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Content 1.0 Introduction 2.0 System Requirement 3.0 Object Setting 4.0 Organization Structure 5.

0 Control Mechanism 6.0 Training and Inspection 7.0 Management by Sub-group 8.0 Feedback and Review System 9.0 Conclusion

The effectiveness of a Control System 1.0 Introduction

A control system should be set up with high effectiveness by using its organization structure with adequate resource deployment plus the correct authorization and delegation of power to head for its ultimate objective. This essay focuses on the control system that related to the construction site safety management system. Construction industry is a specific area that strongly requires an effective control system as it involves a series of activities that in high intensity of labors and faces a dynamic environment when heading to its intended objectives. Most of the objectives at the construction site are highly complex and risky. Safety requires not only close monitoring, but also the detailed planning and effective control mechanism in nowadays construction industry. Failure control of the site safety in construction industry, the entire project will suffer from project delay and lead to higher cost than the originally planned. For ensuring a project can go smoothly without the hindrance that due to safety issue, a good and effective safety management system should be equipped with the element of organizing, planning, implementation and reviewing mechanism. Following is the key contents to meet the requirement for effective control system after the review of an operation manual in safety management system. 2.0 System Requirement

Hong Kongs Safety Management system is mainly based on the OHAS 18001:2007. It requires an organization to establish, document, implement, maintain and continually improve1. With reference to the OHSAS 18001:2007, a safety management system contains fourteen elements which includes Safety Policy, Safety Organization, Safety Training, In-house Safety Rules, Safety Inspection Program, Personal Protection Program, Accident/incident Investigation, Emergency Preparedness, Evaluation/Selection and Control of sub-contractor, Safety Committee, Job Hazard Analysis, Safety Promotion, Process Control Program and Health Assurance Program.
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SCE HKBU Safety Management Ch. 4

In order to achieve the goal in each of the element, the system owner, normally the top management, should set clear objective to his/her organization to implement. 3.0 Objective Setting

Subject to the system requirement in the safety management, the top management has set clear direction to the company in order to drive the organization to run in the right way that in line with the company interest as well as to fulfill the safety management requirement. Failure to do so, the entire company or the organization cannot find its correct way and in the worst case that may contradict with both the law enforcement and the OHAS 18001:2007 management system requirement. Generally the objective setting is clear as shown in the safety management system that we studied. The objective setting is reflected in the policy statement which is in connection with the scale and nature of an organization with respect to their capability. The formulation of framework for implementation as well as the development of auditing system for regular review has been addressed. 4.0 Organization Structure

Following the objective setting, formation a good organization structure is the next step to govern a system to perform its function. A well structured organization structure should enable the management to cascade a clear authorization level and state the responsibility of each person. Division of work according to each partys expertise has been done from the top management to the frontline staff. Particularly for the general site foreman who has been appointed to execute the frontline supervision work and to identify the potential risk with regard to the safety issues. However, we found that he has been assigned to a role to oversee the store keeper that is deviate from the principal of division of work. Since the purpose of the division is to group a team of staff with similar expertise and the duty to oversee the store keeper seems beyond the profession of a general foreman. Apart from the division of work, an organization structure can also be able to reflect the work load in each layer and can provide support through the formation of necessary committees. Formation of committees can effectively allow the people from different

departments to join into a specific group for sharing their expertise that is helpful to an organization for achieving its ultimate goal. It will be better than just depends on a single party or a single department as it will hinder the consideration in comprehensive approach. (details of the committee will be discussed in the section of Management by Sub-group) 5.0 Control Mechanism

Upon the formation of organization structure for implementation, two perspective areas are required to be controlled which are the document control and operational control. This control mechanism should be linked between the discrete parts within a system for ensuring the system can be run with traceable record. Document Control, documents under the OHSAS management standard should be controlled properly for the purpose to lay down the working procedure and recording the events that happened within the operation period. The document record plays the role of providing information for both internal and external parties reference in case review or audit is required. Operational Control, in each control system, it must realize an operation can result in associated risk or the potential problem. By the identification of risk and the potential problem, the control system should establish a set of check points and requirement that the operation team should be followed to eradicate the risk. Generally, the operation control can be divided into fives steps to facilitate the task planner to dip out the major issue and establish the control methods. The five steps are: 1) Identification of works activities that will be involved 2) Carrying out risk assessment to know the risk level 3) Formation of working procedure that can tackle the identified risk 4) Implementation according to the agreed working procedure 5) Site monitoring of the working procedure and check if any difference from the step 1 to 3. A general concept of risk level and control method can then be formulated and documented upon the completion of the about five steps. It helps the management and the frontline staff to implement the works with stringent control to prevent deviation

from the control mechanism. Those control mechanism has been seen that much of effort has been given in their in-house safety rule. 6.0 Training and Inspection

