SAFETY SHOULDN’T BE A “BOLT ON”
Since International Certifications was established in 1994 our auditors have seen tens of thousands of safety management systems, we have come across all shapes and sizes and many of them have been “bolt ons”. Many organisations seem to have opted for separate discrete “Health & Safety Management Systems” that are basically just a pile of words and definitions that are not really systems as such.
Generally integrating safety into all aspects of a company’s operations is the best way to meet company health and safety requirements. Rather than having a discrete separate health and safety management system it is far better to build the requirements into the company’s business management system. Integration means that all management systems and programs are designed to fit together to permit safe and efficient performance of work. Safety should be incorporated as a value into all business and operations systems just like “quality”.
“safety and environmental management should be integrated into business operational systems just like QUALITY”
For some reason people think of safety, environmental management and other risk management systems and standards as add ons to their operational systems and processes. It is strange how quality has always been thought of as something that needs to be integrated straight into the business management systems unlike the usual risk management schemes. The latest version of ISO 9001 has introduced risk management into the requirements, this is probably to address this very issue mentioned above.
“processes speak louder than just words”
WHAT IS IT TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
What is the organisation trying to achieve?
Typical organisations want to achieve as a minimum:
- Create financial profits for stakeholders
- Keep people safe from harm
- Having a minimum negative impact on the environment
- Produce quality products and/or services
If making money and producing a quality product and/or service are built into operational processes, why would safety and environmental management be excluded? doesn’t make sense does it?
Anything that is important to the company should be built into the day-to-day operational processes or it just doesn’t make sense.
INTEGRATING RISK MANAGEMENT
As above, many companies have separate risk management systems to control different types of risks, i.e. financial, safety, quality, health, environmental, etc. Integration of these is also the option that works best for 99% of organisations. It is often seen as too hard or too complicated but it is actually the most effective straight forward option.
We made a brief video on this topic a few weeks ago, if you would like more information about integration of risk management programs go to the news article we published on this website (click this link).
The benefits to be gained by integrating safety management system requirements into the operational systems and procedures and also integrating the risk management program would be huge.
- more effective single system
- less duplication
- less stand alone systems
- less disjointed parts of the management system
- one streamlined system that all staff can learn
- smoother and more efficient