Regulatory guide - Holistic Safety - Sample Questions

Last updated date: 
15 June 2021
Reason for update: 
This guide is currently under revision.

This document supplements the Holistic Safety Guide by providing examples of questions which can assist applicants, licence holders and regulatory staff to examine safety holistically

Introduction

Background

As part of ARPANSA’s function in protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation, ARPANSA will use a holistic approach to monitor and assess the safety of applicants and licence holders. ARPANSA is encouraging the adoption of holistic safety practices by licence holders and has published Holistic Safety Guidelines that describe principles (characteristics and attributes) associated with holistic safety. The sample questions in this document complement the Holistic Safety Guidelines by providing examples of questions that may be used by regulatory staff and licence holders to explore whether or not the particular characteristics and attributes are present. The Sample Questions do not negate or replace obligations on licence holders pursuant to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 and any individual licence conditions.

The length of each section does not reflect the importance of each characteristic. Samples of questions for Characteristics 3 and 4 have not been included in this document because they are addressed in other ARPANSA guidance, for example Regulatory Assessment Principles for Controlled Facilities and in Regulatory Guide: Plans and Arrangements for Managing Safety

Objective and Scope

This document supplements the Holistic Safety Guidelines by providing examples of questions which can assist applicants, licence holders and regulatory staff to examine safety holistically. In assessing safety holistically, these questions are designed to help in the assessment of performance against the characteristics and attributes of the guidelines. A graded approach should be applied to the allocation of resources for safety commensurate with the risks of the particular operation. This graded approach should extend to the way applicants, licence holders and regulatory staff use the Sample Questions. For example, certain questions will apply more to some operations than others. The questions should therefore be used in any way, shape or form so that safety can be examined holistically, in an efficient and effective manner, and commensurate with the risks of the particular operation. Ultimately, the purpose of the questions is to aid and promote an improved understanding of the strengths and vulnerabilities associated with a licence holder’s operations so that resources to reduce risk can be targeted where most needed.

Below are some examples of how to use the Sample Questions.

To assess systems and operations

Licence holders may be developing, reviewing or modifying systems such as, for example, certain procedures and processes. This document provides a set of sample questions which regulatory staff and licence holders can use to help assess these procedures and processes to ensure they adequately account for holistic safety. Licence holders may wish to use or adapt some or all of the Sample Questions when conducting this assessment.

To develop internal assessment tools

Licence holders may already have internal assessment tools or methods for assessing their operations, such as quality assurance programmes or safety assessment processes. The Sample Questions provide a list of questions that could be included in these assessment tools e.g. as part of a quality management system. Licence holders may wish to use or adapt some or all of the questions to suit this purpose, or as a basis to develop other questions related to operations which focus on holistic safety.

To promote holistic safety

Promoting holistic safety and raising awareness of safety issues is a key step in improving safety at leadership and operational levels. Licence holders may wish to use or adapt some or all of the material in the Sample Questions when promoting holistic safety e.g. posing some of the questions in meetings, discussions or training with staff and management. The Sample Questions can therefore be used to provide a basis to stimulate discussion, thinking and learning in holistic safety. They also provide further context to the Holistic Safety Guidelines, thus facilitating understanding. 

These examples should not be considered to restrict the use of the Sample Questions in other ways or methods which are consistent with the overall objective discussed above.

Characteristic 1—Human Aspects

1.1.    The selection of suitably qualified and experienced, competent personnel

a)    What systems are in place to determine the positions that have important safety and security functions? How is this performed? 

b)    What systems are in place to determine the skills and competencies required for these positions?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure suitable employees are selected to perform in these SQEP positions? How is it ensured that individuals who make such selections are sufficiently experienced, qualified and suitable?

d)    What systems are in place to determine the continuing suitability of the employee in the position with such a safety or security function?

e)    What succession plans are in place for these SQEP positions and how are they created?

f)    What systems are in place to ensure the above assessments are sufficiently thorough and robust?

1.2.    The provision of appropriate training

a)    Are human factors considered in the design, implementation and modification of training?

b)    Are there systems in place to review and modify training to take human factors into account?

c)    Can staff easily and confidently report deficiencies in training or suggest improvements?

d)    Are there systems in place to ensure these reports from staff are adequately assessed and appropriately addressed?

e)    What systems are in place to encourage staff to engage with training, and understand and appreciate its need and use?

f)    What systems are in place to ensure procedures and practices learned in training are applied in practice?

1.3.    Equipment and machine design that account for human factors

a)    What systems are in place to ensure that human factors are considered, where relevant, before modifying or acquiring plant or equipment?

b)    Are work-task analyses or some other kind of analysis which take human factors into consideration performed before modifying or acquiring plant or equipment?

c)    Are there processes to ensure information from both staff and managers is used to inform decisions about the appropriateness of acquiring or modifying plant or equipment?

d)    Are there systems in place for staff to easily and confidently report deficiencies with plant or equipment?

e)    Are there systems in place to ensure that these reports are adequately assessed and appropriately addressed?

1.4.    Process design that accounts for human factors

a)    What systems are in place to ensure human factors are taken into account when designing, creating, modifying or implementing new or existing work processes?

b)    What systems are in place to determine how, when and where processes are reviewed and updated as appropriate? Are ergonomics and human factors examined as part of the review of processes?

c)    What systems are in place for staff and managers to meet regularly and discuss the design of processes and find better ways to make work processes safer?

d)    What systems are in place to ensure it is easy, straightforward and welcoming for employees to raise any issues to do with work processes? Who do employees raise their concerns with? 

e)    What systems are in place to ensure these issues are adequately assessed and control measures are developed and implemented (where appropriate) in consultation with relevant employees?

