The Three Pillars of Five-Star Safety

Written and published by the British Safety Council, India on 8 Jan 2021.

Normally, all reputed organisations tend to have a few things in common: presence in multiple countries, many employees, huge customer bases, gargantuan production, sales and marketing budgets, and presence in every kind of media imaginable. Another aspect which is common to these giants is the fascinating relationship they share with their stakeholders and the environment. We at British Safety Council closely evaluate the positive and negative ways in which corporations affect the safety of elements that are inextricably linked with them. The organisations which are deemed to be the safest need to do brilliantly in three main aspects:

  1. Environmental Safety
  2. Occupational Health and Safety
  3. Process Safety

These are the three areas in which the organisations strive to meet the high standards set by us through our comprehensive Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) audits. There are several parameters within these three ‘pillars’ of quality standards under which the organisations have to excel in order to achieve perfect five-star safety credibility.

  1. Environmental Safety

An organisation shares a unique relationship with its immediate environment, which is often the main source of resources for all its key operations. Yet, big corporations also contribute massively to environmental degradation in several ways. For long-term growth and progress, it is essential for the organisation to maintain a healthy equation with its surroundings. The organisation must take special efforts to reduce its emissions. There are several sub-factors in which the performance of an organisation is assessed by our team of experts as per the EHS audits created during the evaluation period. Many of these sub-factors are assessed again while evaluating the other two safety areas. All the parameters are listed and explained in detail ahead.

  1. Occupational Health and Safety

Employees are among the core stakeholders in an organisation. Safeguarding the health and safety of workers should be a top priority for the corporation. The safety audits enlist measures to strengthen the concept of employee protection during large scale operations at a workplace. It is an organisation’s responsibility to ensure that they follow the guidelines of the safety audits so that the possibilities of injuries or illnesses caused directly due to the working environment for their employees are avoided completely or, in worst-case scenarios, minimised.

  1. Process Safety

The third pillar of safety excellence pertains to the immediate and long-term response of an organisation to an unforeseen calamity. Usually, industrial disasters directly affect multiple facets of a company’s working and can also affect the general public. Any credible organisation must always be ready to maintain operations during the various phases of a catastrophe. To achieve this objective, the organisation must have a fully functional disaster management wing to react to the calamity with minimum delay. The company’s risk management activities should also work seamlessly in sync with the guidelines specified in the EHS audit. Proactive management to mitigate the effects of disastrous events can ensure that an organisation emerges from such a situation unscathed as compared to its competitors.

 

Safety Parameters Enlisted in the EHS Audits

As specified earlier, there are several parameters in which the company must prove its accomplishment to achieve the highest standards of safety excellence. There are multiple sub-factors enlisted in the safety audits. Some of these points to evaluate credibility are:

Organisational Commitment and Structure: The organisation must have well-planned mechanisms and personnel in place to ensure that safety norms specified in the EHS audits are achieved organically.

Implementation and Operations: The organisations must utilise the structures, plans, and resources set up by them to achieve the objectives of the EHS audits. This is one of the significant parameters by which the success or failure of the company to meet and maintain safety standards will be adjudicated.

Strategic Planning: The strategy of ensuring safety excellence generally begins at the top level of the organisation. The policies and regulations formulated at the top then are carried out by the other operational levels of workers. The safety audit guidelines are followed while formulating these strategies.

Performance Evaluation: After the operations are conducted as per the formulated strategies, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall cycle of work.

Senior Management Review: The process of setting up mechanisms, strategy formulation, implementation of plans and evaluation is finally reviewed by the top-level management of the organisation. Feedback about any improvements to be made is shared with the team responsible for the implementation of the operations.

There are also factors named Best Practice Indicators (BPI) which are enlisted in the safety audits. Basically, these are also internal factors of an organisation that help with maintaining safety standards. Some of these are:

Leadership: The individuals at directorial and management level must exude optimism and lead their subordinates intelligently to meet the high demands of achieving safety excellence placed on the company by the audits.

Stakeholder Participation: One of the major assessment factors while conducting safety audits is the involvement of all the stakeholders (suppliers, retailers, employees, among others) in the safety enhancement operations of the company. A high level of participation ensures a greater number of credibility points for the organisation in the safety audit.

Risk Management: This is an important performance indicator for all the three areas of safety, and especially so for Process Safety requirements. The organisation must actively anticipate the risks of catastrophes. In turn, a level of preparation on this front allows the company to mitigate the after-effects of such a calamity.

Continual Improvement: Ensuring high standards of safety is a long-term process that must be adopted by the organisation across all levels of the organisation.

Wellbeing: The health and safety aspects of the workers should take top priority for an organisation. The wellbeing of employees, in addition, to be an ethical priority, ensures an increase in the overall productivity of the company in the long run.

A considerable amount of effort needs to be put in by a company to achieve excellence across the three main safety areas. You can contact us to get active assistance regarding the setting of safety standards through our EHS audits for your organisation.