During the implementation stage, the involved party is not only the management and most case will involve the staff from all level and particularly frontline staff. The message and system requirement from the management must be cascaded into every level of the organization otherwise only one misunderstanding may lead to serious consequence. Training is one of the methods that identified as the effective means for conveying message to a group of people to perform their duties in accordance with the system requirement and can reduce the resistance for changes. The organization has set up training proposal or schedule with respect to their internal and external requirement and includes the new requirement updating procedure. The training schedule should be divided into three areas which are the training for new comers, training for refreshment as well as the training for leaders. The training for new comers is strongly indicated but the refreshment course and leader course cannot be located throughout the manual. A series of inspection programme with respect to its operation requirement is formed upon the establishment of training programme. The inspection programme for site safety is able to cover the works in different stages. Such as in building project, it covers the inspection items in site formation, foundation as well as the works for the superstructure construction. In accordance with the works nature in different stages, the inspection programme should list out the important activities that will be involved. This exercise would enable the programme planner to find out the high risk activities. Then, a series of checking items with respect the works stage can be formed to facilitate the inspector to carrying out site inspection. In each of the inspection the people involved should be able to identify the problem area and to establishment a follow up action with recommendation as well as to prioritize the time frame for improvement and system enhancement. Regular inspection programme has been laid down with full regard to the activities complexity and the risk level.

7.0

Management by Sub-group

A control system is based on the framework from the target setting for the purpose to achieve its objective through the delegation of power from its organization structure. The organization structure is hardly be sufficient to run a control system effectively as it cannot break the communication and coordinating barrier between departments under the theme of division of work. Sub-groups or the task group assigned with specific functions and requirement to keep track and give directive guidance has been established to act as the supplementary to the organization structure. It brings the people from different trade under the delegated power from the management conduct its specific task. It is also a good platform among an organization staff for sharing the views and formulates the action plan. The communication efficiency between departments can also be leveraged. The involved parties can with wider scope of understanding from various aspects. In some occasions, the leader or the chairman in a task group may not be the top management and members may come from different departments. It helps the task group to create an atmosphere to let every party, including the frontline workers, to express their opinion freely. Normally, individual departments will only focus on their specific duty during the daily operation. In contrast, a task group can break the barrier between the different departments and let the staff to work together for a common goal. In addition to the task group for sharing and express the views, the task group has served a function for operation control such as the regular review meeting and inspection. The inspection result will be reflected to the task group and to dip out some typical area that is considered good for maintain the practice. In contrast, if there is some practice that is found to be strengthened during the inspection. The task group should make summary or form statistic record to reflect the case to upper management for formulation of corrective action. I would conclude that he group has taken such role within the organization. 8.0 Feedback and Review System

A feedback and review system plays the important function by giving a true picture to the top management for continuous refinement upon the identification of the potential

problem and the inherent problems. The review and feedback system has been formed in this organization upon the formation of the organization chart and the task group. Apart from formulation of task groups, a good feedback environment inside an organization should be formed. A good feedback environment must make the staff realize that the company is willing to accept and respect to the idea that given by any staff from all levels of the structure. In most occasions, the staff will fear to express their view to the senior management that may subject to the industrial practice in the construction industry. The feedback and review system are relatively weak as compare to the other element in the safety management system, which may be due to the adoption of sub-contracting strategic in the construction industry. The way of feedback to the senior management of the main contractor seems insufficient under current condition in the construction industry. In order to remove the fear environment and encouraging the proactive feedback from all levels of staff, it is suggested the organization to promote no blame culture and give acknowledgment in regular period to those who has given some good idea or feedback to the company. Once the proactive feedback culture is formed, the management can easily find the problem area and make immediate corrective action by review the current working procedure or the system in order to strengthen the weakness area. 9.0 Conclusion

Any organization should realize that no system is perfect. It must exist with some problem that may be due the culture of an organization or the communication between different parties. Thus, it needs a regular review mechanism reflect the loophole and help to management to make refinement and corrective action on the overall structure for the purpose to up hold its effectiveness with quality improvement as well as to maintain an organizations momentum to cater for the environment changes such as the new statutory requirement and the latest trend of the market. Those objectives can only be achieved by managements correct direction guidance through the objective setting with regard to the safety management system and the adequate of power delegation in each specific element within the organization. The specific element includes the control mechanism, training/inspection, subgroups

function and the feedback/review system. It noted that unless with the designated power and authority to a specific group of people or a single party, otherwise, the staff cannot observe the function from each of the mention element. Delegation from the management to every operation element dominates the successfulness to the entire organization which has been demonstrated in the operation manual and embedded in the sub-groups, control mechanism and the inspection programme for daily implementation. The proper use of the delegation and authorization to every level of the organization structure as well as the encouragement in those mentioned elements can make the system easy to control and lead to better effectiveness. (no. of words 2,213) Reference: 1. Textbook of Professional Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health (Topic: OSH 1400-Safety Management) by the School of Continuing Education Hong Kong Baptist University Chapter 4
Bibliography and Web-Site:

1. Health and Safety Plan for The Integrated Contract for Construction of Public rental Housing Development at Kai Tak Site 1B (Version 01, 20-February-2010) by the Yau Lee-Hsin Chong Joint Venture 2. Code of Practice on Safety Management (First Edition, April 2002) by Occupational Safety and Health Branch, Labour Department 3. HKSAR, Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance 4. HKSAR, Occupational Safety and Health Regulation 5. Labour Department HKSAR 2000, A Guide to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Management ) Regulation 6. http://www.oshc.org.hk/ 7. http://www.jsc.com.hk