Effective Management of Health and Safety Programs: A Practical Guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed., Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :157-176
Establishing goals, designing metbods to accomplish them, and implementing new programs can be professionally satisfying. Similarly, defining the true nature of a problem, gathering data about it, developing alternative solutions, selecting tbe best solution, and implementing it can be both intellectually stimulating and satisfying. Unfortunately, a critical component is missing from the above - that is evaluation. This omission is a major cause of program compromise or failure. New projects or programs can generate significant enthusiasm. However, taking the steps necessary to recognize that a program is not meeting established criteria, is behind schedule, or is not producing desired results is too often given a lower priority or is even omitted from the implementation plans. If the director does not detect the problem(s) early enough to institute appropriate corrective actions, serious difficulties may ensue. A few years ago, a health and safety program in a major metropolitan area had enjoyed a series of "outstanding" annual evaluations for a number of years. Less than a year after its final outstanding evaluation, it was described as "totally useless and a money-loser." It was not producing "desired results." The program was abruptly terminated as a result of that rating. There had been no change in the program director, health and safety staff, or program components. Patients and clients had continued to express appreciation for the high-quality service provided. Obviously, something changed, and in this instance it was a change in the organization's CEO. The CEO was responsible for evaluating the health and safety program, and the new incumbent used different evaluation criteria than had his predecessor. Unfortunately, the health and safety director had not ascertained the new evaluator's standards. Rather, the director assumed that the same evaluation criteria used previously would continue to be used. By the time the changed situation was recognized, it was too late, and all health and safety personnel had to find positions in other organizations. If a health and safety manager does not include evaluation processes in the unit's efforts, or if the manager and supervisors do not agree on evaluation criteria, the results can be as disastrous as those described above. Even if the evaluation criteria are specified, problems may still occur. The failure to adequately evaluate the components of the "solution," the same problem existed.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Failure-analysis; Health-programs; Health-standards; Safety-programs; Performance-capability; Standards; Work-performance; Supervisory-personnel; Quality-control; Quality-standards