Operators who take initiatives reinforce safety
Safety initiatives are very often beneficial: most of the time they are a common-sense action that is taken by someone who knows what they are doing. They make it possible to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, the lack of a procedure, or a flawed procedure. This is called initiative-based safety, and it complements rule-based safety, which is based on following procedures and management systems.
Of course, each organization, must find its own balance between rule-based safety and initiative-based safety, depending on its business and industrial sector.
In his Thoughts on Safety Culture, Denis Besnard argues that frontline staff who take initiatives strengthen safety. And even when a safety initiative leads to a new problem, he has a few pointers on how to make the situation safer. Managers should value these initiatives and encourage them.
Published under Creative Commons licence. See conditions for reproduction.