I believe that health and safety professionals should make use of scientific and empirical evidence to support their decisions pertaining to policy and practice with regards to the management of health and safety since it is such a critical topic, and of utmost importance of course. Albeit some progress has been made with respect to evidence-based decision making, improving and extending the facilities that support and foster knowledge translation in practice is still challenging. A knowledge infrastructure complimenting health and safety at the workplace should entail scientific support in the form of evidence, strategic reviews, and policy and practice guidelines. In addition, it should also include other tools for professionals and employees, such as accessible virtual libraries and database supporting the provision of knowledge, informative learning materials, and quality tools. A thoroughly organised knowledge infrastructure connects facilities management with practice, as well as each other. Adequate education and training is required for health and safety professionals in using evidence for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health and safety management. Moreover, health and safety management can also benefit from intensive international collaboration to develop and promote a well organised and functioning knowledge infrastructure.
June 09, 2013
Planning health and safety management in an organisation focuses on prevention and involvement of risk identification, assessment, and control. Planning proactively entails the identification of hazards, and assessment and control of risks in alignment with a systematic and strategic plan, before anyone or anything could be seriously affected. Planning reactively suggests that appropriate measures are only given consideration after the incidents have occurred such as accidents, loss-damages, or inadequate health and safety performance. In terms of designing the health and safety management structure, the allocation of responsibilities and the division of formal authority should be considered, in addition to creating a lean or hierarchical structure involving an extent of self-regulation. The establishment and maintenance is core to management operations, specifically health and safety management. Allocating responsibilities to leaders, managers and employees serves as a significant tool to foster the amalgamation of health and safety management into everyday work with the aid of specialists and consultants monitoring the performance.
Human resource is an organisation’s most important and difficult to control asset, which is why it is absolutely critical that there is a well designed and thorough policy with regards to it. The development of the policy should entail addressing the preservation and formulation of human and physical resources and decrease in financial losses and liabilities. The policy should provide guidance on the assignment of responsibilities, and the organisation of people, communication, documentation and resources. The policy should be a foundational component of the organisation’s vision statement, and should influence the operation and design of working systems, the management and delivery of products and services, in addition to the control and disposal of waste. The health and safety management policy should be in alignment with the human resource management policy so that the involvement, commitment, and wellbeing of all employees and of other stakeholders such as contractors, suppliers, and customers is secured.
This incorporates the development, coordination and control of a continuous improvement process by defining and moderating health and safety standards at the workplace. There should be a clear written and formal policy with regards to health and safety, summarized in the organisation’s vision. It should entail the perspectives with respect to the future, and provide guidelines on risk identification and prevention for all internal and external members of the organisation. The health and safety policy and management strategy should be translated into the planning process. In order to assess the strategy’s efficacy, both internal and external methods should be implemented. In addition, there should be regular reviews with regards to performance by monitoring activities based on data and from the health and safety management audits.
April 28, 2013
We are all different individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, and have different values and beliefs; therefore we might not share the same vision or goals and objectives as others. Nevertheless, from an organizational perspective, the importance of setting clear goals and objectives cannot be reiterated enough. The need for clear communication with respect to goals and objectives of a given situation are of paramount importance and considered vital for overall success. Pertaining to any situation in any organization, the recapitulation of a shared vision and purpose is necessary for the successful accomplishment of tasks. This can only be achieved through reiterating clear goals and objectives, and ensuring everyone acknowledges, understands and works towards them. These are fundamental in fostering the sharing of knowledge. Failures arise when despite the provision of clear information with regards to the process, there is no or perhaps a lack of connection observed with following these goals and objectives – which refers to the error of information not observed.
The fundamental goal of knowledge management is to leverage an environment in which individuals can share their knowledge and expertise through continuous learning and development. Albeit knowledge management programmes have been incorporate in various organizations all over the world, organizations have encountered certain barriers that have inhibited or posed limitations preventing effective knowledge management. The existence of these barriers could imply that there is a lack of emphasis given to knowledge management in organizations, which sounds uncanny in today’s corporate environment. The barriers also suggest that there are gaps in setting clear goals and objectives in organizations, and in providing the relevant training and experience to employees. Although understanding, storing and sharing knowledge is difficult and challenging at times, especially in reference to tacit knowledge, it is essential for the smoother functioning of the organization.
Amongst other barriers to effective knowledge management, the hierarchy of skills in an organization may also be regarded as a barrier. In particular, the difference in skills amongst employees may make the process of knowledge management challenging. This could be referred to as an aspect of organizational culture where the sharing of knowledge between employees on different levels in an organization might not be very straightforward. This difficulty in sharing knowledge between the skills hierarchy amongst employees is reflective of the limitations and barriers within the communication system within an organization which inhibits the process of knowledge management. As discussed in the class, there should be opportunities for employees to share knowledge by breaking the ice between them through informal settings. Some employees might be introverts as people, and it is of significant importance that a relationship between employees and employers is fostered where they feel valued and are not hesitant to communicate.
Organizational culture can be considered as an influential barrier in the effective promotion of knowledge management. For the organizational culture to support the adequate implementation of knowledge management, it has to show commitment to institutionalising knowledge management programmes. In addition to this, knowledge management programmes need to be accommodated to adapt to the organizational culture. In my belief, it is imperative for both the organizational culture and the knowledge management programmes work in conjunction with each other in order for knowledge management to be effective.
Holistically speaking, technology is regarded as a substantial contributor to knowledge management. However, technology may also be a major barrier in effective knowledge management. The training process involving employees to use knowledge management technology for promoting knowledge sharing can be challenging. Some people may not have the necessary prior training to work with computers and complex machines, which inhibits the process of knowledge management. In addition to this, due to the fact that technology is always advancing, keeping up to date with the latest technology may not be that simple or feasible. Furthermore, the maintenance of technology may also be considered as a barrier for promoting knowledge management since regular maintenance would be required to keep the knowledge safe and foster effective knowledge management. In the event of losing the knowledge due to problems in the technology could be very costly and even catastrophic.
I was contemplating which error in the three stages is the most dangerous, and quite honestly, I cannot specify one error over the other in terms of being more hazardous. In my belief, they are all as erroneous as each other and one does not take precedence over the other. Whilst information not available sounds like the most preliminary and elementary error in the sense that being provided with information should be the most basic aspect, having an incorrect mental model is also a fundamental error since despite having the information available, one might simply have the wrong perception of a situation, or one might not observe the information, or find it difficult to detect, or even forget altogether due to a memory error. In my opinion, two errors which can be difficult to avoid in certain situations are information difficult to detect and memory error. These can be due to medical reasons beyond one’s control or language barriers, etc. Information not available is an administrational error and the manager or supervisor must ensure that the necessary information is available in order to foster a safe and effective work environment. Nevertheless, necessary precautions must be taken to avoid all errors as far as possible. Anticipation error is also something which should not be overlooked, and appropriate training must be provided to staff to understand the importance of not ignoring the anticipation error.