Friday, December 13, 2013

After Training, Everyone Is Ready To Go... Or Are They?

An SMS Enterprise has established policies, objectives and goals. One of the policies is for employees to report hazards, incidents and accidents.  In addition to policies, the Enterprise has an SMS training system in place for requirements of reporting hazards, incidents or accidents. After this training is done, there is a knowledge test distributed and everyone passes. Everyone is now ready to go... or are they?

It does not make it a fact that there are no hazards to report if no hazards are reported.  
How is it possible to know if all hazard required to be reported are reported? In a “just culture” everyone should feel confidence that reporting hazards are vital to safe operation and that management needs these hazards reported for trending of their hazard register.

When hazards have been mitigated it is expected that they do not reoccur. However, if hazards are not reported and mitigated, someone will be exposed to that hazard several times.  At some point this unattended hazard could become an incident.  

There are several methods to track the ratio of hazards submitted to latent hazards.  As a simplified example I picked the Heinrich pyramide. Herbert William Heinrich was born in 1886 and a safety pioneer from the 1930s.  

The longer time it takes for a hazard to be exposed, the longer time it takes for the hazard to become an incident. 
In his research he found that for every 300 hazard exposed, there are 29 minor injuries and 1 major injury. When applying this simple theory, for each block of 29 minor injures reported to the Enterprise, the hazard must have been exposed 300 times. This is a simple method to begin the tracking ratio of hazards.