The third quadrant of the PDCA cycle includes the sub-parts of measuring performance and investigating incidents.
Checking that risks are being managed in an organisation is a vital, sometimes overlooked step. It provides the confidence that it is doing enough to keep on top of health and safety and maybe show how it could do things better in the future.
Checking involves setting up an effective monitoring system, backed up with sensible performance measures.
Measuring performance is discussed in detail in module 7.
In any business or organisation, things don’t always go to plan. It needs to prepare to deal with unexpected events to reduce their consequences.
Findings from investigations can form the basis of action to prevent the accident or incident from happening again and to improve overall risk management. This will also point to areas of risk assessments that need to be reviewed.
An effective investigation requires a methodical, structured approach to information gathering, collation and analysis. Investigating and analysing incidents will also make a big contribution to understanding health and safety.