Health and Safety Management Systems and High-Reliabilty Organisations. Performance Management and Strategies to Review Individual Performance

Essay, 2021

15 Pages, Grade: A+


Table of contents

1. Introduction


3. Safety supervision

4. Performance standards

5. Accountability

6. Culture of consequences
6.1. Positive reinforcement (R+)
6.2. Negative reinforcement (R-)
6.3. Punishment (P)
6.4. Extinction (E)

7. Conclusion


1. Introduction

Aviation operations are subject to operational hazards and their associated risks, and a health and safety management system (HSMS) provides a continuous systematic approach for managing these risks to an acceptable level by reducing their probability and/or consequence.

However, the HSMS ensures that operations are following operational and standard procedures (SOP).

Into organisational structures, HSMS is woven to provide for goal setting, planning and measuring safety performance.

As mentioned in section forty-four of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), due diligence is required from the duty officers (i.e., executives) implying that they are accountable for establishing the HSMS and allocating resources to support and maintain its effectiveness (Parliamentary Office Counsel, 2020).


The purpose of HSMS is to prevent accidents and harm, but high-reliability organisations (HRO) evolve in adverse conditions (Stolzer et al., 2013, p. 148).

Therefore, their resiliency is built around a dynamic HSMS that goes beyond compliance to continually improve safety performance.

In this environment, the leadership team is responsible for distilling the safety culture through the entire organisation based on the four pillars of the HSMS:

1. Health and safety policy/Accountability (e.g., reporting policy)
2. Risk management (e.g., proactive hazards identification)
3. Safety assurance (e.g., AEP)
4. Promotion ( e.g., communication)
3. Safety supervision

The section thirty-six of the HSWA 2015 confirms that supervision is part of the primary duty of care of the Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU).

Before entering the Accredited Employer Programme (AEP), the organisation had to satisfy that it had established HSMS covering a series of nine elements to meet the primary requirements of the scheme (Accident Compensation Corporation, 2017).

Therefore, the fourth element relates to information, training and supervision conforming with AS/NZS 48001:2001 with the objectives to ensure that all employees are informed of their responsibilities.

For instance, trainees are supervised by skilled, experienced or qualified staff (e.g., on-job trainer). A ground service equipment (GSE) trainee operator is supervised by the OJT and then buddied with a senior operator for a certain period until been confident enough to signed-off.

Once the worker has signed the document acknowledging the organisation it has completed its training, the worker has to comply with any reasonable instructions, policies or procedures on how to work safely and healthily, take reasonable care of its health and safety and ensure that its actions do not cause harm to itself or others (WorkSafe, 2017).

Hence, SOPs must be consigned and made available to all employees, auditors (i.e., ACC) and investigators.

Because of the nature of its operation, the organisation has opted for an electronic policy acknowledgement application that simplifies the administration process for ensuring that shift employees read important informational and operational notices, and enables management to track that employees have read and acknowledged these documents.

Indeed, this tool is useful for ensuring all staff are aware of operational changes and also used for performance management.

4. Performance standards

An HSMS helps to improve health and safety performance by setting clear objectives, systematically identifying, controlling and reviewing risks.

For example, the organisation is part of the AEP which is based on AS/NZS4804:2001 and now superseded by AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018 (WorkSafe New Zealand, 2018).

However, WorkSafe reminds business leaders that legislation rather than standards define the protections they have to provide their staff and others affected by their work.

Besides, the Regulator requires that the PCBU implementing a formal HSMS to involve its workers in its elaboration and execution (i.e., section fifty-eight of the HSWA 2015).

Also, it implies that all staff should be educated about the organisation HSMS following a competency matrix where the requirements of each role are taken into consideration.

Through the company Learning Management System (LMS), all employees must complete a module related to the organisation health and safety policy (i.e., Code of Conduct).

In addition, operational staff have to conclude a specific Computed Based Training (CBT) and a one-day training in a classroom for functional managers is required.

Therefore, the leadership team is not only responsible for establishing an efficient HSMS but also to diffuse a positive health and safety culture and engage with its workforce in matters related to health and safety.

Nevertheless, occurrence reports need to be encouraged and transformed into data for the organisation to measure its safety performance and remediates the failures.

Thus, workers need guidelines when recording events in the in-house reporting system depending on the nature of the occurrence:

- Operational Safety Report (OSR): Any safety-related events that could endanger an aircraft and or its occupants (e.g., SOP not followed)
- People Safety Incident (PSI): The incident or near-hit is related to staff, contractors or customers injury or wellbeing concerns (e.g., loader strains shoulder lifting bag)
- Hazard: Condition with the potential of creating harm or damage (e.g. insufficient lighting)

Most HRO operations rely on detailed SOP where hazards or risks of each component of the operation is analysed. This job safety analysis (JSA) intends to identify the most appropriate accident prevention measures and to provide a basis for written SOPs to develop and implement a safe system of work. Periodically reviewed by the management to observe any changing circumstances (Cooper, 2001, p. 92).

5. Accountability

The obligation to accept ultimate responsibility for decisions and policies, and the performance of applicable tasks implies being answerable (i.e., accountable) for ensuring such responsibility is executed or performed. Accountability may not be delegated (McGrath & Whitty, 2018).

In the context of HSMS, accountability means being ultimately responsible for safety performance, whether at the overall HSMS level (i.e.,accountable executive) or at specific process levels.

Hence, responsibility is an obligation to perform assigned tasks that typically includes an appropriate level of delegated authority which implies holding a specific office or position of trust.

For instance, all staff are accountable to their manager for matters affecting safety and responsible for ensuring their duties are conducted per the HSMS policies and procedures. Ensuring they are responsible for their health and safety and for others who may be affected by their actions. Reporting accidents, incidents, near-hits, hazards, procedural non­compliances and other behaviour that may present risk. Ensuring industry-leading performance and the continuous improvement of workplace safety practices.

Therefore, the management personnel is accountable to their direct report manager for matters affecting safety and responsible for ensuring that sufficient, trained and qualified staff are properly equipped to undertake daily operations following approved operating procedures by:

- Maintaining risk and change management processes for identifying, analysing, evaluating and controlling threats including an emergency response capability
- Instilling a safety culture and continuous improvement ethic by using Just Culture principles following the reporting of incidents and accident
- Providing a prompt response to safety findings and recommendations resulting from investigation and audit
- Continuous improvement of the management system by updating safety strategies, ensuring their incorporation into business plans and implementation of initiatives to support these strategies

Furthermore, contracting personnel is accountable for adherence to the organisation HSMS Policies and SOP and are responsible for performing their duties in a way that promotes operational excellence by vigilant adherence to the HSMS policies, procedures and practices, through compliance with contractual obligations stated in the contractor handbook.


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Health and Safety Management Systems and High-Reliabilty Organisations. Performance Management and Strategies to Review Individual Performance
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health, safety, management, systems, high-reliabilty, organisations, performance, strategies, review, individual, aviation
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Damien Hiquet (Author), 2021, Health and Safety Management Systems and High-Reliabilty Organisations. Performance Management and Strategies to Review Individual Performance, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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