Posted on: May 22, 2010 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Sustainable business depends on managing opportunities and threats, says a Sherq officer about the ISO 31000 Risk Management standard.

TWP Projects Sherq officer Quinton van Eeden serves the Basil Reed group as a safety, health, environmental, risk and quality (Sherq) department, to focus these disciplines within a holistic risk management framework.

“The ISO 31000 enterprise risk management system standard supports the TWP strategy to focus Sherq activities within an opportunity and risk management framework, as opposed to the traditional approach that tends to administer safety, quality and environment management as stand-alone disciplines”, said TWP Sherq officer Quinton van Eeden in an interview with SHEQafrica.com

“Business management is all about risk management, supported by an enterprise quality system. Quality, in turn, results from of a multitude of functions, each dependent in some degree on opportunity and risk management.

“Management attention could effectively focus on only one system, therefore the corrective and change mechanism must be geared to reach mutually supportive, attainable goals and objectives in safety, health, risk, environment, and quality, Van Eeden says.

Risk management must inevitably include enterprise, project, and operational risk, according to the TWP strategy.

Data to information

TWP maintains a system named Project Execution and Risk Information Library, PERIL, populated with global shaft sinking, project, development, mining, construction and road construction incident as well as best practice data. The system allows methods to be matched to conditions and goals.

In line with Tony Buzan’s mind mapping concepts, whereby computing is not needed to formulate the need for information, PERIL users merely need to state their objectives, for example, ‘kibble safety’, in order to find relevant information on the subject within the easily accessible database.

The TWP PERIL system closely monitors minor incidents as leading indicators of safety management deficiencies, in line with Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the established Bird Triangle principle, in his book ‘Outliers’.

Rules proliferation

Most global organisations have two or more sets of legislation, standards like ISO 9001, 14001, OHSAS 18001, and codes like Turnbull, Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel, Cadbury Report, King III Report, corporate standards, and social responsibility measures like ISO 16001 HIV /AIDS management system standard to integrated, manage, measure and report on.

A good quality management system, the ‘Q’ in the Sherq equation, should be more than a filing system, but serve management integration, effective goal setting, and change management.

Mining is particularly exposed to a current social trend to ignore corporate spending figures and gauge socio-economic results and reputation, as described by David Fig in ‘Staking their claims’.

“Organisational goals have to include social goals, therefore stakeholders in the risk management process include non-employees,” Van Eeden explains.

He formerly served in a company chaired by Prof Mervyn King, chairman of the King Commission on corporate governance, and saw corporate social roles growing from vague perceptions, through reputation, global pressure, standardisation, to legislation of the Turnbull Report in the UK.

SA may follow by including King III in the Companies Act, despite Prof King’s personal opinion that social responsibility and values like honesty and good intentions could not, and should not, be legislated or enforced by state mechanisms.

Australian risk ‘radars’

Van Eeden notes a new Reform and Development at Resources Safety (Radars) strategy adopted by the Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum resources safety division.

“Australians are expanding the role of risk management, rather than relying on detailed prescription for resources safety regulation”, Van Eeden explains. “A risk-based approach places the onus on operators to demonstrate that they understand their hazards and risks, and implement relevant control measures.

“A risk approach thus ensures that specific safety needs of individual operations are addressed, rather than enforcing a one-size-fits-all approach, to the frustration of managers and operators alike.”

Interpretation of ‘zero harm’

Commenting on the debate on the ‘zero harm’ goal adopted by the SA DMR and most mines, Van Eeden responds that expectations around safety by necessity has to be set at this level. Not even a single fatality or injury is acceptable under any circumstances.

He recognises the novelty effect and the need to refresh safety awareness interventions constantly, in line with changing performance priorities.

“The core issue is to reach each and every individual and to sustain individual awareness of the need to constantly identify and avoid hazards.”

PHOTO; TWP Sherq officer Quinton van Eeden. TWP is a department of Basil Reed group, with offices in SA, Peru, Australia and Turkey.

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