Managing change

22 August 2017

Chris WebbThere may be many reasons for change occurring in a business, such as growth, new workers, new equipment, new workplace, change in compliance, this list goes on.

Change is a fact of life in any business, it is the one true constant and with it comes inherent risks. Risks which need to be identified and managed. I believe it is one of the biggest risks to businesses.

In my last article about homemade or modified tooling in the workplace and how the Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has specific duties regarding this. This had me thinking about change and how change in the work place that is poorly managed can leave some big gaps in protecting the workers and the business.

Implementing a process to manage change provides a proactive method that assists the business to increase the likelihood of successful change without harming people, environment or community. It defines change that should be considered for management and provides detail on each of the process phases to ensure effective assessment, consultation, planning, approval, implementation and review of the change.

The success of any change depends largely on communication therefore it is critical that all parties involved in the management of the change process communicate with each other and the impacted stakeholders regularly through the cycle of the change.

The basic steps of management of change are:

  • Identify the change
  • Assess the change impacts
  • Develop a plan
  • Communicate the change
  • Assess the risks and identify controls
  • Implement the change and communicate
  • Conduct a review as appropriate dependent on risk profile after controls
  • Communicate results

This is only a broad overview and a process should be developed in line with the size and nature of the business. The critical focus should be on risk assessment, communication, supervision and training to ensure an effective change is implemented.

 

Chris Webb | Health and Safety Manager | 03 456 1808 | 021 225 8408 | chris@osea.org.nz 

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