James Roughton and Nathan Crutchfield (in Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach) list key steps to maintaining a strong safety and health culture in your organization. The key steps include:

  • Build leadership team
  • Involve employees
  • Identify hazards, assess situations
  • Prevent hazards, control for hazards
  • Provide information and training
  • Evaluate program effectiveness
  • Sustain a safety culture

Any gaps between the steps listed above can weaken an organization’s safety and health culture. For example, a lack of training can lead to systems where no one knows what to do.

What is the tool

The Safety Management System Gap Analysis is a way to identify and address gaps in an organization’s safety management system. It lists the key elements needed to sustain a safety culture as well as the results when each element is missing.

When to use the tool

Use the Safety Management System Gap to troubleshoot an organization’s safety and health management system and figure out why something is happening (or not happening).

How to use the tool

The following chart illustrates likely results when key elements are missed. The chart serves as a sample gap analysis, and gives you an opportunity to think about your nonprofit’s safety management system in relation to the key elements outlined. Read down the “Results” column along the right side of the chart. Work backwards to identify any potential gaps in your organization’s safety management system. Then, make a plan to address identified gap(s). You can facilitate this exercise with your safety committee, at a safety meeting, or board meeting.

Key Elements
Without this element
The leadership team
Without this element
Traffic cop mentality, can't get started
Employee involvement
Without this element
Anxiety, little or no buy-in to the process
Hazard identification and assessment
Without this element
Gradual change, still experiencing unexplained injuries
Hazard prevention and control
Without this element
Frustration, can't get to the root cause of the issue
Information and training
Without this element
False starts, systems in place, but no one trained to use them
Evaluation of program and effectiveness
Without this element
Can't determine how the system is performing
All 6 elements lead to a sustainable safety culture
A wrench and hammer

Tool: System Gap Analysis

The gap analysis tool is a way to identify and address gaps in a safety management system. Download the Safety Management System Gap Analysis Worksheet to use with your safety committee or your next safety meeting. 

Systems Gap Analysis Worksheet

Use the Safety Management System Gap Analysis Worksheet to identify the gaps in your organization's safety and health systems.


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