Through a review of the literature, the authors identify the critical elements of a safety management system (SMS) and discuss strategies for implementing each element.
Consistent throughout the work are references and examples of the importance of safety and health standards and practices. An integrated approach to managing safety is outlined, where safety policy is integrated into management policy and operational policy, where safety is done as part of operations and not in addition to operations.
It should be noted that there is a misnomer that Safety Management started in 1970. While Safety Regulation in its current state may have started in 1970, Safety management has its root in at least the early 1900s.
We can learn from the adoption model presented in the article. See figure 1. A successful Plan Do Check Act method was adapted from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). System integration models assist with implementing management of change in processes. The article discusses elements to include in policy and the need to review the policy annually. Offers several effective implementation strategies. These include employee involvement and participation, which we call employee engagement today. Participation in the safety committee is a suggested implementation strategy. Organizations can achieve safety governance through an influential safety committee. Communicating the SMS is core to successful implementation. The SMS should support risk reduction strategies that minimize exposure to hazards. The focus should be on implementing the hierarchy of controls. Communication must also clearly provide an understanding of the organization’s vision, values, and beliefs. Leadership must be visible and positively promote the management system.
Measuring, monitoring, and evaluating performance is a continuous process. The objective is to monitor performance continuously, proactively, and reactively. Consistently reviewing for an event’s immediate cause or potential cause, identifying underlying causes, and implementing and monitoring corrective actions. This activity should be considered monitoring, not confused with auditing and inspections. However, monitoring may have some of the same elements.
There is also a call to review and improve continuously. Systematic reviews based on the data collected from monitoring and independent audits should assess performance against identified key performance indicators (KPIs). Benchmarking against industry or market performance is also necessary to achieve a continuous improvement model.
The authors identify and give strategies to implement an integrated safety management system. They start the article by making a case for businesses to implement an SMS. Implementing effective safety management systems must have guidelines or policies that give clear direction to implement strategies to maintain expected performance and meet KPI goals.
Nuzaihan Aras Agus Salim, Naziah Muhamad Salleh, and Zuraihana Ahmad Zawawi