Six Elements of an Effective Accountability System

Six Elements of an Effective Accountability System

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Accountability is one of the most important elements within the safety management system (SMS) because if you don’t have it, it’s impossible for the safety management system to function effectively. Although the intended purpose of the SMS is always to prevent accidents and save money, the SMS may actually unintentionally function to do just the opposite.

Remember, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. With this in mind, we’re going to discuss the six important elements within a Safety Accountability Program that help the employer achieve the purpose of an effective SMS. Those six elements are:

1. Formal standards of performance: Everyone is expected to work to an expected level of performance.

2. Adequate resources and support: The employer must provide the resources and support to achieve expected performance.

3. A system of performance measurement: Performance must be measured in an objective manner.

4. The application of effective consequences: Consequences are effective when they increase desired behaviors.

5. The appropriate application of consequences: Consequences, such as discipline, are appropriate when they are justified, objective and administered only after careful analysis.

6. Continuous evaluation of the accountability program: Accountability is analyzed and evaluated so that it may continually improve.

You can use the guidelines in the six elements of an accountability system to help design, develop, and deploy an effective accountability system.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at an example of how each of the six elements can be
evaluated to determine if the accountability program is effective.


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