Q36. When should we review our occupational safety and health objectives?

The review process to establish the organisation's success or otherwise in meeting occupational safety and health (OSH) objectives should be integrated into the safety management system (SMS), so that it is a scheduled management activity as part of the normal operation of the organisation. The review process depends on the time and performance criteria set for individual objectives, which in turn determine when objectives should be reviewed.

Since objectives are set as measures of OSH performance, the review process should:

• Where objectives have not been met, analyse whether:

• Objectives were realistic and achievable when originally set (taking the SMART criteria into account).

• Adequate resources were made available, such as finance, personnel, equipment, etc.

• Unanticipated changes occurred during the OSH objective period, such as extreme weather conditions, civil unrest or unexpected industrial action, etc.

• Management responsible for meeting the objectives performed adequately in their planning and implementation for the project or operations covered.

• The SMS itself has failings that contributed towards objectives not being met, such as insufficient resources for training, lack of documented procedures, etc.

• Where objectives have been met, consider:

• Whether targets were too easy to achieve and thus did not result in any tangible improvement over past performance results.

• Acknowledgement (and perhaps reward) of both workers and management for their success in meeting targets.

One of the best places within your SMS to record the organisation's performance in meeting OSH objectives is in the management review document. This annual process provides a natural focal point for reviewing OSH objectives and, even where an objective is still current during a management review, it can be reviewed and commented upon as work-in-progress.

The overall benefits of reviewing objectives are that measuring performance against set criteria year-on-year identifies trends within the organisation and your own performance against industry, national and international standards, which allows management to make strategic decisions for improving safety management performance.

Q37. What is planned preventative maintenance?

Equipment and systems maintenance is a process that continues to develop in a systematic way within industry. Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) (also known as fixed time maintenance (FTM)) is an evolution from the most basic and unsophisticated 'breakdown' or 'failure' maintenance approach, which replaces or repairs equipment only when it breaks.

PPM has developed as a time-based strategy, the general purpose of which is to minimise breakdowns and excessive depreciation, through the efficient scheduling of inspections to maintain or replace components before they fail, and to maximise the efficient use of maintenance staff.

The primary objectives of a documented PPM system are to:

• Reduce production downtime due to equipment breakdowns.

• Maintain equipment to relevant legislative or internally-defined safety standards.

• Increase equipment efficiency, system reliability and increased asset life expectancy.

• Maximize fuel and / or energy efficiency.

• Reduce the likelihood of unplanned 'fault' or 'corrective' maintenance.

• Reduce financial loss due to production delays.

The safety and cost implications for operating equipment maintained under a documented system are obvious and ensure that an organisation is working towards meeting its general legislative requirement to provide safe work equipment. PPM systems can be run as stand-alone systems or as part of an asset management / plant integrity programme but, in addition, they should be defined (usually as a management procedure) as a risk reduction measure within your organisation's safety management system.

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