Safer Together has released a new e-learn package that provides guidance on developing SMART Actions to address the root causes of incidents through effective application of the Hierarchy of Control.

In many industries it’s not uncommon for a workplace safety incident that happened in the past to reoccur at some later point in time, and sometimes the same type of incident is repeated on multiple occasions. Recurrent incidents are often symptoms of deeper issues. "Quick fixes" may seem convenient at the time, but they often address only the surface issues and don’t tackle the real cause. 

Anyone familiar with the Hierarchy of Control knows that eliminating the risk is the highest level of control in the hierarchy (most effective), followed by reducing the risk through substitution, isolation and engineering controls, and that reducing the risk through administrative controls and  the use of protective personal equipment (PPE) are the lowest levels of control (least effective).

The resources industry has experienced repeat incidents over a number of years with very similar findings. Analysis reveals that approximately 60% of the corrective actions created target administrative controls instead of more robust controls higher up the scale of the Hierarchy of Control.

We do the right thing and investigate incidents, using tools like 5 Whys, to make sure we drill down into root causes, and the factors that lead to incidents in the first place. But this is  of little value if we don’t also take the insights, the learnings and understanding of root causes and develop actions that lead to robust and sustainable controls to ensure these incidents don’t happen again.

The SMART Actions e-learn package developed by Safer Together provides participants with background and context and then, using a case study, steps through an example of how to create SMART Actions.

Member companies can either:

  1. Access the online version of the SMART Actions e-learn here; or
  2. Download the package to embed it in their company Learning Management System (LMS) here

Launch Pack has also been developed to help member companies introduce and deploy the SMART Actions e-learn tool.  This includes the following support materials:

  • Implementation Guide
  • Poster
  • Promotional Video Clip
  • FAQs

Find out more about SMART Actions here.

Contact: [email protected].