EHS Management system success depends on effective communication. As we have discussed in prior posts, how you convey information is an important factor in how information is received and utilized. A recent headline made this issue all the more important. AMTRAK personnel recently died because they were stationed on a live track to make repairs. How they got there remains to be identified. Meanwhile, the lesson is that where and when you are can become a lifer or death decision. Ensure that your organization has appropriate checks and balances when it comes to communication. Because carrying out orders really does matter, especially where the outcome can be disaster. We previously discussed how poor decisions at NASA – usually driven by administrative goals rather than engineering and/or safety goals – have killed 17 astronauts to date. That is a world record no one would like to claim as their own.
Your organization should have precise methods to impart instructions to employees and also have in place a formal disciplinary program to deal with personnel who shortcut safety and/or environmental compliance. Of course, it matters greatly just what the organization’s mindset is on occupational health and safety as well as meeting environmental regulations. Routinely take a close and hard look at your management systems, your goals and objectives, and trajectory – and see how that matches intended performance.
So in conclusion, better to identify if you have a train wreck in the making and identify and sort out problematic organizational issues before disaster strikes.