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Int J Env Health Eng 2012,  1:53

Modeling an integrated Health, Safety, Environment and Ergonomic system for performance assessment

1 Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
2 Department of Occupational Health, School Of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2012

Correspondence Address:
Masoud Rismanchian
Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-9183.105343

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Aims: The main goal of this study was to present a reference model for the Health, Safety, Environment and Ergonomic HSEE performance measurement system.
Materials And Methods: This study was done in a petrochemical unit in Iran during the year 2009. In first step, the existing information systems and their effect on personals were evaluated. Then the HSEE performance indicators were determined. The number of indicators were 244. After designing and implementing of the continuous monitoring system, the mentioned indicators were measured and controlled, continually.
Results: In cases that the indicators showed deviation from defined criteria, corrective actions can be done with forecasting and introducing some suitable techniques for hazard identification and problem solving. With implementation of the integrated performance measuring system unsafe behavior, musculoskeletal disorder and suitability of HSEE committee discussions were improved 12%, 7.3% and 22.6%, respectively.
Conclusion: The findings of this study emphasis on the need to conduct further research on the continuous monitoring of mentioned system in future years and performing necessary corrections. To improve the system performance, the continuous correction of indicators and related decision criteria, regular training of personal and implementation of award system are suggested.

Keywords: Continuous improvement, environment, integrated system, performance, safety

How to cite this article:
Mohammadfam I, Rismanchian M, Shakerian M. Modeling an integrated Health, Safety, Environment and Ergonomic system for performance assessment. Int J Env Health Eng 2012;1:53

How to cite this URL:
Mohammadfam I, Rismanchian M, Shakerian M. Modeling an integrated Health, Safety, Environment and Ergonomic system for performance assessment. Int J Env Health Eng [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 4];1:53. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Technological development is a result of a number of technological changes in goods production methods and service offering, the changes themselves being the result of the application of the newly acquired knowledge. [1] Technological changes can be classified into a number of technological revolutions based on the criteria considered dominant in the technological development. [2]

Technological changes are reflected on the workplace system as well: on one hand, working means and objects, technology, man's working activity structure change; on the other hand, the structure, goals and the firm organization and the society as a whole change. [3]

This leads to new requirements including: [3],[4]

  • The use of preventive philosophy (before the fact) in risk management. [4]
  • Application of systemic approach.
  • Human oriented principles and the design of optimum interaction between human and machine. [5]
  • Using of integrated management systems. [6]

Various management systems have been designed to control the hazards. [7] Each of the existing management systems can just cover one or two aspects of the organization's goals. [8] For example ISO 9000, IS0 14000, OHSAS 18000 can only cover the quality, environment and occupational of safety and health respectively.

Nowadays, many of the organizations use integrated management systems like HSE-Ms, HSEQ-Ms, HSSE-Ms and IMS in order to indicate that their activities and vulnerable targets are a single complex. [9]

The implementation of integrated management systems can be done for various goals. [10] In addition to ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, organizations must consider the well-being of their employees and the working environment and the impact that their operations have on their neighbors and the local community. In order to achieve mentioned goals regulations and rules such as the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 cannot be ignored. Customers, employees, shareholders and the community (i.e. the stakeholders) are also concerned about these matters and creating an "image" that meets customer expectations can help to improve market share.

Design of system performance measuring unit is most critical stage in integration process based on Deming continued improving cycle. The output of this unit is the most important input for controlling of integrated system's activities.

The HSEE performance management process is the process by which the company manages its HSEE performance in line with its corporate and functional strategies and objectives. The objective of this process is to provide a proactive closed loop control system, where the corporate and functional strategies are deployed to all business processes, activities, tasks and personnel, and feedback is obtained through the performance measurement system to enable appropriate management decisions. [11]

Finding of various study identified the value of using performance measurement to deploy organization objectives and to pinpoint and monitor performance improvements. [12] Other researchers have also noted the links between performance measures and strategic plans and/or critical success factors of the business. [13]

In summary, the need for an integrated set of performance measures, which supports rather than contradicts organization objectives, is now clearly established. [14] In addition, papers by Bryden and Pronovost [14],[15] asserted that performance management should be viewed as a key business process, which is central to the future wellbeing and prosperity of any manufacturing enterprise.