1.5.    Operational environment design that account for human factors

a)    What systems are in place to ensure human factors are taken into account when new or existing operational environments are designed, created or modified?

b)    What systems are in place to determine how, when, where, and on what basis the operational environment is reviewed and updated as appropriate? Are ergonomics and human factors examined as part of the process review?

c)    What systems are in place for front-line (or other) staff and managers to meet regularly and discuss the design of the operational environment? Do these meetings or discussions focus on finding better ways of making the operational environment safer?

d)    What systems are in place to ensure it is easy, straightforward and welcoming for employees to raise any issues to do with the operational environment? Who do employees raise their concerns with?

e)    What systems are in place to ensure these issues are adequately assessed and control measures (where appropriate) are developed and implemented, in consultation with relevant employees?

Characteristic 2—Non-Technical Skills

2.1.    The non-technical skill of communication

a)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain in staff an appreciation of the importance of communication and its contribution to both good and bad outcomes such as accidents? Is this highlighted through training and discussions of workplace incidents?

b)    What systems are in place to ensure staff understand the basics in communication? Considering the given operation or work task that staff are required to communicate in, is the training in communication sufficiently thorough? What has been done to determine how thorough the training should be?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure staff are equipped with the necessary skills to communicate effectively and overcome barriers to communication?

d)    What systems are in place to ensure the skills and competencies staff learn are implemented and utilised in practice?

e)    What systems are in place to assess staff communication skills and competencies and help them improve where necessary?

2.2.    The non-technical skill of leadership

a)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain in leaders an appreciation of the importance of effective leadership and its contribution to both good and bad outcomes such as accidents? Is this highlighted through training and discussions of workplace incidents?

b)    What systems are in place to ensure leaders are equipped with the necessary skills to lead effectively? Considering the given operation or work task the leader manages, is the training for the given leadership position sufficiently thorough? What has been done to determine how thorough the training should be?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure leaders utilise the leadership skills and competencies they learn and implement them in practice?

d)    What systems are in place to assess leader’s leadership skills and competencies and help them improve where necessary?

e)    Do leaders have sufficient technical knowledge to understand the implications of the decisions they make?

2.3.    The non-technical skill of team-working

a)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain in staff an appreciation of the importance of effective team-work and its contribution to accidents or bad outcomes? Is this highlighted through training and discussion of workplace incidents?

b)    What systems are in place to ensure that employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be able to work effectively in a team? Considering the given operation or work task where staff require effective team-work, is the training and focus on team-work sufficiently thorough? What has been done to determine how thorough the training should be?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure the skills and competencies employees learn are implemented and utilised in practice?

d)    What systems are in place to assess staff team-working skills and competencies and help staff correct or improve their team-working skills where necessary?

2.4.    The decision-making process

a)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain in staff an appreciation of the importance of following an effective decision-making process and its contribution to good or bad outcomes such as accidents? Is this highlighted through training and discussions of workplace incidents?

b)    What systems are in place to equip staff with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to make effective decisions? Considering the given operation or work task where staff are required to utilise effective decision-making, is the training and focus on decision-making sufficiently thorough? What has been done to determine how thorough the training should be?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure the skills and competencies staff learn are implemented and utilised in practice?

d)    What systems are in place to assess staff decision-making skills and competencies and help them correct or improve their skills where necessary?

e)    What systems are in place for reviewing operational decision-making?

2.5.    The non-technical skill of situation awareness

a)    What systems are in place to ensure that management and staff develop and maintain an appreciation of the importance of situation-awareness and how it contributes to good or bad outcomes such as accidents? Is this highlighted through training and discussions of workplace incidents? 

b)    What systems are in place to ensure that staff are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for effective situation awareness? Considering the given operation or work task where staff require effective situation awareness, is the training and focus on situation awareness sufficiently thorough? What has been done to determine how thorough the training should be?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure the situation awareness skills and competencies staff learn are implemented and utilised in practice?

d)    What systems are in place to assess staff skills and competencies in situation awareness and help them correct or improve their skills where necessary?

Characteristic 5—Resilience

5.1.    The ability to respond

a)    What systems are in place to develop or establish a list of possible or potential events (such as potential incidents and accidents) and corresponding prepared responses?

b)    What systems are in place to ensure that the events selected are relevant and that prepared responses are adequate?

c)    What systems are in place to ensure the list of events and pre-prepared responses are prepared, maintained and updated/revised where necessary or relevant?

d)    What systems are in place to determine the criteria for responding to an event? What is the threshold when a response will be activated? What is the threshold to return to a normal state? What is the speed and duration capability of the response?

e)    What systems are in place to determine the adequacy of the resources available for a given response?

f)    What systems are in place to verify and test the response capability? Are there systems in place to ensure this is conducted frequently?

5.2.    The ability to monitor

a)    What systems are in place to establish and maintain a set of indicators of safety and security performance? On what basis are these created?

b)    What systems are in place to assess whether the indicators used are adequate and relevant?

c)    How are indicators selected and utilised by relevant people and departments/processes?

d)    What systems are in place to create and revise monitoring indicators when necessary or relevant? On what basis are these indicators revised?

e)    What systems are in place to analyse or extract relevant information from these indicators?

f)    What systems are in place to ensure information from indicators are given or communicated to relevant people, departments or processes?

g)    What systems are in place to ensure communicated information leads to meaningful, useful or necessary actions/measures being taken to maintain safety and security? What systems are in place to ensure such processes are properly resourced?

