Human Development Index as an adjustment coefficient for Safety Performance Benchmarking

The Human Development Index (HDI) gives you a very generalistic idea of how a country is reted among others in terms of basic human needs such as the expentancy of a long and healthy life at birth, the level of knowlegde and education as an average, and the level of decent living standard. The Index is the result of the geometric mean of three above mentioned dimensions.

So, what does it mean for a health and safety pro and how can it be used? Since I have not seen any research about the subject, the below approach is basicly my ideas of using this valuable data set as an adjustment coefficient for Safety benchmarking of similar organisations working in different countries.

As many of you know, the easiest way to compare two different entity is by evaluating them through an evaluation process and giving them a numerical value. The numerical evaluation is not always the most realistic evaluation but when the parameters to be looked for is set right, it gives a “close to real” idea of how well an organisation is performing. In most of the cases, the lagging or leading key parameters are choosen as the parameters among with on site observations and deep system and documentation reviews. The results of the compliency levels are entered as an input and you receive a final score.

Since the culture, the way the business is being done, the mentality, climate, geographical conditions, the way to manage, and expectations differ in each country or entity, it is very hard and unfair to set one evaluation criteria that will serve globally. To give an example, lets say that we are evaluating 3 different entities in different parts of the world that are producing the exact same product with somehow similar technology and manpower. One entity is located in the Europe, one is in the Central Africa and one is in the Middle East. Let`s also assume that we are using a percentage based scoring system and the 3 entities received scores of 78%, 58% and 54%. The success criteria is set as 60% globally, so according to the facts at hand, we can say that the Europian entity is successfull whereas the two other companies are failed to success. What if we can put out an adjustment coefficient to the success criteria which acts as a normaliser?

Since it is very hard to find an objective, global and respected criteria, the best option I can come up with is to use HDI as  an adjustment coefficient and use it to apply it to the evaluation criteria.

If we continue over our above example, the average world HDI index for 2015 is 0.717. The Europian and Central Asian average is 0,756, Arab States average is 0,687, and Sub Saharan African average is 0,523. In this example, the evaluation criteria for the Europian entity will be %60*(0,756/0,717)=%63,3, the Middle East entity criteria will be 57,5%, and African entity criteria will be 43,77%. According the normalisation coefficient addition to the equation, all entities are becoming successful since the evaluation criteria is adjusted.

Since it is a general example, I used the reigonal criteria but when actual data is used, country statistics can also be used and since the historical data and HDI scores are existing, this normalisation process can be used in the benchmarking of the historical performance inputs of a single entity.

Please do give your feedbacks and tell me what you think!

Why do we have Access controls?

Those who are in the business very well know that, you need to restrict access in certain cituations. Those situations could be related with a hazard to human health, safety or product or process quality. Most of the times, the restriction is done with the help of electronic locked doors, thanks to the advancement of the technology.

I was in Middle East, 3 months ago and was doing a periodic visit where I came across such a restricted access point. This time, it was not about safety but quality. Normally I do not interfere with any other issue rather than my own business but that time, something pulled me right into the subject.

The first weird thing that had taken my attention was, there were two doors adjascent to each other. One was password protected and the other was not. The password protected one was closed and the other was slightly open, so actually there was no restriction at that moment. So I decided to dig a little harder and asked the guys if they knew the password. As you would have guessed, they had the knowledge, eventhough they were not from the quality team that should have the code.

The next question came from me was about entering the code and they exactly did that. At that point, you would expect that at least, the password was at least something hard, something you would not have guessed but also that dissapointed me. The password that was entered was 2580!1What a brilliant way to set a password! So, the second most widely used pin-access code after 1234 was picked to a sensitive production area where unauthorized Access could effect all your efforts.

Anyone who reads the entry would ask, why you are telling the story? Well, the point is you are all seeing access controls from time to time but the thing is if you do not look close enough, if you do not challenge it, than you would pass by assuming that a control exists where it actually does not.


A Day at the Lahore Traffic…

Have you ever been to South Asia? If you have not, then it can be said that you have never witnessed any “traffic” at all. The challenges of these countries lies within the complex and chaotic infastructure of the street networks within the cities, excessive number of vehicles mostly in the form of small engined and two or three wheeled motorcycles, using those motorcycles not as an individual but a multi-passenger transportation way, and not respecting even the basic traffic rules.

