I have been wanting to share our six principles of safety model with you for some time.
The reason for sharing this model is to help people come to understand that safety is not a simple unidimensional concept. It is multi-dimensional and the inherent risk in each dimension is ‘pulsing’ in real time as a function of exposure to various hazards in every workplace, during every hour of every day.
I know that many of you will want to say, “rubbish, safety is not rocket science…it is just common sense”. But if only it were that simple.
At Riskcom, we define safety as being the intersection of these dimensions or what we refer to as principles and it is this intersection that defines a unique space in time that represents the safest situation that can be reasonably achieved within a workplace.
It is what we refer to as the ‘safety space’ (See Figure 1 below).
So why is this important?
It is important because we want to help businesses effectively manage safety risk. And if we can tease apart the hazards in workplaces, provide a logical stepwise process that reduces the ‘safety noise’ that can often drown out clear risk-based thinking, then we can more likely help businesses manage the most complex safety risk situations.
In order to effectively manage safety risk, it helps if you first have a clear mental model or picture of safety. This model enables us to visualise and see how and why certain targeted safety improvement initiatives, plans and activities ‘mesh’ together within a logical and prioritised framework. The model helps us to ‘demystify’ safety, more effectively communicate the safety message to our people and demonstrates the complex interconnectedness of the safety components.
Figure 1 The Six Principles of Safety (6PSTM) illustrating the safety space as an emergent property arising from the interaction of individual safety dimensions.
For a business, this model can help you achieve your Organisational Critical Outcomes (OCOs). The objective (assuming that you desire to operate your business in a way that achieves your OCOs and where not causing harm to your employees is an OCO equal to production, profit, ROI etc.), is to navigate a path toward the safety space by effectively managing risk in each of the six principles.
The safety space is the reality of slogans such as ‘zero harm’.
Imagine the complexity of managing the safety space in let’s say, an underground coal mine or a large construction project. The problem of managing the risk of such complex workplaces becomes enormous.
So, it helps to break the workplace down into work zones (bite-sized chunks) and assess the risk of the hazards that exist in each zone.
The first objective is to understand which hazards could cause fatal or permanently disabling injuries (what I have described previously as the vital or critical few). We can then use our model of safety to help identify the hazards in each work zone that relate to each of the six principles and how they interrelate.
As we discussed in my previous post (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/darren-head-7254b912_riskmanagement-activity-6729953546973921281-bxkD), this process will help establish clarity over the major hazards and their critical risks in your business. These are the ‘risks that matter’. The good news is that the critical risks will only account for approximately 20% of all the risks in your business (remember the Pareto Principle?).
We can now make sure that effective controls are in place to manage the risk by ensuring that they are developed, implemented, monitored, measured, reviewed and a person is given the accountability to ensure the effectiveness of these controls.
I hope that by sharing this model with you and you considering your businesses’ critical risks, helps provide you with some new ideas to further develop your safety plans and more successfully manage your risk.
If you would like to discuss your specific risk situation with us, our details are below, we’d love to help.