5.3.    The ability to anticipate

a)    What systems are in place to look into the future at potential safety and security related weaknesses and threats?

b)    Do these systems or people who make these forecasts have sufficient expertise, capability and resources to make accurate and relevant forecasts?

c)    How far ahead and how frequently are these forecasts made? 

d)    What criteria are used to determine the scope and depth of these forecast analyses? 

e)    What systems are in place to ensure it is easy, straightforward and welcoming for staff to raise any issues to do with potential or anticipated safety and security related weaknesses and threats? How are these staff contributions taken into account?

f)    What systems are in place to ensure that forecast information is communicated to relevant parts of the organisation? Is this information adequately conveyed and shared with relevant staff and departments/processes?

g)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain staff skills and competencies to adequately anticipate future safety and security weaknesses and threats?

h)    What systems are in place (where appropriate) to ensure control measures are developed and implemented to address issues raised in forecast analyses? Are staff adequately consulted in this development and implementation process?

5.4.    The ability to learn

a)    What systems are in place to ensure the organisation learns from safety-related events? How does the organisation learn from incidents and accidents as well as near-misses or free-lessons?

b)    What systems are in place to establish and maintain in staff an appreciation of the importance of reporting and learning?

c)    What systems are in place to encourage reporting of events and information relevant to learning?

d)    What systems are in place to determine which events are used for learning and which are not? 

e)    What systems are in place to ensure the analysis of events derives relevant information that can be used for learning? How are the events analysed?

f)    What systems are in place to ensure information relevant to learning is permeated throughout the organisation? How is this information conveyed to relevant people, departments or processes?

g)    What systems are in place to ensure that throughout the organisation, learning is a continuous, ongoing process?

h)    What systems are in place to ensure learning results in changes that promote safety and security?

i)    What systems are in place to assess whether lessons have been learned and implemented control measures have been effective?

Characteristic 6—Safety Culture

6.1.    Safety and security are clearly recognised values

A.1: The high priority given to safety is shown in documentation, communications and decision making:

Safety Policy

a)    In what way is current safety policy being brought to the attention of staff members and contractors? Who decides on the information strategy?

b)    If a safety policy statement has been issued, what is its content?

c)    How does the safety policy statement affect the day to day work of staff members and contractors at the organisation?

d)    Can staff members and contractors cite examples from the safety policy statement that illustrate its meaning?

Expectations

a)    What documents are there, which formulate management expectations for safety, and with what content?

b)    Can staff members and contractors cite examples of the expectations of the senior management regarding safety?

Meetings

a)    In what way do daily or weekly management meetings at the organisation cover safety significant items?

b)    Can senior managers describe how safety is discussed, and when it is on the agenda of the board meeting?

c)    Can staff members and contractors cite examples of meetings at corporate (or organisational) level when agenda items on safety were included?

d)    What are the opportunities for non-management staff to participate in meetings devoted to safety?

Media-Based Communication (Intranet, Newsletter, Other Media)

a)    In what way is media-supported communication being used to disseminate the safety policy to staff members and contractors? What about the real use of safety case/safety report documentation?

b)    What was the last safety relevant information staff members and contractors received and through which media? For example, the intranet, company newsletter, etc.

Decision Making

a)    What are the duties of the senior manager with safety as a prime responsibility?

b)    How is he/she supported and assisted in his/her duties?

c)    What is his/her standing compared with that of the heads of other functions?

d)    During periods of heavy work-load, in what way do managers ensure that staff members and contractors are reminded that haste must not be allowed to degrade safety and that shortcuts are inappropriate?

e)    What happens if somebody allows shortcuts to be taken in cases where the unit is behind schedule?

f)    Can staff members and contractors describe situations when the rationale for significant decisions related to safety was communicated to a large group of individuals in the organisation?

g)    Can staff members and contractors describe situations when assumptions and conclusions of earlier safety decisions were challenged in the light of new information, operating experience or changes in context?

A.2: Safety is a primary consideration in the allocation of resources:

General Allocation

a)    How do resources allocated to safety compare with other allocations?

b)    In what way are the resource requirements for the safety function reviewed periodically at corporate level? With what results?

c)    When staff members and contractors have a safety relevant need, what is the procedure, so that staff members and contractors receive the needed resources?

d)    In what way is time considered a resource to do a job safely?

Specific Areas (Training, Maintenance, Operation)

a)    How do resources allocated to training compare with other allocations?

b)    How much of the training budget is allocated to special tools, mock-ups and video equipment per year?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe examples when the allocation of resources affected the backlog of maintenance tasks and facility, plant or equipment modifications? What was the process to resolve the conflict?

A.3: The strategic importance of safety is reflected in the business plan:

Business Plan

a)    Are safety performance goals, strategies, plans and objectives integrated into the business plan?

b)    In what way are staff members and contractors being informed about the content of the business plan?

c)    Can staff members and contractors site examples about the integration of safety performance goals, strategies, plans and objectives into the business plan?

d)    What do staff members and contractors know about it?

A.4: Individuals are convinced that safety and production go hand in hand:

Problem Solving

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe cases where there was apparent conflict between safety and cost or between safety and operation?

b)    What was the behaviour of managers in such cases?

c)    What about the behaviour of respected and experienced colleagues who are not managers?

d)    How was the conflict resolved?

Communication

a)    When safety considerations introduce a delay, in what way do managers use the occasion to illustrate that safety comes first?

b)    Can staff members and contractors site a positive example illustrating that the managers or other specialists are really committed to the view that a ‘safety first’ organisation is also a well run organisation? What about a negative example?