Lahore is also classified as one of those highly populated Asian cities. I think those who knows Pakistan would interrupt me at this point and would say that Karachi should be the main subject of this post but, although I have been to both cities frequently, I`ve been to Lahore more than I`ve been to Karachi and I have a very limited knowledge of the Karachi in general, since I am using a selected and limited number of roads as a security protocol requested by my employer.

If you have a chance to go to Lahore, the very first thing you will experience will be the effect of the heat and moisture. If you are not accostumed to both of those elements, you will find yourselves, rushing into the areas controlled by air conditioners to be able to breathe. Do not worry though, the feeling is passing with time. After the effects of the accessive heat, you will find yourself in the huge crowd waiting outside and inside of the airport. The people I`ve met in Pakistan is usually friendly and I`ve never used a taxi or a public transport, so I can say that if your arrangements are done properly, you will be quiet comfortable till you are travelling to your final destination.

At that point, I have to stop and say that the conditions I am describing is valid, If you are landing in the very early hours of the morning. If you are landing at around 07:00 a.m. or later, you will definetely have your first experiences of the Lahore traffic.

Before coming to Pakistan, I`d been to some African countries, many parts of Europe, Thailand and the United States. I`ve not seen a similar traffic before, where people are so dependent to motorcycles and use them in a manner as if they are in a computer game and they are all invulnerable. They are used to not using their signals, making unexpectable lane changings, and sharp breakings. The condition of the light vehicles seem ok but the heavy vehicles like busses and trucks are very poor and one cannot help but wonder how those types of vehicles can grant a pass from integrity testing.

As I have mentioned before, the motorcycles are the catalizer of the events with carrying more than one person on them (Even families are travelling on one motorcycle from time to time). They have a tendency that they often use and cross between lanes without using signals or even their arms. People use their horns and lights often to warn each other. In my culture, if you use the horn as it is used in Pakistan, it will surely irritate the other drivers and a road rage issue will be inevitable. But in Pakistan, using a horn is very common and usual thing and people do use this option very easily.

I think, the absence of public transport is the main reason behind the traffic in the South Asian countries and Lahore is taking the very first steps of having a railway and a seperate bus lane but still, there is a huge way to cross. In the mean time, people are using their vehicles more and more as the population grows.

The condition of the roads also needs mentioning, since the general condition is poor and you should be careful if you do not want to harm your vehicle. You may find road blocks as a result of infastructural works, improvements or collapsed areas after a heavy monsoon rain.

Since the issue is a result of many different problems combined, there is not a single and effective solution that anyone can apply. The complexity of the issue requires a comprehensive and complex action or set of actions to be taken. For a long period of time, all multi-national companies acted alone and tried to implement their vehicle driving policies. Setting a set of rules on a very limited number of drivers and vehicles brings more problem, since it makes the lives of those drivers who would like to act within the rules but fail to succeed as the general chaos out there is too big to handle.

At that part, me and some colleagues gathered together to find solutions and the idea we gathered around was to form a collaborative approach that is formed by the industry, authorities, NGOs and pushing hard on general public awareness, demanding better ways of public transportation, and raising the bars for the logistics sector standards.

A formation with the scope mentione above is in progress as we speak and soon, people will hear about the steps those brave pioneers are taking in order to improve the traffic chaos of Lahore. Such collaborative approaches can be formed in any country or reigon that needs a pushing force to reshape its chaotic situation. For details, updates or feedbacks stay in touch and stay safe 😊

I am planning to write down my experience of Multan sand storm, so stay tuned …

The Beginning

Hello and welcome  all to the blog page of a health and Safety pro who has been working for a little over than 12 years across many industries. I`ve been travelling to most dangerous locations as a part of my job. Some may see this as a bad luck but it is also a great opportunity to see how people are surviving through the most hazardous operations without the benefit of having proper equipment, technology, competency, and motivation. I have never tried writing before, so I am hoping that you will not pay attention to any mistakes that I do and focus on the content.

My aim is to share with anyone who follows this blog, my observations as I continue to carry on with my job and share with you the my experiences about hazardous, absurd, dramatic cases and sometimes brilliant solutions that people put in place as a counter-impact to those cases.

So I will keep you posted frequently, hiding names, informations about companies or people to not to violate privacy and add my point of view to keep it as interesting as possible.

My deepest regards to all who reads the stuff, give their feedbacks and help me to improve, help me to expand my vision and help me to understand. I am not an offensive person, so do critisize :).