The main objective of this paper is to introduce and develop the concept of performance management as a key business process and focus on the criticality of the performance measurement system embedded within. It presents a reference model for the HSEE performance measurement system, which is based on industry best practice.

  Materials and Methods Top

The study has been done during 2009-2010 in a petrochemical unit in Iran. By determining the direct and indirect units, which have involved in HSEE systems, the research started. By drawing the data flow diagram (DFD), the trend of data's cycle related with HSEE systems has been specified and corrected. For evaluating the information systems and measuring the effect of information technology, some specific questionnaires have been designed. After that, these questionnaires were distributed among corresponding personals and operational managers and have been collected after filling out.

In this research, two groups of questionnaires were designed to evaluate the situation of the petrochemical unit from point of view of the existing information systems' productivity and the amount of information technology's effect:

  • The questionnaire of measuring the effect of existing software on the output of petrochemical unit
  • The questionnaire of evaluating the petrochemical unit's information systems
Mentioned questionnaires were given to authorities and experts to determine its validity regarding different sources and referring to books, journals, and publications and the questionnaire's reliability was confirmed using test-retest exam (Test-Retest) (r = 0.76 and r = 0.81 respectively).

The answers of the questionnaires are classified into five grades: no, a little, to some extent, much, so much. A model was designed for gathering, evaluating and controlling the HSEE performance indicators constantly. Based on the model the appropriate indicators, which can cover all-important parameters in the studied unit was determined. For doing these models like phase model traffic accident, multi linear events charting method, occupational accident research unit (OARU) model, intelligent speed adaption (ISA) model, The international loss control institute (ILCI) model, TRIPOD model, domino model, energy model and accident sequence model [16] are used. At last, the selected indicators were 79 cases in health area, 13 cases in safety area, 123 cases in environment area, 19 cases in ergonomic area and 10 cases were common indicators.

Based on determined indicators, necessary data, period and the method of collecting were specified. Standards and related national and international criterions were collected to decide about gathered indicators.

In order to confront with some of the indicators, which did not settle in determined limitations, the problem solving team was organized, and the methods of identifying problems and solving them on the basis of Deming cycle was taught.

During the study, methods of observation, interviewing with corresponding personals and operational managers and evaluating the documents were used to collect the related data. For measuring of the HSEE system's performance, the following model is designed [Figure 1] and the HSSE.1.0 software is presented.
Figure 1: Performance measuring model

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  Results Top

The evaluating of the data's cycle is one of the necessities of an integrated systems implementation. [17] Therefore, the data flow diagram is drawn for related units to HSEE systems in the studied petrochemical unit. These units are technical inspection, safety and fire fighting, health center, shift working and productivity. After this stage the trend of data's cycle and their framework, for example related forms, were corrected. In [Figure 2], the corrected data flow diagram of safety and fire fighting unit are presented:
Figure 2: Data flow diagram of safety and fire-fighting unit

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In order to design and have an implementation of the integrated system, the information's systems' evaluating and measuring the effect of information technology on personal is a necessity. [18] By analyzing the questionnaire of measuring the effect of existing software on the output of petrochemical unit, the following results were gained.

Based on received answers, 41% of different units' managers stated that the effect of the software on their productivity was a lot. In this case, 17 and 28 percentages mentioned that the effect was so much and average respectively. Six percentages said that the effect was a little. On point of view of software's effect in creating innovation in petrochemical unit, 23 percentages of the personals stated that it was non- effective or with little effect. Seventy-seven percentages mentioned that its effect was average or more. Twenty-one percentages of the personals thought that the software's effect on the internal and external customers' satisfaction was a little or it was non-effective. Seventy-nine percentages mentioned that its effect was average or more. By considering the effect of software on management control, 23 percentages stated it was non-effective or with little effect and 47 percentages said that its effect was a lot or very much.

According to multidimensional models [19] the existing information systems in the petrochemical unit was also evaluated by means of standardized questionnaires from six aspects. These aspects are the quality of (information) system, the quality of information, the use of system, the user's satisfaction, the effect on personal and organizational effect [Figure 3].
Figure 3: The multidimensional model of William H. DeLone Ephraim R. McLean

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The results showed that 53 percentages of personals mentioned that the quality of the information systems was low or it had no quality. Forty-seven percentages thought that its quality was average, a lot or very much. In the case of information quality, 52 percentages of personals mentioned that it had no quality or the quality was low and 48 percentages said that its quality was average, a lot or very much. Fifty-four percentages of the personals stated that the use of information systems was a little or it had no use. Forty-six percentages of them expressed that its use was average, a lot or very much. According to results 87 percentages of users had no satisfaction, less satisfaction and average satisfaction from information systems. By analyzing the questions, which were about the effect of information systems on the personals, it is defined that 79 percentages of the users mentioned that it had no effect or had a little and average effect.

