidents.

I always "adjust" my clients H&S policy wording to align with the ISO45001 words for section 5.2,
Establish, implement and maintain an OH&S policy that:
d) includes a commitment to eliminate hazards and reduce OH&S risks


The HSE recommendation is to quote the following:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-sa ... tement.pdf
Our health and safety policy is to:
- prevent accidents and cases of ill-health

I believe the HSE words above are just plain wrong.

As soon as there is an accident or ill-health - the company has failed to meet the obligations written down in the policy statement of intent.
The policy statement becomes worthless, and the company has opened itself up to liability claims by failing to meet it's own targets.

In the original post - box ticking exercises can cause more problems than they solve if they are implemented badly, and turn the workforce against H&S due to unrealistic or unachievable goals, enforced by management, with no input from the workforce.

Edit: I assume the tick box targets are to log near miss reports to increase accident detection, and hold safety talks to prevent re-occurrence.
Even I get H&S overload sometimes and switch off due to too much information - so keeping the staff onboard is critical.
The actions should give value to the workers - and not be a tick box exercise
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Re: Box ticking exercise

Post by Blackstone »

Targets have always got to have conversations, reasons, action and monitoring to go with them.

No good setting a target for near misses if:
a) people dont know why they are raising near misses,
b) there is no feedback to the person raising the near miss
c) near miss is raised but actually nothing is done to prevent reoccurrence

Targets must always be SMART of course an linked to the aims of the business.

We have weekly near miss targets and we can show how the incident and accident rates have dropped since will put the target in place.
I lot or work goes on in the background to educate staff on why NM's are important and what gets done about them.
It's on the NM raising person to initially do something about it, then on the department to own the solution. All tracked and overseen by EHS and SLT
'Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough that they don't want to!' - Richard Branson
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