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ohsas 18001

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Are your Business Management Systems still operating in Silos?

If so then you may want to think about adopting a more integrated approach…

Steve Tyler, CEO & Founder of BusinessDocsOnline


Working in Silos?

There comes a point in the development of many organisations when they need to obtain some form of certification, and for the majority they will probably implement a management system for either Quality or Health & Safety.

There then follows a period of time where their requirements for certification will be covered with a single management system.

However, once an organisation grows to a point where it requires more than one management system, then that is the time for top management to step back and consider adopting a more integrated approach.

Yet too many organisations miss this opportunity and implement their management systems as stand-alone platforms.  They then end up with individual management systems being used in silos.

For some organisations, working in silos may be the most suitable way to function, and there may be operational reasons why this approach works best for them.

But working in silos also has a downside…

Silo Mentality (as defined by the Business Dictionary):

“a mind-set present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company.  This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce moral, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.”
Whilst an integrated management system may not work for every organisation, for many the long-term benefits will far outweigh the short-term effort required to move forward.

So why not integrate your management systems and eliminate all the inefficiencies and duplication of activities that are part and parcel of having individual systems and working in silos?

But how easy is this to achieve?

The PDCA Cycle: – Plan – Do – Check – Act

With the latest release of ISO 9001:2015, this revised standard aims to further develop the “Risk Based Thinking” approach within an organisations.  It also brings two other aspects into the management system arena that are going to re-define the future of management systems.  One of these is Annex SL and the other is the PDCA cycle.

Lets come back to Annex SL later, and deal with the PDCA cycle first.  Within ISO 9001:2015 this functions as follows:

Plan

Top Management must assess the risks & opportunities that may impact on the organisation and carry out the planning required to ensure these risks do not affect the organisations ability to deliver its “desired outputs”.  Exploiting any opportunities that have been identified must also be planned.

Do

Process activities must be carried out in such a way as to ensure they are aligned with the outputs of the planning processes.

Check

Top Management must review & measure the organisations performance against their objectives.

Act

Top Management must also plan & implement any actions that will deliver continual improvement.

Whilst the “desired outputs” of each organisation are quite unique, one way or another they all lead back to Customer Satisfaction.  Once Customer Satisfaction can be monitored, it can be measured.  And as the saying goes – “What gets measured gets done….”

So we can see how the PDCA cycle works for a Quality Management System, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg.

This PDCA cycle can now be applied to just about every other ISO standard, including Health & Safety [45001]*, Environmental [14001:2015] and Information Security Management [27001], and every system you implement can follow the same structure.

The net result here is that it is now possible to implement an integrated management system that combines Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety and Information Security.

But can they be that much more effective if they are integrated?

The Benefits of Integrated Management Systems

Once an organisation has decided to integrate their management systems then it’s at this point they can start to see the real benefits.

Organisations that have already implemented a single management system based around the PDCA cycle will find it up to 50% quicker when they come to implement their next management system.

The PDCA Cycle means it is possible to integrate your management systems into one platform, and organisations can now implement a single solution that controls all of the following:

  • Risks & Opportunities for Product & Services
  • Customer Requirements & Satisfaction
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Health & Safety Hazards
  • Information Security Integrity

With this integrated approach, much of what is needed from the management team can now be done under one umbrella, and top management can now take a broader view of their organisation whilst undertaking the following activities:-

  • Planning
  • Assessments of Risk & Opportunities
  • Internal Audits
  • Management Reviews
  • Continual Improvement

The end result is that:

  • The organisation can now be managed using joined-up thinking.
  • Auditing models can be revised to provide a much broader remit, but with fewer audits.
  • KPI’s & SMART objectives can now become more aligned.

But just how well are all the different standards able to interact, and how easy is it to implement a single integrated platform across 2, 3 or 4 different management systems?

That’s where Annex SL comes in…

What is Annex SL?

Annex SL is an ISO document that defines a high level structure [HSL] for the framework of a generic management system.

It was first published by ISO’s Technical Management Board (TMB) in 2012 and the recent release of ISO 9001:2015 has been revised to align with Annex SL.

Annex SL has arrived with a vengeance with the latest version of ISO 9001:2015, and is now here to stay.

In the future, all new ISO management system standards will adhere to the Annex SL framework and all current management system standards will migrate to it at their next revision.

