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RR368 - Evaluation of FOD's Topic Based Inspection Approach

Overall in this report Risk Solutions conclude that Topic Based Inspection has been a partial success.
For the two years immediately following the implementation of Topic Based Inspection it has made no
direct impact on overall health and safety performance. We can say that so far Topic Based Inspection
has not had a detrimental impact on these outcomes.

The Topic Based Inspection systems and supporting processes are being used by the inspectors and
this will, with time, yield valuable management information Furthermore there is evidence that Topic
Based Inspection is starting to influence inspector activities and behaviours as intended. This needs to
be encouraged and reinforced.

If Topic Based Inspection is to support the Health and Safety Executive’s Field Operations Directorate
deliver against the Public Service Agreement targets in response to the Revitalising Health and Safety
strategy statement however, it needs to address the current resistance to Topic Based Inspection that
is evident amongst the more experienced inspectors. In addressing this it needs to recognise that
dutyholders are concerned about the variability and consistency of interaction with inspectors and the
way in which the Field Operations Directorate prioritises dutyholders for inspection. Consequently, if
differences of opinion about the value of Topic Based Inspection are tolerated within Field Operations
Directorate then this will exacerbate these concerns.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its
contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do
not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19