Some of my friends and colleagues have been telling me that my success framework – the seven elements that support effective environmental training programs – could apply to all sorts of different professions. I didn’t really get it, though I encouraged them to pick it up and apply it to whatever area they wished.
But yesterday evening I caught up with Graham Philps of Quality Constructive Solutions. Graham is a quality, health and safety expert with considerable experience in environmental management. He bears the unique distinction of being the first person I didn’t previously know to congratulate me on my new environmental training website. Lots of my wonderful friends, family and colleagues have been very enthusiastic – but as I said to Graham, it’s usually only your mother and best friend who take the trouble to tell you so!
Graham and I share many of the same views about training – he said “I can’t believe how much training is done without checking people’s understanding afterwards!” I told him that many professional trainers confess to the same shortcoming: it’s an area of vigorous discussion in training circles.
But one of the things I realised in the course of our conversation is that my success framework is ideally suited to health and safety at work.
Like environment, health and safely is a highly regulated field and depends for its success on clear guidelines and procedures, good training, good resourcing and thorough monitoring, evaluation and reporting. Crucially, it also depends on strong and positive relationships with external parties, including regulators, and with many different parties within an organisation.
For the first time, I got it! My success framework will be as effective for occupational health and safety as it is for environmental management.
And of course, many projects I’ve worked on in the past have shown that many environmental initiatives also deliver health benefits, the change in the printing sector from solvent-based to plant-based inks being just one example. There are many more.
Given that the risk identification and management processes are so similar for health, safety and environment, let’s start talking and sharing to streamline our internal procedures and cut through the bureaucratic paperwork to make life easier for our much-battened upon supervisors and middle managers!