Best Practice LO30055

From: Alan Cotterell (
Date: 04/04/03

Replying to LO30042 --

The terminology 'best practice' is one which gets up my nose. Sometimes
occupational hygienists are met with the comment 'but we are using
industry best practice', when criticising the occurrence of workplace
incidents to the management of an organisation.

I suggest there is no such thing as 'best practice', only 'continual
improvement', and there is always room for improvement in any process.

Another thing - who outside your organisation will allow you to
'benchmark' against them and become more competitive in their field of
expertise? It's not much use looking inwards and feeding of another
division of the same company. You need to see what your competitors do,
and do it better - industrial espionage?

The closest thing you can find to 'best practice' is contained in National
Standards, which should always be used for guidance on administrative
control of operational risk (quality, safety, environment, security). In
doing this you should automatically comply with current legislation and
Health and Safety Authority requirements, as in courts of law these public
documents are often used as primary evidence.

Best Regards,
Alan Cotterell


"Alan Cotterell" <>

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