A.5.: A proactive and long term approach to safety issues is shown in decision making:

Perspective Thinking

a)    How do strategic and longer range planning processes take account of known and potential safety issues?

b)    How are schedules and content of work for shutdowns or halting operations examined in the organisation? Describe the internal safety review process?

c)    What is the approach of managers at all levels when they have to cope with an unforeseen event requiring more staff at short notice?

d)    What happens if, for any reason, production requirements are permitted to interfere with scheduled training modules?

e)    What kind of a system for prioritising maintenance work along safety requirements is established?

f)    What arrangements are there for staff members and contractors to catch up on missed training modules?

Incentives

a)    Where does safety fit in incentives and priorities for senior management?

b)    Are management incentive strategies discussed on the corporate level?

A.6: Safety conscious behaviour is socially accepted and supported (both formally and informally):

Reward and Performance Appraisal

a)    In what way do managers ensure that a safety conscious working environment prevails throughout the organisation?

b)    What kinds of systems exist to appraise managers of safety accomplishments or shortcomings? How effective are such systems?

c)    In what way are staff members and contractors aware of the system of rewards and sanctions relating to safety matters?

d)    Can staff members and contractors give examples where individuals who transmit safety related concerns or potential improvements are rewarded and given public recognition?

e)    In what way do annual performance appraisals include a specific section on hazard awareness and a safety conscious attitude?

f)    Can cases be identified in which safety conscious attitude was a significant factor in approving or rejecting a promotion to management level?

Informal Attitude

a)    In what way do managers or older, experienced employees give informal recognition to staff members and contractors who take actions beneficial to safety?

b)    What is the unofficial, informal response of management to safety infringements and violations of safety related technical specifications?

c)    In what way are good practices praised and poor ones challenged, especially in informal settings?

d)    How do first line supervisors deal with unsafe acts and/or conditions when they see them or when they are pointed out to them? Do supervisors say ‘well done’ when subordinates are doing something in a safe way?

e)    In what way do staff members and contractors point out to others in the organisation when they see them doing something unsafe, even if it is not part of their job?

Training

a)    In what way do training programmes at the organisation address social acceptance of safety conscious behaviour?

b)    Can staff members and contractors find examples of people not taking safety seriously e.g. joking about it or not demonstrating safety conscious behaviour? What are the reasons for the lack of acceptance?

6.2.    Leadership for safety and security is clear

B.1: Senior management is clearly committed to safety:

Safety as Major Managerial Task

a)    In what way are safety issues included in periodic meetings of management and senior staff?

b)    In what way is safety mentioned in official communication from senior management?

c)    How would staff members and contractors describe the major worries of senior managers in their day to day work?

Presence in the Field

a)    How often do senior corporate managers visit operating facilities to assess management effectiveness first hand?

b)    How are these visits conducted?

Support to Middle-Level Management and Supervisors

a)    In what way do senior managers encourage middle-level managers and supervisors to look at other organisations and other parts of their own organisation to see what they can learn from them?

b)    How do senior managers explain their commitment to safety to their staff?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe how senior managers disseminate relevant information (such as objectives, expectations, expenditures, accomplishments and shortcomings) to middle-level managers and supervisors?

d)    In what way did senior managers support their middle-level managers and supervisors the last time that they stopped operations for safety reasons?

B.2: Commitment to safety is evident at all management levels:

Expectations at Individual Level

a)    What are the safety expectations of management, and how are these translated into the daily job of staff members and contractors? What is the role of middle management in communicating these expectations?

b)    In what way do middle-level managers and supervisors communicate their expectations on safety to their subordinates? How are these understood by the subordinates?

c)    How do middle-level managers and supervisors decide what kind of safety courses staff members and contractors should attend?

No Deviations Accepted

a)    In what situations would middle-level managers and supervisors consider deviations or shortcuts to be acceptable?

b)    How are deviations or shortcuts discussed in informal settings, during week-ends or holidays?

Immediate Correction

a)    In what way do senior managers show that they are committed to correct significant weaknesses or vulnerabilities?

b)    What action do middle-level managers and supervisors take after they learn of deviations and non-compliance situations?

c)    How do middle-level managers and supervisors react to negative remarks about safety-conscious behaviour, when middle-level managers and supervisors hear them or when they are pointed out to them?

d)    In what way do subordinates inform middle-level managers and supervisors about poor procedures and what do middle-level managers and supervisors do about it?

B.3: There is visible leadership showing the involvement of management in safety related activities:

Presence in the Field

a)    How do managers inspect performance and conditions at the work-place?

b)    In what way do managers give attention to the physical working environment of their staff?

c)    What is the working style of the senior supervisors on shift? How do they seek information?

d)    Can staff members and contractors describe how supervisors and managers visit the areas where safety related work is being done?

e)    How do supervisors discuss safety issues with their teams/work groups for which they are responsible?

f)    Can staff members and contractors describe situations, when seeing a manager at the work-place is considered an integral part of his/her work?

g)    What about situations, where seeing a manager at the work-place is considered an indication of trouble?

Coaching and Mentoring

a)    In what way do managers participate in staff training courses at which safety policies and procedures are explained? How do they present the training material?

b)    Can staff members and contractors describe situations where managers spend time observing and coaching individuals at their work locations or provide constructive feedback to reinforce expected behaviour?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe situations where managers encourage good colleagues to spend time as instructors?

Identifying Safety Issues

a)    How do senior managers identify safety issues and contribute to fixing them?

b)    Can staff members and contractors judge whether middle-level managers and supervisors have the necessary experience and knowledge of safety, in order to take action on the issues before them?

