April 2, 2013 | Mark Paradies

How do you prioritize your improvement budget?

I recently wrote about Cal OSHA spending 20% of its budget investigating a non-fatality fire at Chevron’s Richmond Refinery. See the article HERE.

The article asked the question … “Should regulators focus their efforts on bad actors (actual fatalities), accident investigations, or proactive improvement efforts?”

But this question is applicable well beyond prioritizing the efforts of regulators to improve safety. EVERYONE involved in an improvement effort has a limited budget, limited time, limited “silver bullets” of where management can focus their attention. So the question is equally applicable to everyone involved in improvement. The broader question is …

How do you prioritize your improvement budget?

How much effort goes into:

 – accident investigation and corrective actions
 – incident investigation and corrective actions
 – near-miss investigation and corrective actions
 – audits
 – behavior-based safety
 – six-sigma/lean improvement efforts
 – others?

If you measure the effectiveness of the improvements that each improvement initiative produces, you could rationally budget your improvement efforts.

How do you measure trends? Do you have the advanced trending techniques you need to measure improvements in infrequently occurring statistics?

Please leave your ideas as comments here…

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