OHS Change Management

OHS Change Management

By George Robotham

Change managementIntroduction

I have been involved in various types of OHS change. The most effective has been where I have led or been a member of OHS project teams using change management and project management methodologies to drive significant OHS change.

The only thing constant in business is change. General organisational change principles can enhance safety change if they are applied thoroughly.

Introduction to change

Change has been around a long time.

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change, what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better. Georg Christoph Licthenstein, 1742-1799

Dr. Merv Wilkinson puts change into perspective when he says: Organisational change is a generic body of knowledge that is applicable across the board but only when contextualised into the particular workplace within the culture and people characteristics and professions etc. of the situation /workplaces.

Change management-The way forward.

Having spent two years undertaking tertiary study in the Management of Organisational change I have developed the belief that Organisational Change principles are particularly applicable to OHS Change. Successful safety change requires technical safety skills and change management skills. The safety professional is encouraged to read up on change management.

References

Refer to Organisational Change Management Principles under Articles on www.ohschange.com.au

http://www.ohschange.com.au/articles/Change_Management_and_Safety/Change_Management_and_Safety.htm

George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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