Holistic Safety Guidelines

The Holistic Safety Guidelines outline key principles of holistic safety

What are the Holistic Safety Guidelines?

The Holistic Safety Guidelines outline key principles of holistic safety. The objective of Guidelines is to provide guidance on key technological, individual or human, and organisational aspects that are necessary to create and maintain optimal safety. The Guidelines may be used to assess and monitor compliance with the Act and Regulations. It is intended that a holistic approach to safety should be adopted by all licence holders, while specific application of the principles set out in the characteristics and attributes will be tailored to the particular organisation. Holistic Safety principles have developed from the analysis and lessons learned from incidents, accidents, and real-life events. ARPANSA has taken these principles, and international best practice into account to produce the Holistic Safety Guidelines.

How do the Holistic Safety Guidelines work?

Written in a simple, easy-to-read format, the HS Guidelines contain a range of key principles considered relevant to Holistic Safety. The key principles of holistic safety are arranged in seven categories called ‘characteristics’. Within each ‘characteristic’ are ‘attributes’ that more specifically outline the ways in which the key principles of holistic safety can be achieved. A Safe Organisation exhibits the key characteristics as described in the guidelines. The way the Guidelines are used is different for each licence holder. For example, aspects of Holistic Safety that apply to a licence holder operating a controlled facility will be different to those of a licence holder dealing with only a few check radiation sources or X-ray machines. Licence holders should therefore tailor the principles outlined within the HS Guidelines to their specific operations. In other words, the individual guidelines should be addressed in a graded approach considering the overall risk associated with the licence holder’s scope of operation.

Who should use the Holistic Safety Guidelines?

The HS Guidelines should be used by all licence holders and applicants. Even small licence holders can use the HS Guidelines to assess their own processes and operations against principles of Holistic Safety.

The presence of these characteristics has been found to both increase organisations’ resistance to incidents and accidents while improving overall safety management and productivity.

Are the Holistic Safety Guidelines mandatory?

The HS Guidelines are not mandatory. However, the Holistic Safety principles contained within the HS Guidelines may be used to assist ARPANSA in its safety assessment of licence holders. ARPANSA is required to consider best practice before issuing a source or facility licence. As the Guidelines represent best practice in safety, ARPANSA will have regard to the Guidelines in the process of assessing and monitoring licences. Consistent with ARPANSA regulatory approach, the Guidelines will be applied in a manner that is proportionate to the risk.