The Holistic MicroTools are easy-to-use analysis tools for identifying weaknesses and strengths in holistic safety
The Tools (see also MacroTool)
How do the MicroTools work?
The MicroTools provide a set of ten to thirteen questions to probe a particular aspect of holistic safety and identify areas to improve. Licence holders can obtain answers to the questions by using information from: responses from staff or management, or examining procedures or practices.
The rating provided for each question can then be filled in giving an overview of the weaknesses of the elements for a particular holistic safety aspect e.g. weaknesses in personnel selection for the human factors MicroTool. This helps identify and prioritise areas of your operations that need improvement and as a quick visual aid to help scan through the tool to identify key areas or weaknesses. As part of continuous improvement, it is important to review particular aspects periodically, to ensure changes have been implemented.
Are the tools mandatory?
The tools are not mandatory and do not negate requirements under the ARPANS Act or individual licence conditions. While not mandatory, licence holders may find the tools helpful to improve the safety of their operations. ARPANSA may also use the tools as the basis for discussions with licence holders and applicants.
Who should use the tools?
These tools are designed for all licence holders and applicants.
Can the tools be modified and adapted?
Yes. The tools should be adapted (the questions, rating system, design, etc.) to suit the unique risks and operations of each organisation. The tools provide a generic template for licence holders to use to help them improve the safety of their operations; a graded approach should be adopted when using the tools.
Six key things to help you use the tools
1. Get management support
Ensure you have management or leadership support and commitment before you start. Leadership support is necessary for any analysis and changes needed to be implemented and effective.
2. Identify area to analyse
It is important to examine all components of holistic safety. However, certain components may be higher priority than others, depending on the unique risks of your operations. Which components do you need to focus on? Use key sources of information from you organisation, such as event or incident reports, inspections or staff reports, to help you determine which MicroTools to use first.
3. Communicate the purpose
Communicate with staff that the purpose of the exercise is to identify if there are any weaknesses and improve to make the workplace safer—it is not about blame. It is important to communicate this with staff early before the analysis begins.
4. Sources of information
There are different ways to obtain information to complete the analysis. You can discuss the questions with staff in a group, such as a section or team meeting. You can also discuss the questions with individual operators. Analysing practices (such as a particular operation or function from start to finish) is another way to apply the tool.
5. Self-awareness and self-management
The way you ask questions (tone, body language) is just as important as what you ask, influencing how staff will answer them. It is important to promote discussions with staff–not discourage it. When asking question of staff, it is important to note this and be self-aware and manage the way you ask questions.
6. Results should promote action and continuous improvement
Results obtained from the analysis should be used to inform an action plan to improve. As part of continuous improvement, it is important to review the particular aspect to see if changes implemented have been successful.
Need help or assistance?
Contact ARPANSA’s Safety Analysis Section if you have any questions or need help with using tools.
ARPANSA Safety Analysis Section
03 9433 2338
03 9541 8350