Here is an interesting story about a Safety Community of Practice at Misys. The case study presented here involves Misys, a global software company with more than 4,500 employees aroundtheworld. Thehealthcaresystemsdivision has 140 field engineers, and Misys set up a Safety-focused Community of Practice around the field engineers, to look for ways to reduce the accident rate.
The results of the CoP are shown below, and show a remarkable decrease in Safety-related worker compensation claims.
Number of Worker Compensation Claims
Pre-CoP - 4-5 per year
Cost of Worker Compensation Claims
Pre-CoP - $10500
The conclusions of the study are as follows
Much knowledge exists within any work-group. Approaching such a group as a community of practice, then helping that community tap its knowledge is a way to build trust, creativity and strength. A dynamic organization takes full advantage of these informal communities and leverages their power to build a sustainable safety program.While this case study focused on field engineers, the same principles can be applied to all workgroups. ...... When considering a COP approach, SH&E professionals should focus on some key points (Wenger, 1996).
- View work or practice as learning.
- Focus on the informal opportunitiesfor learning.
- Keep learning as close to practice aspossible.
- Find the COPs in the workplace andtreat them as an asset.
- Manage a COP like one would tend a garden,not fix a machine