Health & Safety Management Systems: Focus on Management: Health and Safety Management Systems Can Drastically Reduce Injuries, Illnesses and Their Associated Costs. in Developing These Systems, as This Article Explains, Leadership and Management Commitment Are the Most Critical Elements

By Lyon, Bruce K.; Hollcroft, Bruce | Occupational Hazards, June 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Health & Safety Management Systems: Focus on Management: Health and Safety Management Systems Can Drastically Reduce Injuries, Illnesses and Their Associated Costs. in Developing These Systems, as This Article Explains, Leadership and Management Commitment Are the Most Critical Elements


Lyon, Bruce K., Hollcroft, Bruce, Occupational Hazards


Occupational health & safety management systems (OHSMS) are becoming the method of choice for "high-performance" organizations looking for excellence in their safety and health process. This article is focused on the management aspect of these systems and the overall continuous improvement process.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

There are numerous guidelines and voluntary standards for management systems dealing with safety and health. Implementation of management systems, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), have routinely demonstrated that they can reduce occupational injuries and illnesses and their associated costs by one half. There are currently 1,256 VPP worksites according to OSHA's Web site.

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports approximately 6,000 occupational deaths and another 6 million injuries and illness annually resulting in nearly 2.8 million lost workdays. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index estimated that occupational accidents in the United States cost employers $49.6 billion in 2002. These concerns extend beyond the United States. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates there are 1.2 million occupational deaths resulting from 250 million accidents and 160 million illnesses worldwide each year.

Realizing these numbers and costs, more employers are implementing health and safety management systems as a method to continuously improve their safety and health performance as well as save substantial sums of money.

HEALTH & SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

In addition to OSHA's VPP, there are a number of national and international guidelines and standards for occupational health and safety management systems, including:

* Responsible Care (American Chemistry Council)

* Guidelines for Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems (International Labour Organization)

* BSI: 18001--Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (British Standards Institution)

* ANSI Z10 Draft--Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (American National Standards Institute)

There are additional guidelines and standards for health and safety management systems from other sources such as governmental entities, like the Department of Energy (DOE), standards organizations, industry groups and private industry. There are far more similarities than differences in these systems. Management leadership and commitment are key components in all these guidelines and standards.

MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP AND CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT

Management systems require management leadership. Management owns and controls these systems as they do other business-related systems. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for an organization to be successful without leadership and management commitment.

As described in the draft standard, ANSI Z10, "An occupational health and safety management system is a set of interrelated elements that establish occupational health and safety policy and objectives, and mechanisms to achieve those objectives in order to continually improve performance ... The management system approach differs from traditional health and safety programs by its emphasis on eliminating the underlying or root causes of failures and by the explicit goal of continual improvement."

In other words, health and safety management systems focus on processes that drive safety excellence.

Each of the listed voluntary standards emphasizes the importance of "continual improvement" in the management system. As outlined in Figure 1, the continuous improvement cycle generally consists of the PDCA model: Plan, Do, Check and Act. This means planning policy (Plan), implementing policy (Do), assessing and reviewing policy (Check) and making necessary adjustments or corrections (Act).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

* POLICY

Senior management's vision and leadership are the key ingredients in creating and establishing a policy that expresses the organization's culture and health and safety values.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Health & Safety Management Systems: Focus on Management: Health and Safety Management Systems Can Drastically Reduce Injuries, Illnesses and Their Associated Costs. in Developing These Systems, as This Article Explains, Leadership and Management Commitment Are the Most Critical Elements
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?