Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, ASP, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

A Review of ANSI Z10: A Model for Business Management Systems Integration


The conference paper details a case study of implementing ANSI Z10 in an organization through an integrated systems approach. The case study examines the development and implementation of the Operational Risk Management Daily Work Briefing. The case study also looked at Task Based Risk Assessment (TaBRA), a risk assessment implementation strategy.


The article starts with a review of the history of safety from the 1970s through the 2010s. The author asserts that safety transitioned from focusing on compliance to organizational behavior and culture. Asserts, “A significant amount of management referred to the regulations as guidelines rather than regulations.” It was felt that the safety community was responsible for many historical disasters. The article presents a proverbial call to arms for safety professionals to connect with systems thinking and systems management practices.

Systems thinking is a framework built on and connected by other systems. Systems thinking is applied to improve the interrelationship of financial, environmental, and human resources. Failure to understand and implement systems within the organization allows conditions for errors and loss-producing events to occur. The article details the results of applying the systems thinking approach and the consequence of not applying the systems thinking approach. The author provides specific examples of creating systems interfaces by applying the ANSI Z10 platform to systems thinking utilizing the 21st Century Systems Thinking Mind-Map.

ANSI Z10 2012 includes seven significant sections. The article suggested focusing on simplifying the message so managers and employees understood the system. There was an emphasis placed on keeping things simple. Tasks were designed with as few exposures to high-hazard tasks as possible. The attention was placed on changing the conversation. The case studies were of actual implementation based on the ANSI Z10 framework. The framework implements the continuous improvement cycle of the Demings’ four-phase “Plan-Do-Check-Act” (PDCA). Phase 1 – The Assessment/Audit (Plan), Phase 2 – The Implementation (Do), Phase 3 – Checking the Plan, and Phase 4 – Acting upon Findings. Phase 1 requires significant effort and begins with an audit of existing systems following the prescribed method.

ANSI Z10 is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model. Risk assessments identify the how and why not so much the what. A system within a system as all systems are connected to larger systems. Task-Based Risk Assessment (TaBRA) was developed by a manufacturing company and trade union. The aim is to engage the worker as the subject matter expert and have them share their experiences to identify and control hazards. This method aligns with the PDCA method and general ANSI Z10 requirements.

The ANSI Z10 framework facilitates a paradigm shift in thinking from safety to systems improvement. The article provides several suggestions to consider when implementing improvement strategies.

  • Recognize that safety is a system within a larger (operational) system.
  • Implement systems and course corrections based on evidence.
  • Understand the consequences of decisions.
  • Concentrate on cyclical cause and effect.
  • Watch for unintended consequences.
  • Look at the entire system, not specific aspects, when “problem” solving.
  • Results should focus on system integration.
  • Use the same language as operations, do not create a “new” safety vernacular.


John T. Bennett, & Michael A. Taubitz



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