As a result of the introduction of Annex SL, all ISO management system standards will become more consistent, and hence more compatible.  They will share the same look and feel, having been built on a common foundation.  The structure of all management systems will now include the following sections:

  • Context of the Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Improvement

There are common core definitions too; the following words will have the same interpretations across all Annex SL standards:

  • organisation
  • interested party (preferred term)
  • stakeholder (admitted term)
  • requirement
  • management system
  • top management
  • effectiveness
  • policy
  • objective
  • risk
  • competence
  • documented information

  • process
  • performance
  • outsource (verb)
  • monitoring
  • measurement
  • audit
  • conformity
  • nonconformity
  • correction
  • corrective action
  • continual improvement

Annex SL represents the beginning of the end of the conflicts, duplication, confusion and misunderstanding arising from subtly different requirements across the various management system standards.

Auditors now face the challenge of focusing their own, and their clients’, thinking on viewing organisations’ management systems holistically.


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What Does Schedule 16 of Bill 70 Really Mean for Companies in Ontario?

On the 8th of December in 2016 Schedule 16 of Bill 70, the Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016, gained royal assent and its amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect:

Schedule 16 – Occupational Health and Safety Act – says:

“The Schedule amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to give the Chief Prevention Officer the power to accredit health and safety management systems, and to give recognition to employers who use accredited health and safety management systems. The Chief Prevention Officer may also establish standards and criteria that must be met by health and safety management systems or employers in order to receive accreditation or recognition. Related amendments are also made.”

What Schedule 16 Means

What this means in a nutshell is that once the CPO (Chief Prevention Officer) has defined the requirements through bill 70 for an accredited health and safety management system, companies could then become certified to that system. Certified companies that are then able to demonstrate their commitment to using a coordinated system to improve their OHAS would then be able to benefit from things such as reduced routine inspections through the MOL.

In addition, the CPO will need to put in place a system that will recognize and incentivize companies to become certified. Details of those companies and their performance can then be made publicly available through the CPO.

Currently the CPO has not yet released any standards for accredited health and safety management systems and has said that they will be holding an “extensive consultation” to develop an “accreditation standard and employer recognition program”. Until the CPO actually defines the standards for accredited health and safety systems, the changes implemented by this act will have no real effect on anyone.



ISO 45001 as a Framework for OHS Standards in Ontario

Of course, an accredited standard is currently on the verge of being released should the CPO want to use the framework provided by ISO. The new standard ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management system – requirements will follow a similar framework to that of ISO 9001 and 14001 giving companies an accredited standard against which they can be certified by a third party. This new worldwide standard will become available hopefully towards the end of 2017.

Assuming that this will meet the expectations of the CPO and interested parties then this would be a perfect way for companies to start putting in place processes, procedures, and other measures to drive continuous improvement in occupational health and safety.

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measuring safety

Performance indicators for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system are an important tool used by organizations to measure the effectiveness of their programs in reducing potential and actual OH&S risks. These performance indicators also provide information for organizations to:

  • Evaluate their OH&S management system.
  • Identify improvement opportunities.
  • Adapt objectives, goals and strategies.
  • Raise awareness among decision-makers and everyone in an organization about the benefits of OH&S programs.
  • Take timely preventive measures.
  • Communicate ideas, thoughts and values.

Performance indicators should be specific, easy to obtain, consistent over time, accurate and transparent in order to serve as a valuable tool in improving an organization’s OH&S performance. There are no fixed performance indicators that must be used by all organizations; however, below, a number of typical performance indicators of an OHSAS 18001 management system are mentioned.

Performance indicators for OHSAS 18001 communication and leadership management:

  • Percentage of management planned visits to the job site carried out on a specific time frame.
  • Degree of management commitment, measured through surveys in the workplace.
  • Percentage of planned formal reviews of the OH&S management system programs conducted over a period of time.
  • The percentage of training activities carried out vs. those that were planned.
  • The percentage of investigations of accidents / incidents / nonconformities completed vs. those that were required.

Performance indicators for measurements of the effects of accidental losses:

  • Number of accidents.
  • Number of days lost to illness.
  • Number of days lost due to accidents.
  • Percentage of workers with occupational diseases.

Performance indicators for basic and immediate causes of accidents:

  • Percentage of accidents caused by getting trapped.
  • Percentage of accidents caused by strokes.
  • Percentage of accidents caused by cuts.
  • Percentage of accidents caused by falls.

Performance indicators for OH&S resources management:

  • Level of funding provided to the OH&S programs as a percentage of operational funding.
  • Percentage of purchase orders with specific OH&S requirements.
  • OH&S approved budget against the actual budget spent.

Every organization is different and each should take the necessary time to define the performance indicators that will serve as tools in improving their OH&S management system; ones that will help management make sound decisions to maintain, improve and innovate their processes and keep their workers and everyone involved in their activities safe.

