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The IET Safety Community is the successor to the IET's Functional Safety Professional Network.  It has been set up to support activities that improve the development and assurance of safe systems, and to draw together professionals working in functional and systems safety.
Sacred Cows - Challenging Fundamental Safety Principles

Most of the UK transport systems are operating at or above capacity, what has been done to increase capacity has already been done, for example longer trains, managed motorways and efficient air traffic control on the air corridors around the UK. However, we still need more! This evening seminar will look at whether we would now start challenging what we could call "Fundamental Safety Principles" in these three industries. Can we operate trains, cars and planes at closer headways if we take a very hard look at some of these tablets of stone? Do we have to increase the risk of an accident (will we be allowed to) if even by a small margin in order increase the throughout (and thus reduce other risks e.g. overcrowding etc.) I am sure there will be good arguments for and against!

See the joint updated blog from the IET Railway and IET Safety TPN the links to all the excellent video footage we shot during the event. 


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When the organization identify how much they belief in safety, and where is the safety culture from their business culture, they should act promptly to improve the safety culture level within the organization. These actions could be developing a well-prepared company safety program, improve their management commitment, and start engaging their employees to the safety programs to prompt their commitment as well.

Organization Safety and Health Programs

The main aim from safety programs is to prevent accidents and reduce health hazards to works so it can be named also as Accident prevention programs. According to Geotsch (2011), organizations started to realize the importance of having safety programs early on 1800s. It is very important to note that to prepare a safety programs and standards could be easy, but the implementation of these programs is not that easy, and that implementation can be considered one of the safety culture indicators. The safety program should include many elements like work instructions, polices, training programs, rules, and regulations. The safety program should ensure the safety of workers in their working environment, enforce safety education to employees, and provide indicators or elements to ensure the fulfillment of safety requirements by all stockholders. This program should identify clearly the safety and health responsibilities within the organization and include monitoring process like audits and inspection systems to ensure proper implementation and continual improvement.

Management Commitment

Management commitment to safety is the grantee of implementing any safety program, the indicator of management safety beliefs, and where is the safety from management’s priorities. Without a commitment from the management and considering safety as first priority, we cannot enforce safety program and procedures within work area. In addition, no need to think about employee’s commitment without having the commitment of their management.

In order to have a Management commitment within the organization and improve it, the organization board, corporate council ,or investors and shareholders must play a main role. They should identify proper criteria of choosing the management personal, and identify their safety beliefs and commitment level. In addition, they should have a monitoring system in place to ensure their commitment to safety. In addition, another way to ensure and improve the management personal commitment is to link the organization business targets with safety performance indicators that could make them keener on safety.

Employee Engagement

Employee commitment to safety is an indicator that proofs the entire organization commitment to safety and their safety beliefs. That is why engaging employees to safety process are very important to improve the organization's safety culture.

Employee engagement can take place through many methods to encourage the employees to think safety. Incentive and reward programs are one of the methods that being used to engage employees to safety, by appreciating the employee's safety efforts with rewards and morally as well. Empowering the employees also should be an effective method, so the management should encourage employees to freely express their concerns towards safety in their workplaces and consider it carefully and take prompt actions to rectify it as well. That could happen by using a proper reporting system within the organization, which makes the communication more easily and fast as well. Another way to improve employee engagement is to emphasize a behavior based safety program, provide training to employees on it, and encourage employee to behave safely and intervene with unsafe behaviors as well. Those and many other methods can improve the employee commitment to safety and in sequence the organization safety culture

Safety Culture And The Improvement Of Accident Prevention

As we mentioned earlier culture is the sole of the safety management, and without a sole it is considered a dead system. Therefore, without having that culture within the organization it will be a matter of pretending safety not acting safety and we cannot grantee commitment from management or employees towards safety. As a result accident will increase and organization safety performance will be in pad shape.

Reflection Of Safety Culture On Accident Prevention

Safety and health nowadays are mandatory and required not only ethically, but by legal regulatory as well which differs from country to another. Therefore, preparing safety and accident prevention programs became common issue and required routine from each organization. If management or employees do not belief in safety and it is not part of their culture and attitude, it will be so hard to implement the organization safety program, which as a result increases accidents and personal injuries.

There is one question that could answer why safety culture could affect accidents rate? This question is why the chances of having an accident to safety professionals are very low? The answer will differ from one to another. some people would say "because safety professional will be in a pad shape in front of the organization", others could answer as " safety professionals are well educated about safety and can avoid accident, simply he is the safety guy", both answers could be right, but the most accurate answer is that safety professionals are thinking safety, it became part of their life, behavior and attitude and that is what lowers the accidents chances to them. Now we recognized how much safety culture is a very important factor that could reduce accidents within the company and improve the implementation of accident prevention programs.
  • Posted Tue 09 Jun 2015 11:11 AM BST

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