B.4: Leadership skills are systematically developed:

Selection of Managers

a)    In what way do managers recognise that safety conscious attitude is important in the selection and promotion of staff? How is this recognition fostered?

b)    Can cases be identified in which safety conscious attitude was a significant factor in approving or rejecting a promotion to management level?

Succession Planning

a)    Can senior managers describe how succession plans relate to safety?

b)    In what way is safety leadership reflected in succession plans?

Leadership Training

a)    In what way are leadership skills and techniques included in training programmes for managers and supervisors?

b)    In what way are change management skills taught to individuals in leadership roles?

B.5: Management ensures that there are sufficient and competent individuals:

Needs and Resources

a)    In what way do managers ensure that staff members and contractors only perform work for which they are trained and qualified?

b)    In what way do managers identify weaknesses in their staff in order to specify training requirements or to provide other support?

c)    What is done by the senior management to prevent staff downsizing potentially affecting safety even if there are financial restraints on the corporate level?

d)    What resources are allocated to training? How does this compare with the allocations of other facilities?

Planning

a)    Who is responsible for following-up the training of staff?

b)    How frequently are production requirements permitted to interfere with scheduled training?

Training Content

a)    How are training needs assessed and training content established?

b)    What specific training have staff members and contractors received in the areas of process safety, radiological protection, and industrial safety practices?

c)    What is the minimum training schedule in order to maintain the qualification of staff members and contractors?

d)    What kind of preparations do staff members and contractors have to make before attending training?

e)    How are issues that may have come up on shift recorded so that staff members and contractors discuss them in training settings, including simulator training?

B.6: Management seeks the active involvement of individuals in improving safety:

Welcome to Concerns Raised

a)    How would a safety concern or improvement be brought to the attention of the management?

b)    What mechanisms are in place for highlighting safety suggestions?

c)    Who do staff members and contractors look to for technical guidance on safety issues? Why?

d)    Can staff members and contractors cite examples when senior managers actively seek dissenting views and diverse perspectives and encourage robust discussion of pending issues?

e)    Can staff members and contractors cite examples when their individual opinion mattered, when their input has led to positive change?

Involvement in Activities

a)    How do managers involve their staff in discussions about what the real safety priorities are?

b)    How do managers discuss with their staff the results and the means by which deficiencies may be corrected?

c)    What is the attitude of managers to safety reviews and audits affecting their activities?

d)    When there is apparent conflict between safety and cost or between safety and operation, in what way do managers discuss the situation with staff members and contractors?

Brainstorming and Similar Techniques

a)    In what way are operating staff involved in board meetings when these discuss the safety performance and look for principally new solutions?

b)    In what way do managers lead brainstorming sessions, for example in the investigation of safety problems, to assist in seeking the causes and in implementing improvements?

B.7: Safety implications are considered in the change management processes:

Change Management Process

a)    Is the change management process for changes to procedures, equipment, or organisation sufficiently thorough and well established?

b)    How does senior management relate necessary change with safety issues?

Trust In Times of Change

a)    In what way are impending changes communicated to individuals so that a high level of mutual trust is maintained throughout the organisation?

b)    What communication process is established to counter rumours and other undesirable influences on staff members and contractors?

B.8: Management shows a continual effort to strive for openness and good communication throughout the organisation:

Communication Skills

a)    How skilled are managers in responding to questions in an open and honest manner?

b)    How well are managers prepared to facilitate open forum meetings to explain the context for issues and decisions on safety-sensitive matters, and to address potential blockages of communication?

c)    How well do managers encourage staff members and contractors to deliver ideas for improvement? How do managers act on the improvement proposals?

Encouragement For Asking Questions

a)    How do managers and staff and contractors communicate with each other when any party have doubts about safety?

b)    How do managers explain to staff members and contractors the current safety priorities?

c)    How do managers involve staff members and contractors in discussions about safety?

B.9: Management has the ability to resolve conflicts as necessary:

Conflict Resolution Strategies

a)    What strategies may be applied by a senior manager, if middle-level managers in his/her responsibility area are in interpersonal conflict and don’t communicate satisfactorily?

b)    In what way is conflict management part of leadership training curricula at the organisation?

c)    In what way do free-time activities help to resolve interpersonal conflicts?

B.10: Relationships between management and individuals are built on trust:

Trust

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe whether managers are trusted by their subordinates to act professionally?

b)    How is the trust between managers and subordinates felt or experienced in the organisation?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe any management interventions that have built trust in the organisation?

d)    Can staff members and contractors list “moments of truth” that have occurred in the past few months, and show that management responded by principle and not by expediency?

6.3.    Accountability for safety and security is clear

C.1: An appropriate relationship with the regulatory body exists that ensures that the accountability for safety remains with the licensee:

Policy Towards the Regulatory Body

a)    How are the role and authority of the regulatory body understood by managers, staff, and contractors at the organisation?

b)    What level of co-operation exists between the regulatory body and the organisation?

c)    In what way is the regulatory body consulted to obtain clarification and regulatory guidance?

Attitude Towards the Regulatory Body

a)    How much appreciation is there in the organisation of the professional competence of the regulatory body?

d)    What is the perception among staff members and contractors about political and other restraints in the work of the regulatory body? Is it considered really independent? 

e)    In what way do staff members and contractors view the regulatory presence on site (more as a help or hindrance)?

C.2: Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and understood:

Definition of Responsibilities

a)    Who is responsible for safety within the organisation?

b)    How are safety responsibilities assigned?

c)    How visible is the overall responsibility of management responsible for safety?

d)    What are the documents which identify safety responsibilities?

e)    What is the procedure to review documents which identify safety responsibilities?

f)    To what extent are staff members and contractors able to clearly enunciate their own responsibilities? Can they cite the documents that define those safety responsibilities?

g)    When contractors are involved with work, how are their roles and responsibilities for safety defined in contractual documents?

