Prequalification – Behind the Question – Investigation Follow Up

5 December 2020

Prequalification – Behind the Question – Investigation Follow Up

In this series, our Moderators dissect the questions within the Totika prequalification scheme, what's best practice? What's the requirement?

In this weeks edition, we look at the first question in the Event recording, reporting and investigation module.

"The organisation shall demonstrate that they follow up from investigations with corrective actions, record the findings, and communicate what has been learned to their Workers."

At its core, the Totika requirement is looking to ensure that at a minimum;

  • Corrective actions from investigations are identified, recorded and tracked to completion, and,
  • Workers are informed of any improvements and given the opportunity to suggest further improvements.

Beyond the Basics?

The Totika standard is a baseline, and in this instance, these suggested performance indicators may be quite suitable to a small business or a sole trader. However, if you are in a high-risk industry, or have a larger workforce, it is beneficial to go beyond this, so what could you do? There are a lot of different methodologies regarding the post-investigation review, some suggestions are;

Ensure Corrective Actions are reviewed over the short term

Corrective actions may seem effective on paper, but how effective are they in the real world? It is critical that when changes are made to address an incident finding or any risk, they are reviewed to ensure effectiveness.

Consultation is a two-way street!

Informing workers of improvements is one part of the equation. Effective improvements that are embraced by a workforce are those that are scrutinised with constructive workforce feedback. Gone are the days of managers developing processes at the desk, as these are never embraced or properly embedded in a workforce.

Also, consider the following relating to worker wellbeing;

Reinforcing a Positive Outcome

Investigations can be draining, not only on investigators but also the parties affected, especially if the investigation is quite lengthy. Stress levels and unease do not contribute to an effective working environment. Ensuring that key stakeholders are provided with a broad flavour of the investigation findings, and even an understanding of the process of the investigation, including how conclusions were reached can instil a sense of ease and closure to all those involved. A transparent communication process also ensures that workers own the outcomes and take a positive step forward with those outcomes.

Communicating outcomes to the entire organisation

Again, communication is key, ensuring that investigation outcomes are clearly articulated and explained across the workforce takes out any doubt or misinterpretation, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Key Stakeholders need to be kept informed

During the investigation and leading up to the conclusion, it is key to ensure that affected parties are kept informed of developments, this helps ensure that workers are not becoming anxious over the unknown. From a workplace culture perspective, effective communication shuts down the rumour mill!

If you're aiming higher still, ensuring that your processes are well documented in a policy or procedure which itself is part of an AS NZS ISO 45001:2018 systems framework would be ideal.

In Summary

Key to this process is effective, clear communication across the workforce, including effective consultation to ensure that your workforce embraces change and champions it. The goal as always is that safety is so ingrained into everyday work that workforces don't see it as an additional requirement, its just the way we do business around here.

Each week the Qualify365 Team will dissect a question from the Totika Standard, to give you an insight into what it is we are looking for as auditors for your next prequalification.

Do you have a question about the Totika Standard? Are you looking for a prequalification process that adds value to your business? We are here to help,

Safe365 works with businesses to achieve occupational health and safety success. Read more about our work here.

 

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