PEME has always used safety audits as a means of identifying safety improvement opportunities with well over 4000 having been completed by everyone from the MD through to apprentices over recent years.
The underpinning aim has always been to build a better, safer business and drive an improvement in standards, but we identified the need for a change to a better approach that drives positive interventions.
Our previous audit system focussed on things that needed improvement and not on the reasons that prevented people from following or improving the process and this meant, for many, that auditing was a negative process to be feared or avoided or a tick-box exercise. PEME has undertaken a review of our approach to auditing and has implemented a radical new approach.
The revised system is designed to look at what people are doing and how they do it, create a better understanding of why people approach tasks in certain ways and instigate a discussion about better alternatives; for example, can the task be made safer and easier with a different approach, specialist tools and equipment or additional training? This new process helps to develop an understanding of the work and educate both the auditor and the engineer to problem solve together in a logical manner.
Positive Intervention is what we call each of these conversations and there can be an unlimited number of these raised on any one audit. The key factor is that there is always an outcome, whether that be a minor change to a Method Statement, use of a different style of safety glasses or something more fundamental, like a change in a Safe Working Practice. Often, a Positive Intervention can lead to a tangible reward for individuals whose contribution leads to real-world improvements.
Each PEME Asset Care team has safety KPI’s based around people and the compliance with site rules, statutory requirements and PEME Safe Working Procedures.
Not only is this system a step-change in our approach, it is also helping our clients improve safety and productivity by providing background information and data that allows them to make informed decisions based on sound facts.
Initial results show that the new audit regime has been well received and has already resulted in significant improvements in Risk Assessment documentation, provision of additional signage, improved maintenance techniques and in one example has provided a client with the background information required to install an upgraded Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system for Polypipe welding.
Positive Interventions in Figures:
- 395 audits completed since the start of September 2016
- 528 Positive Interventions raised
- 5 Safety Awards to PEME employees from clients for Interventions raised