New ISO 45001-OHS Management System

by Dave Collins on April 8, 2014 · 1 comment

in Workplace Safety

New ISO 45001-OHS Management System

Cip Corva had a discussion with me a few months ago about this concept and has now started a discussion on a LinkedIn Forum. See it here: SAFETY – Philosophy and Theory. To quote Kurt Lewin (1936) “There is nothing so practical as a good theory” A powerful yet, for some, unnerving proposition.

May I propose the following to aid the development of the “new ISO 45001-OHS Management System” Global standard; for your considerations and comment. The following statements represent modern thinking ideas on what the Occupational Safety and Health profession needs to talk about and do in order to bring about improvements for the prevention of early deaths and injuries, arising from work and work practices. (They have been developed by modern thinking researchers and practitioners, and excerpts from my mentor and friend Geoff McDonald’s book “Safe From” Information Organisers). see also IN HONOUR OF GEORGE ROBOTHAM

1. “Focus on improving the future is better than blaming the past”

2. “The Action taken to Prevent or Control the occurrences which result in Personal Damage must be based on What Actually Occurs in such occurrences”

3. “The important Link between Hazard (damaging energy) and Risk (of injury or damage) is Contact (with/by the energy)” In safety practice, this means that if there is no contact (by person) with/by the Damaging Energy (hazard?), there is no actual Injury (personal damage). But the (potential) risk of contact may still be present. From these ideas we can develop corrective and preventative measures in order to eliminate, reduce and control the risk of contact with/by damaging energies. (J.J. Gibson; W. Haddon, 1960/63)

May I suggest to members of this site to think about how we can use the following Concept to organise and implement the above ideas.

CONCEPT: Human tissue and or bodily function is damaged by an energy exchange which goes outside tolerable limits; known as a Damaging Energy Exchange.

The damaging energy exchange is the climax to one or more sequences of events which are made up of essential factors and contributory factors. An Essential Factor’s removal or addition will break the sequence of events so that the climax is not reached. A Contributory Factor is not essential but makes the damaging energy exchange more likely by making the presence of one or other of the essential factors more likely.

The “action replay” part of the sequence (the story you will tell so someone else would understand) is termed a Damaging Occurrence. A Damaging Occurrence is the logical outcome of:

  • The way the work is done (or not done)
  • The energy stored, utilised or generated within that work (including human energy),
  • The characteristics of the participants – human, machine and environment, interacting within that particular work.

Now we have a workable concept: a damaging energy exchange, preceded by one or more sequences of events containing essential factors. We can use the thinking function and collect ideas together by looking for essential factors which will turn out a different and much richer result than the Feeling/Valuing function. For investigating, analysing, assessing and preventing Damage Occurrences, use the thinking function, for best results.”

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  • Rob Long

    Will be fascinating to see when it comes out, safety has a long way to go before it starts talking about things that will improve any ‘modern thinking’ about risk and safety.

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