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Since its first publication in 1999, OHSAS 18001 has been a recognized occupational health and safety management system (OH & SMS) standard against which management systems can be assessed and certified. Today, 16 years later, a new ISO standard is being developed to replace OHSAS 18001; this standard is ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 is an OH & SMS standard that is being produced by an ISO Project Committee and it is scheduled to be published by the end of 2016. The Committee Draft Standard (CD) of ISO 45001 is already available and since its publication, a number of differences are evident between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001. Some of the main differences between the two standards are explored below.



The first difference concerns its structure. ISO 45001 is based on the ISO Guide 83 (“Annex SL”) which defines a common high level structure, text and common terms and definitions for the next generation of management systems (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, etc.). This structure aims to facilitate the implementation process and the integration of several management systems in a harmonized, structured and efficient manner. Such structure is as follow:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative References
  3. Terms and Definitions
  4. Context of the Organization
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance Evaluation
  10. Improvement

In the new standard there is a stronger focus on the “organization’s context”. With ISO 45001, organizations will have to look beyond their own health and safety issues and consider what the society expects from them, in regard with health and safety issues.

Some organizations that use OHSAS 18001 delegate health and safety responsibilities to a safety manager, rather than integrating the system into the organization’s operations. ISO 45001 requires the incorporation of health and safety aspects in the overall management system of the organization, thus driving top management to have a stronger leadership role with respect to the OH&S management system.

ISO 45001 focuses on identifying and controlling risks rather than hazards, as it is required in OHSAS 18001.

ISO 45001 requires organizations to take into account how suppliers and contractors are managing their risks.

In ISO 45001 some fundamental concepts are changed, like risk, worker and workplace. There are also new definitions of terms such as: monitoring, measurement, effectiveness, OH&S performance and process.

The terms “document” and “record” have both been replaced with the term “documented information” in ISO 45001. The standard also states that documented information must be maintained to the extent necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned.

In spite of these changes, the overall aim of ISO 45001 remains the same as OHSAS 18001, which is to reduce unacceptable risks and ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in an organization’s activities.

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Many organizations find themselves in the ethical obligation to improve their occupational health and safety performance.
Many organizations find themselves in the ethical obligation to improve their occupational health and safety performance.

OHSAS 18001 is an internationally applied British Standard for occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS). This standard establishes requirements for an organization to control its work-related health and safety hazards and improve their performance, by planning, documenting and implementing a verifiable method for reducing and eliminating hazards in the workplace. The benefits of OHSAS 18001 can help your organization improve health and safety. 

Managing occupational health and safety in the workplace brings numerous benefits to all kinds and sizes of organizations. Some of these are:

It guides organizations in their pursue of “zero accidents”.

  • OHSAS 18001 provides a system to identify and effectively manage occupational health and safety hazards in order to minimize health and safety risk.
  • It provides tools and techniques to identify potential causes of accidents and helps organizations improve employee awareness of risks.
  • Incident and accident rates are reduced as a consequence of better control of work-related risks and an improved performance monitoring.
  • Improves the incident investigation process.

Ensures organizations comply with legal requirements.

  • In order for organizations to establish and maintain their OHSMS, they must take into account applicable legal requirements.
  • Ensures organizations commit to comply and communicate all relevant legal information to employees and interested parties.

Improves an organization’s image.

  • OHSAS 18001 drives organizations to set occupational health and safety as a priority, ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to protect staff, employees and everyone associated with their activities.
  • The adoption of international best practice in relation to risk management can improve an organization’s image and credibility among stakeholders, regulators, customers, prospective clients and the public in general.
  • An improved reputation can give organizations a competitive advantage by providing a safe environment to do business.

Improves the workplace environment.

  • Implementing this standard will show employees that an organization is committed to keeping them safe, therefore improving employee motivation, retention and satisfaction.
  • OHSAS 18001 can help organizations put in place clear procedures to decrease absenteeism.
  • Improvement of communication and training will bring greater involvement and commitment from everyone.

Helps organizations save money.

  • Implementing OHSAS 18001 reduces the likelihood of fines and prosecutions.
  • By reducing accident and incident rates and work-related illnesses, it also reduces all the costs associated with them (costly medical claims, lost working days, time and money spent on investigation and paperwork).
  • This standard is recognized by insurers which can bring a decrease in insurance premiums.

Another benefit of OHSAS 18001 is that the standard can be adopted by any organization, regardless of its size or nature, whether it’s a high risk or low risk businesses in the private or public sector.

This standard is compatible with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems standards, making it easy to integrate it with existing management systems, thus contributing to the improvement of an organization’s overall business performances.