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    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 56.

    October 24, 2019




    Image of a hand marking a check list Image of a hand marking a check list Image of a hand marking a check list

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 56:
    Rules & Procedures.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 56:
    Rules & Procedures.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 56:
    Rules & Procedures.

    In this episode, David Provan, Managing Director of Forge Works joins us, along with returning guest Pam Pryor, to discuss rules and procedures in safety and how it fits into the OHS Body of Knowledge.

    Rules and procedures play a pivotal role in health and safety, particularly in high-risk environments. However, excessive documentation and governance can create an illusion of safety while possibly causing confusion and increasing risks. These concerns raise some critical questions, such as: what is, and what should be, the role of rules and procedures in regulatory compliance and hazard control.


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    Managing Director of Forge Works, David Provan, in picture

    Guest Bio:

    David Provan (pictured left) is the founder and Managing Director of Forge Works, a team of trusted authorities in occupational safety, process safety, aviation safety and operational risk management.

    David has been involved in safety management for almost 20 years, helping organisations and safety professionals better understand and manage the safety risks in their operations.

    Following many years in Safety Executive roles, David completed his PhD in Safety Science at Griffith University and established Forge Works, a unique safety consulting organisation.

    LinkedIn Profile


    In this episode, Mark & David discuss the following:

    • How does this new Rules and Procedures chapter fit into the Body of Knowledge?
    • What is the purpose of these rules and procedures in organisations?
    • What are the drivers behind this ‘illusion of safety’ many organisations find themselves in?
    • Are rules and procedures always going to be part of WHS, or could we get rid of them?
    • How does a workplace look through their rules and procedures and determine what should stay or what maybe could go?
    • What is the safety professionals role when it comes to safety rules and procedures?
    • Does this new chapter help different sized organisations?
    • Do you have any real-world examples of where the removal of rules and procedures have made for a safer situation?
    • What are some of the potential challenges and how does this new chapter help workplaces and OHS professionals?
    • What final take away message do you want to leave with our listeners today?

    The role of rules and procedures in health and safety has been the subject of recent research and a topic of discussion among OHS professionals. The debate revolves around the proliferation of rules that creates ‘safety clutter’, that is, procedures and documentation that are non-productive and inhibiting. Generally, these rules are self-imposed from within the organisation and not necessarily from external compliance requirements. The OHS Body of Knowledge engaged Griffith University and David Provan to write a chapter on Rules and Procedures for the OHS BoK that presents the research and sets that within the realities of OHS professional practice. Tune in as we explore this chapter and look at how it empowers OHS professionals to challenge each stage of the design process to benefit health and safety in the workplace.


    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.