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A systemic approach regarding the improvement of the safety culture- 1

The systemic approach is based on the man-machine system which includes:
-The human operator- which is the main beneficiary of an improved safety culture;
-The task(s) that the human operator is performing- tasks that are designed being focused on safety culture;
-the machine(s)-which are the instruments for task performing; the written instructions for these machines are also safety culture oriented; instead being just a text they are edited being individualized for each human operator understanding level;
-The (work) environment- which is the key for an optimal safety culture development;
Figure 1 presents schematically this system
Figure 1 The man machine system

The systemic approach is respected also in the development of safety culture, like in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Safety culture development phases

There are three main phases, followed by a check-in phase:

-The seed phase- when the instruments and methodologies of safety culture are developed or collected. All the essential instruments and methods must be caught in writing, so that a document regarding safety culture exists. Such documents are mainly safety best practice procedures but could be also other procedures implementing various activities. For example, training is not necessarily safety connected- but a continuous risk assessment-training procedure is a must for every healthy safety culture; the seed phase could be also mapped on the safety trophic chain on the first level of the chain- that of individual safety. The human operator is trained individually first.

-The prototype phase- when the seeds are implemented in one or several workplaces- for all the components of the man-machine system; in this phase the main safety culture components are tested against the real workplace and also against the human operators. An alpha feedback is recorded from the human operator and-by the safety practician- from the man-machine system in his integrity. For example, at a workplace the human feedback was OK but tasks were constantly not designed in the spirit of safety culture- the analysis showing that the task designers were taking safety as granted.
If the safety culture implementation is not passing the societal approval test it must be re-designed from the beginning. The failure of the societal test means that even if the safety culture was designed with the best intentions in mind- the impact upon the employees is none or minimal- so it is not usable in a specific environment. It is the manager job to decide if he changes the environment or re-designs the safety culture in order to fit the human dimension. 

-The product phase.


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Acknowledgements: The author wants to thank XpertRule Software LTD and mr. Tim Sell for being able to try Decision Author- the main software in which this prototype shall be built.
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