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NBBeacock  
#1 Posted : 13 February 2020 08:26:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
NBBeacock

Just wanting to get some opinions and thoughts – Little bit of background, I have been working in various H&S roles for around 20 years, I have been in my current role as a H&S Officer for the last 5 years. When I started the site had no real reporting culture unless it was a serious accident which even then the reports were poor. The site averaged 8 injury claims a year. We are now in a position were over the last 5 years near miss reporting has increased every year and accidents have reduced every year to the point where last year we had zero lost time and only 16 minor accidents across the 12 months with 0 claims. Obviously I am not saying that this is just down to a better reporting culture as we have implemented a lot of other things by way of training and educating staff, a lot of which has been triggered by actions from near miss reports.

Now - We have a new general manager who is from an production manager background with a focus on production figures, he is of the opinion that near miss reporting is a bad thing as it highlights that we have a dangerous site and in any case after the amount of reports over the past 5 years the figure should naturally reduce as we will have captured everything. He is saying that we should now aim to reduce the near miss reports and the accident reports will look after themselves.

I have expressed my opinions and believe firmly that what he is saying is (Politely) wrong and we will end up going back to where we were.

What do people think ?

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Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 13 February 2020 09:41:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Your new production manager is (politely) a pillock..

Does he want to stop all  reporting as all these investigations slow down production. Fake everything and make the figures look good...
What rock did he crawl out from under! 
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NBBeacock on 13/02/2020(UTC), Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
RVThompson  
#3 Posted : 13 February 2020 09:56:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
RVThompson

I agree - closed thinking. All workplaces are dynamic and employees come and go. HSG65 plan, do, check, act - repeat.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people get to be senior managers.

thanks 2 users thanked RVThompson for this useful post.
NBBeacock on 13/02/2020(UTC), Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
Dazzling Puddock  
#4 Posted : 13 February 2020 12:01:25(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dazzling Puddock

Reducing the numbers of near misses is a good thing as long as they are all reported!

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NBBeacock on 13/02/2020(UTC), Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
Holliday42333  
#5 Posted : 13 February 2020 12:26:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Everyone with a bit of water under their bridge has been where you are now, I know I have (20+ years of IOSH Membership).

In my opinion, there is no straightforward advice to give you.  This guy has probably got where he is for hitting his production and cost KPI's, therefore convincing him that this is not where ALL his focus should be is going to be a hard sell, however persuasive and skilled you are.  The real world reality is that the management structure above him on the totem pole have rewarded him for having this perspective, put him in a role where he is a leading decision maker and he has got a re-enforced success criteria that does not align with yours.

This doesn't make him a bad person, bad manager or reckless anti-safety advocate.  It merely makes him a product of a wider environment than you can't directly influence, only his superiors can.

Its easy for us to really buy into this stuff and feel dissapointment whan others dont share our values, but I have also worked with a senior manager who was fantastic at supporting a safety culture but didnt hit his targets, in part because of his H&S efforts, and was ultimately replaced as the site had lost money and redundancies were the result.

All you can do is provide persuasive arguments, data, and consistency of advice (plus sneaking the odd thing under the radar) to try to win the guy around to your view of this element of his world.

Edited by user 13 February 2020 12:29:07(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling etc

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NBBeacock on 13/02/2020(UTC), Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
stevewhite66  
#6 Posted : 17 February 2020 15:37:58(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
stevewhite66

You should be credited by your new manager on the work that you have done in reducing your accident / incident figures and increasing the near miss figures . This clearly shows that staff are reporting accidents to prevent them from occurring, thus reducing the number of accidents by allowing you to put in place the preventable control measures. You may want to discuss this with your line manager to show that near miss reporting is actually a leading indicator and a benefit in reducing the accident / incident KPI's Good luck as what has been mentioned before in this discussion, we have all worked with senior managers that try to intervene negatively with H&S management processes either simply because they don't know or they chose to take a more sinister approach to manipulate figures to improve their own reputations.

Edited by user 17 February 2020 15:39:27(UTC)  | Reason: spelling error

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NBBeacock on 17/02/2020(UTC), Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
chris42  
#7 Posted : 17 February 2020 16:47:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

May I suggest a different approach which may or may not work out. Go back to all the reported near miss reports, and look closer at them, to try and Identify ones that not only would hurt someone, but also damage equipment, product or similar ie thing he will care about. For instance, dangerous stacking of a FLT may hurt someone, but also damage what is being carried. What would be the cost of the damage, the cost to the company of a delayed / unfulfilled order etc.

Then the loss of production due to less personnel for a period, skilled operatives that just can’t be easily replaced. You may not be able to find any, but if you can find some that would affect what he does care about (with the added benefit of keeping people safe as a minor incidental). Look to see if you can show that measures put in to help safety also helped prevent a further production problem. H&S and Production improvements does not have to be mutually exclusive. Talk his language, show you care about production, after all it pays your wages also

Additionally, are there people he does listen to, can you get one or two of them on side. Even better if it is someone higher up the tree.

Just a thought and may not work in your instance, but might.

Chris

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Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
stevedm  
#8 Posted : 18 February 2020 08:46:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

agree with Chris as an ex production site director...far more instested in how I have lost time and efficiency as a result of these near misses and incidents...there may also be another line to this...if the safety performance is linked to a bonus or performance pay scheme...but the lost production hours and any damage costs are the key...what do your manager responsibilities (safety) say he should do?

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Kim Hedges on 19/02/2020(UTC)
Wailes900134  
#9 Posted : 18 February 2020 09:44:57(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Wailes900134

I would look at moving towards a three tiered approach for your near misses, namely; Serious potential incident (set a bar of could have caused significant cost, injury etc to trigger) Potential incident (lower bar obviously - but both theses two are events which you feel we're fortunate not have been realised) Learning events (things which you'd be really unlucky to have had the stars align and cause harm but are none the less holding actions to reduce likelihood further. This category will also pick up some genuine gripes to improve production performance too) In my experience this allows each party to move in alignment rather than conflict. He gets his red flag numbers down and you get reassurance that stuff won't be driven underground.
Kim Hedges  
#10 Posted : 19 February 2020 22:09:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

I presume the 'new general manager' has management above them and maybe directors? 

If so, maybe talk to the senior management, if they are available, because they will be people prosecuted in something more serious.  

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