An Occupational Health & Safety Management system is a coordinated & systematic approach to managing the health & safety risks. OHSMS help associations to constantly improve their compliance to health & safety standards and legislations. By doing so, OHSMS becomes more effective in consistently identifying hazards, mitigating risks and minimize the potential for incidents/illness.
Benefits of a Occupational Health & Safety Management System?
When endeavoring into any major system or approach for your company it is important to weigh the benefits. The assumed benefits of health and safety tend to be less injuries but there are others that come with a good management system.
Some of those include:
- Improved employee morale becomes less absenteeism and less staff turnover. Which converts into improved quality and productivity
- Organizations compliant with health & safety standards and legislations
- Reducing injuries and injury related costs
Elements of a Effective Occupational Health & Safety Management System?
Management Leadership and Commitment
Senior management’s leadership and commitment plays a huge role in improving workplace safety culture. Senior management provides the vision, establishes the policy, and sets the goals. The level of commitment from senior management will show in the level of employee buy-in.
Safe Work Procedures
Safe work procedures ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities and can perform their task effectively and safely. Safe work procedures should be developed, maintained and reviewed by supervisors. In addition, safe work procedures should be developed with competent workers that perform these tasks and are aware of the risks at hand.
Health & Safety Education and Training
Everyone in the workplace from senior management to frontline workers all have responsibilities in implementing and maintaining a healthy and safe work environment. Senior management leads the drive-in setting goals and continuously improving the health and systems and programs. Employers ensuring that workers are competent qualified and trained on performing their daily tasks. Supervisors providing clear instructions on the daily tasks for workers to perform effectively and safely. Workers performing tasks in a safe manner, reporting unsafe hazards and conditions to supervision.
Identifying Hazards and Managing Risk
Identifying hazards and managing risk is an important part of any health and safety management system. In the workplace this may include identifying hazards that are present, assessing the risk from injuries – both minor and critical, and eliminating or minimizing the risk at hand when performing a specific task.
Workplace inspections help prevent incidents, injuries and illnesses. Through a critical examination of the workplace, inspections help to identify and record hazards for corrective action. Inspections are not only limited to physical hazards but poor maintenance of equipment/PPE or workers not following safe work procedures. A systematic way of reviewing and evaluating processes, procedures, materials and equipment.
Conducting incident investigations help identify if the root cause was from unsafe acts or unsafe conditions that contributed to the incident. Incident investigations help organizations prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The occupational health & safety regulation has specific requirements for incident investigation and reporting that employers are required to meet.
Reviewing your health & safety management system helps you identify your strengths and weakness of your system and allows you to focus on the areas that need improving. Keeping records plays a crucial part in monitoring the effectiveness of your health & safety management system.