Compass Newsletter – Winter January 2019

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In this Newsletter we are following up on our article entitled ‘Cure for Audit Fatigue/Audit Paralysis” which we published in our last newsletter.  Links to two new articles are included here; one article is on how you can significantly reduce the costs associated with conducting a system audit – a survey/audit hybrid approach, and the other, is on how to properly conduct a safety perception survey.  Both of these articles can be found on our website.  Here is a brief summary of the their contents.

Audit/Survey Hybrid – A Better Return on Your Investment

In this article we justify using surveys to collect employee perceptions on audit questions.  The traditional way of collecting employee perceptions by interview is an expensive way of collecting employee information.  The interview process accounts for one third to one half of the total cost to conduct an audit.  Collecting this information electronically using a web-based survey database, significantly reduces the collection costs but, equally important, it can improve the accuracy of the information collected.  Interview responses are generally scored as YES or NO – there is no in-between.  When surveying using a Likert or 1 – 5 response scale, responses are firstly quantified by the respondent – not a third party and second, they are collected on a scale that more accurately reflects employee perceptions. The resulting information does a much better job of pin pointing system strengths and opportunities for improvement. Here is the link to this article:

Do-it-yourself Safety Perception Survey: Nine Step Process

We summarized our do-it-yourself book of our nine-step safety perception survey process.  Readers are advised on the steps needed to successfully conduct a safety perception survey. When safety perception surveys are administer properly they provide excellent direction on how to improve health and safety.  Survey efforts are unsuccessful when the people administering them do not have the knowledge or tools needed to administer them properly.  Here is the link to this article:

Safety Perception Survey Infrastructure

As indicated above, if you do not have the knowledge or tools to conduct a survey properly, your surveys attempts will likely fail.  Some safety associations, consultants, insurance companies and even large companies have tried to incorporate surveys into their measurement options but have not had success because they either did not know how to administer surveys properly or did not have a database to manage the survey data.  In our experience, many organizations have gone to great lengths to ensure all of the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure audit processes can succeed.  We have not found this to be true of the safety perception surveys process.  Compass has developed the infrastructure needed to help these organizations succeed.  We are now offering the entire infrastructure package for sale.  Here is what the package contains:

  • Survey Database – The database can be used for surveys or audits and allows the user to report employee perceptions by location, position, job, or any other reporting parameter desired. The database is extremely flexible as questions can be asked that are quantified on a 1 – 5 scale or the user can incorporate questions that they choose to not quantify.  There is the option for respondents to comment on every question. The user can require reports by one, two, or more reporting parameters. For more details on the reporting abilities of the database and on how our database is distinct from others, go to:
  • Survey Course – The survey course is a two day course that instructs the student on the importance of culture, the survey process and how to use the database.  The nine-step survey process is reviewed in detail as is the survey users manual.
  • Do-it-Yourself Survey Book – The book outlines the nine-step survey process in detail.  It can be modified to suit any organization’s needs.  Detail on the book can be found at the above Products location on our website.

What’s New with the Alberta Government OH&S

In the last couple of newsletters we described our attempts to get the Government to improve their Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program in a number of ways.  One key concern that we expressed was that the current requirement for safety associations to come to a consensus before significant program changes could be made, needed to change.  We always thought this method of decision making was like raising the limbo bar to make sure everyone could get under it.  There were clearly some safety associations ready to try some different things under the PIR program but they were being held back by other associations that were not ready.  Ian Hopper, Director of the Alberta Governments Partnership’s Program has informed me that they are making a shift from the consensus model to decisions made by a labour led committee, along with representation of the larger and smaller PIR partners. They expect to implement this change early in 2019.

There are other changes he mentioned such as adding requirements in the audit protocols for health and safety committees and safety representatives.  I didn’t see anything that would shift the protocol emphasis from its’ current compliance focus.

Another notable update he provided is a copy of a study that was conducted on the Alberta PIR COR process.  The report documents successes noted in reducing lost time claims and medical aid incidents.  The report suggests the Partnerships program may be responsible for lowering the number of incidents between the years of 2001 and 2015.  I reviewed the research and didn’t find any consideration on the extent disability management/modified work programs have contributed to the success in the lower statistics.  You can request a copy of this report through Alberta Labour.


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