Give your HOP framework a Boost!
Blog by: Will Thomas, Lead Ergonomist & Program Manager
Organizations have been challenged with stagnant MSD rates. In response, many are turning to emergent technologies, philosophies, and processes to try and address the challenges they face, but struggle to identify what will be most effective.
In this article we explore the significance of HOP in enhancing risk management by considering the conditions that contribute to decision-making. LifeBooster SENZTM is a powerful tool for enabling your HOP journey, offering automated, cumulative risk assessments through multi-point wearables to unlock a scalable data collection process to more effectively inform risk management. Collaboration between HOP principles and LifeBooster’s technology provide a transformative solution to achieving workplace safety and effective risk management.
What is HOP?
Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) is a management framework that takes a systems-perspective to understanding and responding to errors, accidents, and injuries within the workplace. HOP has grown in popularity as a response to ineffective legacy approaches to safety and risk management that focus on behavior-based intervention and reliance on human error as the source of blame when things go wrong, rather than the starting point for investigation. HOP challenges these outdated perspectives by focusing on what leads to decisions being made within the organization and the complex relationship between individual workers and their broader work system.
The goal of adopting the HOP framework is to move beyond blame culture, to embrace the power of learning as a tool for understanding organizational context, and to respond appropriately to ensure that controls and mitigating conditions are in place to prevent the negative consequences of errors and accidents. Another important element of HOP is the engagement of frontline teams in learning teams to help harness their lived experiences, first-hand knowledge, and day-to-day problem solving to inform effective mitigation strategies.
The key principles of HOP include:
- People Make Mistakes
- Blame Fixes Nothing
- Context Drives Behavior
- Learning is Vital
- How Leadership Responds Matters
These principles are pervasive tenants of HOP, along with the core belief that workers are masters at adaptive problem solving and are a resource and organizational capacity to be harnessed, rather than disempowered stakeholders who are unengaged in organizational decision making.
Why is HOP important to my Risk Management Process?
While many of the ideas from HOP have existed and been championed by other management philosophies, part of the appeal and effectiveness of HOP is in its simplicity and approachability, making it a useful language and communication tool for engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders to communicate important ideas. HOP principles can be clearly communicated and understood regardless of background, and adopting the HOP framework is valuable for gaining buy-in of more complex ideas (ex. systems thinking).
One of the main benefits of HOP is that it can enable and elevate an organization’s existing risk management process to focus on understanding the conditions which contributed to the decision making of individual workers. No one goes into work planning to make an error or thinking that a decision they make will cause them to get hurt while performing their job, but there are often many contributing factors and contextual conditions which lead them to making a potentially risky decision.
Understanding these conditions and the true realities of how work is performed everyday, versus misguided perceptions of how leaders think work is performed, is essential to effectively managing risk. Managing perceived work conditions or work processes and prioritizing and mitigating risk based on these perceptions likely means that the real-world risks are not accurately accounted for, assessed, or mitigated. As a consequence, organizations fail to effectively manage risk, leaving their frontline teams exposed to unsafe working conditions and the potential for harm.
How can LifeBooster support your HOP Journey?
LifeBooster enables automated, reliable, and accurate digitized risk assessments, and supports customers in adopting and implementing the technology in a way that supports key HOP principles and enables effective risk management decision making.
By utilizing LifeBooster’s multi-point wearables, organizations can gain perspective into the dynamic risk exposures that take place over different workers’ days, rather than relying on a manual or computer vision enabled assessment during a small snapshot of a workers day. Continuous data collection and assessments of cumulative exposures to risk provides perspective into how work is really performed and helps eliminate the impact of observer bias (Hawthorne Effect) in altering how a worker would normally perform their work activities.
LifeBooster also enables organizations to scale data collection so that they can collect representative samples of risk across the worker population, rather than relying on a single assessment of a diverse worker population to inform their risk assessments and subsequent risk prioritization and management.
The HOP framework gives us powerful principles to better realize our safety mission, but it takes work to operationalize these principles. Emergent technologies help us address historic challenges while giving us a new way of looking at work as done, rather than work as imagined. LifeBooster can provide organizations with the tools to achieve this mission by gaining insight into the dynamic exposures across worker populations to help pull back the mask and understand the real-world experiences and risk to their workers.
Through this honest assessment of risk, organizations can better inform learning and reflect on the organizational context which sets the stage for the decision making and problem solving that workers are tasked with each day, and thus inform the most effective strategies for mitigating risk.
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