I’m clearly not as convinced as some that a group of well-meaning people can develop an “international” standard, which without independent testing will be definitively correct. There’s a great deal of consensus “guessing” (however logical) going on in all of these “standards” that, until challenged scientifically, will be just that… unscientific.
Companies managed well can create safety in a number of ways. Becoming “certified” is one of those ways, however what isn’t known is what are the factors that are truly the causation of the positive outcomes. Is it the audit process (what gets measured gets done)? Is it the simple fact that to be part of this process you need to engage your employees to think about the creation of safety?
These “standards” are not prescriptive so the question begs to be asked “what are the common traits of the companies that are truly getting great outcomes and what are the failures of the ones that don’t?” Certified companies will sing the praises of their outcomes but all the data in the world of what ROI is acheived by managing safety well will not pinpoint the factors that cause the positive outcomes unless there is a control group study. Many ISO/CSA/COR/ 9000/ 14000/18000 companies are failing to be successful in achieving great outcomes. The question still needs to be answered. WHY?
This reminds me of when I was growing up, listening to the commercials for a popular toothpaste…9 out of 10 Dentists…you know where I’m going with this don’t you? In the toothpaste example what was actually happening is because of the test the kids were simply brushing their teeth more often…almost any toothpaste would have gotten the same results. The dentists asked to comment naturally all liked the outcome of less tooth decade so liked the outcome…no surprise there! Companies mature enough to install a SMS will get results…my guess is the standard is less important than the process of actually managing…Thank You Edwards Deming!
I’m not against SMS, I am going to continue to question what works and what doesn’t within those standards. Never in human history has “many people agreeing” been the secret to anything. In fact many people agreeing have been consistently WRONG. Which btw is the central subject of this whole discussion. Supervisors in 1931 were wrong.
Now where did I put that 13th century flat earth society membership card? Oh yes it’s beside my copy of Heinrich.