Individual Understanding of Responsibilities

a)    To what extent are staff members and contractors qualified to understand their responsibilities, especially concerning safety?

b)    What explanations do staff members and contractors deliver about the specific hazards in their work area?

c)    How well do staff members and contractors, especially at the shop floor level, understand what could go wrong and what could happen if the job requirements are not carried out properly?

Where to Go For Safety Concerns

a)    To whom do staff members and contractors look for technical guidance on safety issues?

b)    What is the procedure for handling safety and other employee concerns in the organisation?

C.3: There is a high level of compliance with regulations and procedures:

Communication

a)    In what way are staff members and contractors reminded about the importance of following procedures?

b)    How are staff members and contractors trained to understand the rationale and the safety basis of the procedures?

Adherence

a)    How much trust in procedures do staff members and contractors show when discussing them?

b)    Can staff members and contractors describe how supervisors and managers inspect worksites to ensure that procedures are being used and followed in accordance with expectations?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe how are they encouraged to critically review procedures and instructions during their use and suggest improvements where appropriate?

d)    Can staff members and contractors give examples when laid down procedures are followed strictly even in cases when quicker methods are available?

e)    Can staff members and contractors give examples what could happen to the organisation or to people if a procedure is not followed?

f)    How common is the feeling that procedures frustrate staff members and contractors when production pressure is applied?

g)    What would happen to a worker who ignored the procedure in order to achieve production targets?

C.4: Management delegates responsibility with appropriate authority to enable clear accountabilities to be established:

Process for Accountability

a)    What procedures and processes exist to ensure clear single-point accountability before execution?

b)    Can staff members and contractors give examples when accountability is perceived as a good thing? What about examples when accountability is viewed as a way to apportion blame?

c)    How do managers and peers reinforce accountable behaviour?

d)    How are staff members and contractors encouraged to maintain open communication or to report concerns or unusual observations?

Delegation of Authority

a)    How skilful are middle-level managers and supervisors in delegating responsibilities?

b)    In what way is delegation included in workshops and seminars on safety leadership?

C.5: ‘Ownership’ for safety is evident at all organisational levels and for all individuals:

‘Ownership’ as an Attitude

a)    In what way do staff members and contractors show that they understand what could go wrong and what could happen if their work is not carried out properly?

b)    How do staff members and contractors follow the rule to ‘stop and think’ when a problem arises?

c)    In what way do staff members and contractors take care of the safety of their own working environment?

d)    Can staff members and contractors give examples of proposed improvements in procedures and processes?

e)    In what way do supervisors promote good safety practices?

Specific Areas

a)    Can operating and maintenance personnel list any recent safety related deviations (such as from operating limits) at the organisation, describe the way they happened and state what has been done to prevent repetition?

b)    How do staff understand the requirement for a ‘watchful and alert attitude at all times’?

6.4.    Safety and security is integrated into all activities

D.1: Trust permeates the organisation

Trust

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe indicate whether managers are trusted by their subordinates to act professionally?

b)    How is the trust between managers and subordinates felt or experienced in the organisation?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe any management interventions that have built trust in the organisation?

d)    What about fear of retribution, if errors are reported or safety concerns are raised?

e)    Can staff members and contractors discuss “moments of truth” that have occurred in the past few months, and describe how management responded e.g. by principle and not by expediency?

D.2: Consideration for all types of safety, including industrial and environmental safety and security, is evident.

Industrial Safety

a)    How do managers include industrial safety in their discussions and meetings?

b)    In what way do managers ensure that a safety conscious working environment prevails throughout the organisation?

c)    What kind of specific knowledge about industrial safety is considered important by staff members and contractors? And what is considered not so important?

Environmental Safety

a)    How do managers include environmental safety in their discussions and meetings?

b)    What kind of specific knowledge about environmental safety is considered important by staff members and contractors? And what is considered not so important?

Security

a)    Can staff members and contractors list examples of synergies between measures to improve safety and measures to improve security?

b)    Can staff members and contractors list examples of contradictions between safety and security? What should be the proper behaviour in such cases?

D.3: The quality of documentation and procedures is good:

Quality

a)    What inputs are considered when reviewing a procedure?

b)    How easy are procedures to understand and to follow?

c)    Can managers describe cases where it appeared necessary to give additional (informal) explanation on the procedures that they or their subordinates use?

d)    Can staff members and contractors describe cases, where they received written procedures that were not useful for their job?

e)    Have there been cases where errors or ambiguities have been found in procedures and what has been done to correct them?

Accessibility

a)    How easy is it to find a procedure? How can staff tell if a procedure exists for a particular action?

b)    In what way can the accessibility of procedures be improved?

Actuality

a)    How often are procedures reviewed to ensure that they are currently valid?

b)    How are the temporary changes to procedures issued, and what are the appropriate controls that limit their area of application and their period of validity?

Improvement

a)    In what way are staff members and contractors, who are going to use procedures, involved in writing them?

b)    How do staff members and contractors deliver feedback whether procedures are properly formulated?

c)    How are managers informed about poor procedures and have managers taken any action?

d)    What would an operator or a member of the maintenance staff do if, when following a written procedure, he/she comes upon a step that he/she thinks is a mistake?

D.4: The quality of processes, from planning to implementation and review, is good:

Planning

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe how work is planned (including plans for contingencies) to ensure that all safety functions are maintained effective at all times and to ensure that safety is not impaired?

b)    To what extent are the approved plans followed?

c)    What is the process for approval before necessary deviation from the already approved plans?

d)    In what way are resources matched to demands, so that for example spare parts and tools are available when needed?

