Tag: trust

Trust – but Verify

In previous posts, I discussed the relative importance of management system standards and company culture on OH&S performance.  This discussion was based on the paper entitled The Limits of Management Based Regulation by Neil Gunningham and Darren Sinclair.

 One of the conclusions set out in this paper is that the “accountability mechanisms” common to management system standards can have a negative impact on OH&S performance.

The authors suggest that many of the fundamental requirements of management system standards – establishing accountability, performance tracking and internal auditing – are “antithetical to measures that our findings suggested had a positive impact on OHS.”  They go on to discuss social science research that finds that accountability mechanisms can decrease trust and, as a result, negatively impact performance. 

What does this mean for OHSMS internal audit programs?

 First, it is important to recognize that internal audit programs have a purpose.  That purpose is best summed up by the phrase – “Trust – but Verify.” That is why OHSAS 18001 includes an internal audit program requirement.

November 13, 2009 | 2 Comments More