afety management system gap assessment
Property Casualty

Is Your Safety Management System Misfiring?

Kevan Bakewell
Kevan Bakewell
Vice President, Enterprise Loss Control, PC

Just like a car, it’s important your safety programs and process are running at peak efficiency to get great performance. As time goes by, a tune-up may be needed where a consultant (mechanic) checks your spark plug gaps and replaces the plugs to improve performance fuel efficiency. Just like a car, your safety programs and process need recurring maintenance and attention to ensure they’re not going stale and they’re achieving the goals you set out to achieve.

The definition of a management system is a set of policies, processes, and procedures used by an organization to ensure it can fulfill the tasks required to achieve its objectives. A safety management system is just the collection of all the activities and processes you have in place to reach your safety goals. It can involve many people and usually includes risk management practices such as training, leadership, compliance programs, incident investigation, inspections, corrective actions, and communication.

Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” In addition to clearly defining what your vision and destination are for your safety system objectives, you also have to know where you are. This is why a safety gap assessment is so important! It can help leaders understand how their safety process is currently performing (in the view of employees) as well as understand any risks that exist that may not be acceptable. Once the current state and the future state are both crystal clear to everyone, a good plan can be developed for improvement. But it all starts with the gap assessment!

The gap assessment is a process we’ve developed which helps you better understand where gaps exists in your risk management efforts. It’s normally the second step of a 6-step process to develop a safety strategy. If company leaders and employees understand the safety vision (what safety success looks like) and a safety gap assessment is completed, then analysis can be done to help us jointly develop a prioritized roadmap to get you where you want to go. From there, strong key performance indicators can be developed that will clearly identify employee roles and responsibilities for execution, as well as measures that show every week if the company is getter better at reducing risk. Over time, leaders can more effectively identify where the safety management system is “misfiring” and correct performance concerns immediately. This is a much more effective practice than waiting to see if injuries go up or down over time and then reacting.

In our experience, many companies don’t have a safety strategy in place. By conducting a good assessment and starting the process of safety strategy development, your company can have a distinct competitive advantage! You will reduce risk, reduce injuries and incidents, and ultimately, improve employee morale and quality customer service while reducing turnover. Your company becomes better in all areas by focusing on your management system!

Is it time you replace your tired out safety “engine” with a new high performance motor with better fuel efficiency? Let’s start by checking the “gaps,” and you’ll get to your safety destination much faster then you’ve hoped for. Let’s go! Reach out to us today to get the project started!

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