ISMS works because it fits the current evidence regarding what helps make companies "safety excellent". In particular:
- It identifies and integrates the components needed for effective safety management
- It creates a safety culture to establish norms for "the way it is around here"
- It engages people and creates total employee involvement with a sense of accountability and ownership. Every employee - from hourly worker to CEO - is engaged by being made accountable for specific activities.
- It recognizes that taking care of the physical environment (plant, tools, etc.) is vital in getting safety results
- It is activity based, so a company can do positive things about safety that are measurable, therefore manageable
- It builds true interdependence and caring among employees
- It increases communication, including the quality and frequency of safety discussions
- It gives the safety culture room to evolve and grow
- It uses your own evidence to tell you what is getting safety results for you and your company
"Success leaves clues." - Stephen Covey
The evidence for ISMS is in the accident rates of literally thousands of companies that Alan has worked with during his thirty years in OH&S. He can walk into a company that he has never seen before, ask a few key questions about their OH&S program, and predict that company's safety performance with a very high degree of certainty. Once you understand the concepts, you'll see how that can be done.
The prediction is based on a few simple parameters called "leading indicators". These leading indicators - WHAT a company is doing, and HOW those things are being done - will determine the company's trailing indicators - accident rates, number of lost days due to injury and illness, injury claims costs, etc. It's a simple case of cause and effect. You can't get much more evidence-based than that.