Quality

a)    How are processes defined, so that they are easy to understand and to follow?

b)    What inputs are considered when designing or modifying a process?

c)    Can staff members and contractors describe cases where it appeared necessary to give additional (informal) explanation on a process that they or their subordinates use?

Actuality

a)    How often is process documentation reviewed to ensure that it is currently valid?

b)    How are the temporary changes to processes handled, so that safety aspects are considered as well?

Improvement

a)    In what way are staff members and contractors, who are going to implement processes, involved in developing them?

b)    How do managers learn whether processes are properly followed?

c)    How are managers informed about poor processes and have they taken any action to improve them?

D.5: Individuals have the necessary knowledge and understanding of the work processes:

Work-Related Knowledge

a)    In what way do staff members and contractors show that they understand what could happen to the organisation or to people if they modify their work processes?

b)    In what way do staff members and contractors show a good understanding, not only of their own work processes, but also how these processes interact with other processes?

c)    Can staff members and contractors give examples of cases, where the task was not understood before carrying it out? What was the reason for it?

d)    How aware are staff members and contractors, especially at the shop floor level, of the particular cautions or safety limits they have to observe in their job?

e)    How aware are staff members and contractors, especially at the shop floor level, of what would happen if safety limits were exceeded?

f)    For maintenance personnel, how do mock-ups and video recordings support staff before a complex maintenance activity is performed?

D.6: Factors affecting work motivation and job satisfaction are considered:

Recognition/Reward

a)    How does the senior management show that professional capabilities, values and experience of staff are the organisation’s most valuable strategic asset for safety

b)    How is the reward systems aligned with safety policies?

c)    In what way does the reward system reinforce the desired behaviour and outcomes?

d)    How is recognition for exemplary performance given to individuals or teams?

e)    In what way are managers trained in order to have the appropriate knowledge of factors influencing human performance?

f)    Can staff members and contractors identify cases in which a safety conscious attitude was a significant factor in approving or rejecting a promotion to management level?

Pride

a)    What is the staff turnover within the organisation?

b)    What are the major motivating factors for staff members?

c)    What about contractors? What kind of differences in work motivation between staff members and contractors are perceived in the organisation?

D.7: Good working conditions exist with regard to time pressures, workload and stress:

Overtime

a)    What is the policy on limits to overtime work? To which staff and contractor groups does it apply?

b)    How is overtime controlled, monitored and reported to management?

c)    What is the attitude of higher (corporate) management to overtime?

d)    What is the attitude of staff representatives (trade unions) to overtime?

e)    How difficult is it to find enough qualified staff and contractors?

Shiftwork

a)    How do shift schedules apply up to date knowledge of best solutions with regard to human performance capabilities?

b)    How are shift schedules discussed with those involved?

Workload and Stress

a)    What is the level of absenteeism, especially for operational and maintenance staff?

b)    Can managers give examples of severe stress syndromes or burn-out cases among staff members and contractors recently?

c)    What type of stress awareness training is offered to managers at the organisation (especially middle-level managers and supervisors)?

Human Factors

a)    How are human performance issues treated at the organisation?

b)    What types of analysis are applied to identify causes of unsatisfactory human performance?

c)    What kind of improvement strategy is followed?

d)    On which criteria is the improvement strategy based?

e)    In what way are human factors specialists and psychologists engaged with the organisation?

D.8: There is cross-functional and interdisciplinary cooperation and teamwork:

Multidisciplinary Cooperation

a)    What kinds of opportunities are provided, e.g. workplace forums to discuss issues of mutual interest between operations and maintenance staff?

b)    How are interdepartmental meetings organised and implemented? How high is their acceptance? Are they considered efficient enough?

c)    To what extent are cross-functional sections encouraged?

d)    In what way are outside stakeholders consistently involved when problems are being solved and decisions are made?

Teamwork

a)    In what way are staff members and contractors encouraged to work in teams?

b)    In what way do staff members and contractors ensure that the workers on the next shift are fully informed about safety issues when they take over the job in hand?

c)    In what way do staff members and contractors communicate their experience effectively to other individuals and groups?

D.9: Housekeeping and material conditions reflect commitment to excellence:

Housekeeping – General Level

a)    How would staff members and contractors describe the general state of the organisation in terms of appearance and tidiness?

b)    How would staff members and contractors describe the general state of log-books and records?

c)    How is the reporting on housekeeping deficiencies organised? How efficient is it?

Material Condition – General Level

a)    How would staff members and contractors describe the material condition of safety relevant systems in the organisation?

b)    What programmes and procedures exist to monitor and continuously improve the material condition of safety relevant systems at the organisation?

Long Standing Problems

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe the process for identifying long-standing problems with pieces of equipment, systems or processes?

b)    What is the strategy of the management towards such issues?

6.5.    Safety and security is learning driven

E.1: A questioning attitude prevails at all organisational levels

Questioning Attitude

a)    How do individuals at all levels understand the nature of the hazards, including worst-case scenarios?

b)    What measures are taken in the organisation so that group-think is avoided and opposing views are encouraged?

c)    How is the rule to “stop and think” applied when a problem arises?

Encouragement

a)    How useful is the current process for bringing up safety related concerns to the attention of higher management?

b)    How useful is the current process for suggesting potential improvements to the attention of higher management?

c)    In what way do managers encourage bringing up safety related concerns or potential improvements?

