Gauteng Business News

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HR: The Importance Of Smart Safety Behaviour Risk Screenings for Employees


Recent Gauteng Business News

Safety Behaviour Risk Screening is no longer an overlooked HR function but a hard Human Capital Risk cost that business cannot afford to gloss over

The Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a plane with 150 people on board had previously confessed to ‘burnout’ according to German media. The tragic disaster, which claimed the lives of everyone on board, highlights the importance of employee mental health and how, if underestimated, can have catastrophic effects.

Description: 18.5% of assessments completed declare employees unfit for duty. Legislation in South Africa requires employers to ensure that employees working in safety critical or safety related environments like aviation are mentally and physically fit to perform their duties safely in the workplace. Maintaining a physically and psychologically fit working environment is critical to the safety and success of both an organisation and its employees,” says Andrew Davies, MD of ICAS Southern Africa, a leading provider of behavioural risk management services to the business community. So just how does one spot an employee who may be heading toward an accident, deliberate or otherwise?

Safety Behaviour Risk Screenings + Predictive Analytics = Fitness For Duty

Human capital management is fast becoming the must-have tool for progressive organisations. The importance of accurate screening of psychosocial risk factors and the impact this has on a company’s ability to effectively manage employee risk within safety critical work contexts cannot be undervalued, especially within high-risk industries like aviation, transport, and construction.

ICAS has developed one of the most comprehensive behaviour risk screening processes, which is totally focused on the individual and based on international best practice, but still relevant to our unique South African context. The safety behaviour risk screening is conducted by a trained professional and feedback includes various recommendations to address any psychosocial risks identified.

The ICAS Smart Safety Behaviour Risk Screening uses state-of-the-art predictive analytics technology to arrive at a fitness for duty outcome in the shortest possible time. This allows ICAS to screen for and identify risk in a large group of employees quickly and efficiently. Employees who are identified through this process as being potentially at-risk will then be recommended for further behavioural risk screening, benefitting both the employee and the employer.

There are 4 potential reasons for referring a candidate /employee for a safety behaviour risk screening:

1. Triggered risk screening – conducted following a trigger incident such as an accident at work or a positive test for alcohol

2. Periodic risk screening – employees are referred on a periodic basis for a proactive behavioural risk screening

3. Pre-promotion – an existing employee is being considered for promotion into a safety critical position

4. Pre-employment – an external candidate is being considered for employment in a safety critical position.

The main drivers of employee risk are:

· Psychological distress

· Trauma/ bereavement

· Alcohol

· Fatigue

Whether safety behavior risk screenings are considered mandatory or not is up to the particular client. They would be informed by their interpretation of relevant legislation such as the Mine Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or industry regulations such as the Construction Regulations or those laid out by the Rail Services Regulator. Certainly screenings should be considered mandatory in the above four instances.

“Traditionally viewed as the Cinderella department within organisations, the human resources function has become one of the most complex business functions. If taken seriously, predictive analytics can pinpoint employee risk, simultaneously giving HR the power to develop into a competitive business driver of a company,” concludes Davies.

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