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Compliance Costs-Employee Penalties

Fines are not always directed at employers; employees are fined for safety violations as well. Do you have meeting compliance requirements as one of your ongoing objectives?

There is legislation in place in some of Canada's provinces allowing government officers to issue fines from $100 to $500 to workers and employers and administrative tickets up to $10,000 for repeat offenders.

Some of the factors that determine the penalty by the officer include: the seriousness of the contravention or failure to comply, the risk of harm resulting from this, and other factors the officer considers relevant.

These fines, which will come into effect in 2014, may be a moneymaker for government, but they also are a tool to promote safe work practices and an incentive to ensure the worker, as well as the company, is accountable.

However, if employees are fined, will they report injuries? Supervisors are also subject to fines – how will they be judged, working between the employer and employees? Should they be charged for a worker being exposed to workplace hazards?

We do know that employees play an important role in workplace safety; however, this type of policy does not exist in the United States. OSHA places responsibility for a safe and healthy workplace on employers, who are required to comply with occupational safety and health standards under the act.

Strategic Planning-Objectives and Programs

Continual improvement of the organization's overall performance is a permanent objective for any company.

Senior management is responsible for ensuring that objectives tied to the management of its risks are established throughout the organization and that there is a system in place to track and monitor them. These objectives need to be consistent with the company's policy statement(s) and take into consideration customer satisfaction, new projects or new/ modified activities, products, services, or legal requirements. Organizations have many objectives, from improvement of operations, meeting customer requirements, and improving product realization to improving sustainability and enhancing occupational health and safety (reducing incidents and accidents).

1. Determine the tools used for managing and tracking business

performance throughout the organization.

• Six Sigma

• Lean manufacturing

• Quality cost analysis

• 5S

• Kaizen

• Cost accounting

• Benchmark studies

• Business plans

• Customer satisfaction surveys

• Objectives – improvement

• Award recognition

2. Determine and prioritize plans for the upcoming year and the long term (two to three years), looking at the inputs and outputs. If plans are too far away in time, support is sometimes difficult to get from team members – the buy-in is not there.

3. Questions to ask:

a. Are the objectives consistent with the policy?

b. What objectives do you have in place for:

i. Quality

ii. Environment

iii. Health and safety

iv. Other

c. Who is responsible for overseeing them? Is there an action plan in place? Are they tied to a budget requirement?

d. Are objectives measurable? Are time lines tied to them?

e. Is there buy-in for your objectives? Which one is done and why?

f. Are they realistic to achieve?

g. How are objectives and targets tracked and reviewed for completion?

4. Addressing risks – establish objectives with measurable indicators and continual improvement projects. Take into account risks and their significance, looking at the severity and frequency of impacts, together with legal requirements and opportunities to change.

5. Management of change – plan to manage change in a systematic way, reviewing the potential consequence of the changes and ensuring that knowledge needs are considered.

6. Determine key performance indicators (KPI) – these metrics or indicators will ensure tracking of progress and that improvements are managed with accountability.

7. Determine monitoring requirements for objectives and targets (O&T) – daily/weekly/monthly, depending on progress to ensure ongoing alignment with the plans.

8. Determine communication channels for informing stakeholders about progress – executive planning strategies can be communicated to employees through company meetings, intranet, and postings.

9. Management review process – one of the key areas for planning to consider is that the organization wants to improve; therefore the management system structure continues with each project in each management system cycle (quarterly, yearly, etc.), and we ensure that we identify, insure, and improve.

Good to Great

Jim Collins describes the planning stage well in his book Good to Great, outlining the “hedgehog concept,” which is an operating model that reflects the understanding of three intersecting circles:

1. What you can be the best in the world at

2. What you are deeply passionate about

3. What best drives your economic or resource engine

Assess/Reflect/Act

In the beginning of the book, you assessed and reflected on principles. Now it is time to take action to commit your company to being innovative, to improving, and to be sustainable.

This may require improvement in your management system structure, processes, risk reduction, resources, direction for the organization, and so on.

• Who will champion them?

• Time frame – act now.

Investment – what value does it bring?

 
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