By performing necessary exams it was resulted that in information technology aspect the present situation of petrochemical unit in two criteria, information systems and applied software, is weak and in designing the HSEE performance measuring systems these criteria should be considered [Table 1].
Table 1: The weak aspects in information area

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The results of the integrated HSEE system's implementation showed that the techniques, which were mostly used by the HSEE team (Problem Solving Team) during 2009-2010 were: [Table 2].
Table 2: Problem-solving techniques

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The most important results, which were obtained from the integrated system's implementation, were in controlling HSEE system performance indicators. [Table 3] shows the impacts of utilizing system with respect to some of the most important HSEE indicators in the refinery. As shown, considerable improvement are reported with respect to these indicators.
Table 3: The impacts of utilizing system in the refinery

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  Discussion Top

The research's results show that if the implementation of the HSEE systems does not have any continuous monitoring or review, it would not be effective. [17]

In providing a summary of lessons learned for the benefit of other companies undergoing a similar implementation process, it is recognized that processes differ between companies and that there is no 'right way' to implement a performance measurement system.

The result of study showed the process of development of the HSEE performance measuring system influenced by a number a factors, including: the background experience of the HSEE team; communication between team members; input to the implementation Process from safety, health, environment and ergonomic management; the contract nature of the company's Business; the integrated nature of interfaces with clients; and the high level of influence exerted over relatively large numbers of subcontractors.

The findings show that, this system causes the improvement of several operational indicators. The result would be the health of internal customers, organization's environmental and hardware assets. The results of similar researches have supported these findings. [17],[18] In addition to this, the system will increase the partnership of people in HSEE. In other words, the system has also washed out the people's need to partnership. [19]

These results are consistent with those of Stanislav (2003) and Georgakaki (2006), who found that when health, safety and environments (HSE) performance assessment system actively supports safety programs and efforts, partnership of people in HSE are higher than when such support is not apparent. [20],[21]

In addition, these results are consistent with those of Holdsworth (2003). These results are also consistent with other research studies that sought to identify factors at companies with successful safety results (Ho, 2008 and Lozano, Valles, 2007). In these studies, all found that companies with HSE performance assessment system had more programs that promoted employee involvement in safety. [22-24]

To make a summary of the research and development work presented in this paper we may mention the following points.

Generally, the performance management process is seen as a closed loop control system, which deploys policy and strategy, and obtains feedback from various levels in order to manage the performance of the business. It is also believed that the performance measurement system is the information system, which is at the heart of the performance management process, and therefore, of critical importance to the effective and efficient functioning of the performance management system.

Results from the research have identified integrity and deployment as two critical elements with respect to the content and structure of the performance measurement system.

It is also worth mentioning that the reference model developed for integrated performance measurement systems provides a framework against which performance measurement system can be designed and audited.

Taking all this into account it should not be overlooked that there are obstacles which company could encounter during an HSEE performance measuring system adoption process that could delay the system implementation and certification.

Roles and responsibilities might not be clearly defined within the company and lack of proper communication with and training for the employees might result in the system implementation and certification failure. Moreover, the shop-floor workers could be 'uneducated, unskilled' and thus lack the capability to identify and correct the potential risks and hazards associated with their work. Finally, lack of correct, timely resource availability such as legal expertise, dollars, especially by small and medium enterprises is also considered to hinder the system.

The reported findings in this paper emphasize the need to conduct further research in this area, in particular, the continuous monitoring of mentioned system in future years and performing necessary corrections.

  References Top

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2.Chin K, Pun K, Lau H. Development of a knowledge-based self assessment system for measuring organizational performance. EXPERT SYST APPL 2003;24:443-56.  Back to cited text no. 2
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12.Mohammadfam I, Kinfar A, Faridan M. Application of Tripod-Beta approach and MapOverlaying technique to analyze occupational fatal accidents in a Chemical Industry in Iran. INT J OCCUP HYGI2010;2:30-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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