What To Do: Updating Vestigial Practices
By Phil LaDuke who says:
Recently I wrote an article that suggested that we needed to end vestigial practices, i.e. those practices that our organizations continued to do even though they have long since ceased to add value or even make sense. After reading the article, several long-time readers suggested that I include a list of things we SHOULD be doing instead of these practices. I hope you will give it a read and let me know what you think, but also, I am curious to hear what practices you see in your organization (safety or otherwise) that are vestigial and how you would recommend things be done.
And I would also like to thank each and every one of you who read my posts (whether you comment on them or not) for your patience and support.
Sadly, most audits conducted today focus almost exclusively on compliance to the exclusion of performance and, more importantly, risk. While compliance is important, it’s not the only important element of our safety management system. Audits need to be more balanced and more focused on the practices that put people at risk, irrespective of whether or not a law has been broken. When I am conducting a performance audit too often people ask, “what’s the rule?” or “what is the government requirement?” These people are missing the point, it is more important to understand the areas of the operation that pose the greatest threat to worker safety than it is to check the compliance box. Compliance audits are lagging indicators, but performance audits are both lagging AND leading indicators. The amount of useful information gleaned from performance audits are exponentially higher than audits that focus too heavily on compliance.