E.2: Open reporting of deviations and errors is encouraged:

Open Reporting Process

a)    What arrangements exist for reporting safety related events at the organisation?

b)    What is the process for near miss reporting? It this process accepted by everyone?

c)    In what way are staff members and contractors who were involved in a significant event consulted on the final contents of the event report?

d)    What kind of recognition, if any, is given to individuals and teams that report abnormal conditions, concerns, actual or near miss events etc.?

e)    What about fear of retribution, if errors are reported or safety concerns are raised?

Blame-Tolerant Culture

a)    How effective is the system for reporting individuals’ errors?

b)    How is the system for reporting individuals’ errors made known to staff?

c)    To what extent do staff members and contractors feel free to report any problems?

d)    How do managers ensure that matters raised are acted upon and feedback is given?

E.3: Internal and external assessments, including self-assessments, are used:

Internal Assessments

a)    Who does self-assessments at the organisation? Who should do self-assessments according to the opinion of staff members and contractors?

b)    What is the informal perception of internal self-assessments of safety culture? Are they considered important at all?

c)    When was the last safety culture assessment conducted at the organisation?

d)    When was the last questionnaire survey conducted at the organisation?

e)    What mechanisms exist to periodically review and adjust internal assessments?

External Assessments

a)    In what way does the organisation use external or independent opinions?

b)    Can staff members and contractors give examples when senior management initiated actions based on the results of external assessment activities?

c)    What is the informal perception of regular external assessments?

Organisation

a)    What is the attitude of the senior management on regular assessments in the organisation?

b)    What type of information is considered most useful by the senior management? Does this information include comparisons with the performance of other facilities?

c)    What information is fed back to respondents of questionnaire surveys or safety culture assessments? Is this information considered sufficient by the staff involved?

d)    If a safety assessment group exists in the organisation, how is this group accepted and supported by management, staff members, and contractors? Does it have access to the highest levels of management (e.g. CEO, Board of directors)? How is its independence assured?

Follow-Up

a)    What is the value of safety improvement programmes developed after internal and external assessments? Is there any added value or is it considered just another campaign?

b)    What is the attitude of staff members and contractors to safety assessments affecting their area of work?

c)    How responsive are staff members and contractors to improvements sought as a result of safety assessments?

E.4: Organisational and operating experience (both internal and external to the organisation) is used:

Process

a)    What processes are in place to ensure that the experience of senior staff is shared with new and junior staff members or contractors at the organisation?

b)    How does the operating experience process include low level events, near misses and potential problems?

Analysis

a)    What processes exist to grade the analysis depending on the severity of the event?

b)    How much effort is put in a timely, but thorough investigation of events?

Applicability

a)    What is the awareness of managers and staff of how the safety of their organisation compares with that of others? In the country? In the world?

b)    How accessible is the operating experience information to staff members and contractors?

c)    How are reports on operating experience discussed at the organisation?

d)    In what way does the organisation contribute to international safety reporting systems?

e)    How is operating experience used in routine work activities (i.e. pre-job briefings, daily work planning, shift briefings, etc.)?

E.5: Learning is facilitated through the ability to recognise and diagnose deviations, to formulate and implement solutions and to monitor the effects of corrective actions:

Early Recognition of Deviations

a)    What type of processes exist to enable an early recognition of deviations?

b)    How is information on precursors integrated in the management of the organisation?

Implementation of Solutions

a)    Can staff members and contractors describe a recent implementation programme? What were the safety implications of this programme?

b)    How is information on successful implementation spread around the organisation?

Corrective Actions

a)    What action is taken on the results of safety culture assessment or other safety reviews?

b)    What are the processes to disseminate knowledge about lessons learned in the organisation?

c)    Can staff members or contractors identify changes that resulted from safety culture assessments or other safety reviews?

d)    Can staff members or contractors point to examples of problems they have reported which have been fixed?

e)    How high is the rate of repeat events or errors?

E.6: Safety performance indicators are tracked, trended and evaluated and acted upon:

Performance Indicators

a)    What targets are established in the organisation in order to understand, achieve and improve safety and security performance at all levels?

b)    What measures are taken at the organisation in order to understand, achieve and improve performance at all levels?

c)    How are safety performance indicators communicated to staff members and contractors?

d)    What action is taken by the management when safety performance does not match the goals, strategies, plans and objectives?

E.7: There is systematic development of individual competences:

Career Development

a)    How are individual career development programmes, established and implemented at the organisation?

b)    What methods are applied in the organisation to support the career development of technically potent and safety conscious young engineers?

Training

a)    How are training needs of individuals and groups determined at the organisation?

b)    In what way is hazard awareness included in training curricula, especially for shop floor staff and contractors?

c)    In what way does on-the-job training support the understanding of the significance of the safety procedures and criteria (such as operating limits) at the organisation?

6.6.    Integration across divisional boundaries

a)    How is learning maintained across divisional boundaries?

b)    What systems are in place to avoid creating silos?

c)    How is management and staff promoting and implementing measures to ensure cross-pollination of ideas and measures to maintain greater safety between organisational divisions or sections?

d)    What systems are in place to share safety and security related information and help maintain the highest levels of safety and security across the entire organisation?

Characteristic 7—Protective Security and Nuclear Security Culture

7.1.    Security management is informed and integrated

a)    What processes are in place to identify the mandatory requirements relating to security?

b)    What systems are used to assess performance against those requirements?

c)    What systems are in place to examine and make use of the synergies between safety and security?

d)    How frequently are synergies between safety and security examined and revised?

e)    What training or systems are in place to establish and maintain staff appreciation of maintaining adequate security?

f)    What systems are in place to develop and maintain an effective security culture?

g)    What systems are in place to ensure that security is analysed in traditional safety analysis?