New Nebosh Course in Peshawar

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New Nebosh Course in Peshawar


Safety Culture

Safety cultureis an important topic, but time consuming to inspect (because of the samplerequired) and difficult to tackle. It is recommended that it is only be takenon where there is good reason to believe that there is a significant issue toaddress, such as a poor safety record over a period, and where the company islikely to be receptive to advice. An organization’s culture can have as big aninfluence on safety outcomes as the safety management system. ‘Safety culture’is a subset of the overall company culture (and is defined in the box on theright). Many companies talk about ‘safety culture’ when referring to theinclination of their employees to comply with rules or act safety or unsafely.However we find that the culture and style of management is even moresignificant, for example a natural, unconscious bias for production oversafety, or a tendency to focusing on the short-term and being highly reactive.

 Symptoms of poor cultural factors can include:

·        Widespread, routine procedural violations.

·        Failure to comply with the company’s own SMS(although either of these can also be due to poor procedure design).

·        Management decisions that appear consistently toput production or cost before safety.

 In inspection, it is possible to gatherevidence about a company’s culture, although this requires interviewing asuitably representative sample of people from all levels.

Model forOrganisational and Safety Culture

Cultures areusually defined as shared values, attitudes and behavior of certain group. Thecore of culture is inside person’s mind. Only through behavior or other actionsof persons the culture becomes visible and shareable. Cultural art effects andall other perceptible signs of culture are formed through action. From thisperspective culture requires functionality. It does not exist nor spreadwithout activity of individuals. In systems theory there is a methodologicaldistinction between theoretical system and empirical system. Theoretical system“is a complex of concepts, suppositions, and propositions having both logicalintegration and empirical reference”. Empirical system is “a set of phenomenain the observable world that is amenable to description and analysis by meansof a theoretical system”. However, in cultural context, theoretical modelsusually describe only properties of the empirical system. Usually thefunctionality of the culture is left undefined. Therefore theoretical modelsmay have flaws in their ability to describe the functionality of the culture,which is essential part of the culture.


 Most organizational culture models are basedon the shared mental models of individuals These internal psychological modelsare highly personal. Some of these models are used as guidelines with which oneoperates in the world. Thoughts, values and other cognitions need some kind ofaction to be exposed to other people. As long as they are solely insidepeoples’ minds they cannot be shared nor be confirmed. Gherardi and Nicolinihave described safety as “aspect of practice” All human behavior is considered asan action and these actions include talking, writing and all other sociallyinteractive methods of communication. As far as we know, in the literature oforganizational culture, this issue of culture’s method of action has been leftundefined. We have developed a meta-model, which describes the person –sociotechnical system interaction.

1.            Functionalmodel

The functionalmeta-model is based on the systems point of view. Both person and organizationare modeled as systems. The systems theory models real world entities as technicalsystems. Systems theory states several properties a system must have, but weconcentrate to just one of those, namely openness. The openness of a systemmeans that a system has means of interaction with its environment. Environmentis defined as everything that does not belong to the system itself, but hassome kind of effect to the system. According to Buckley the interchange isessential factor underlying the system’s viability. Basically the interactionwith environment means some kind of flow in and out of the system. The majortypes of system flows are materials, energy and information . When the flow isentering the system it is called input or originally inflow and when thedirection is out from the system it is output (outflow). The input and outputprovide means for the system to interact with its environment. The action ofprocessing the input is called throughput. The system causes its own behavioror output. Same input in different systems is likely to produce differentoutput. The system can also evaluate the output flows and get valuable feedbackfrom its performance. Input, output, processing and feedback are the keyelements we use in our models of person and organization as open systems.Another important issue is the level of analysis concerning organization andperson. When studying the organization, the level is macro, but when theresearch subject is an individual, the level is micro. When both person and organizationare studied together and in same model, the model unavoidably has to includeboth micro and macro levels of analysis. This is important issue, since theperson modeled in a socio-technical system is acting only in certain roles. Inthe organization level there are no personal issues concerning individuals.Basically, this model provides means for studying the personal issues in the organizationallevel.

Figure 1: Organizationand person interacting with each other.


Figure 1 showshow organization and person are interacting. All persons, regardless theirstatus and role in the organization, can gain information from the organizationonly through their sensory system. In this model all observable signs andactions from the organization are treated as events. They are inputs for theperson, with which the person can detect the status of the organization. Personprocesses the input with all previous knowledge of the system using herpersonal mental models and then she may perform some action as an output. Allinputs do not trigger output, but they all affect person’s mental models. Organizationrelated actions of a persons are considered as inputs of the organization. Theactions include all means how persons can affect the organization.

2.            Otherorganizational and safety culture models

In thissection we compare three different organizational and safety culture models.Schein’s organizational levels of culture provides the core of all organizationaland safety culture models share: underlying assumptions as the basis of cultureand its visible manifestations are espoused beliefs and values and art effects .Cooper has introduced a safety culture model , which is based on Bandurareciprocal determinism model (1986). Cooper’s model unites psychological,situational and behavioral factors.