Summary:

This article will elaborate on the key steps that an organisation, large or small, needs to follow to implement a purposeful health and safety management system.

The health and safety of employees must be a top-level concern of the management in an organisation. management because employees are the most valued assets of a business. When they are healthy and safe, they can better perform their respective job roles and be productive. The big question here is how an organisation will take care of their employees’ wellness and safety. Establishing a formalised occupational health and safety management system is the answer. This is an unfailing way to foster a pleasant work culture, address each employee’s interests or issues, ensure safety from hazards or accidents, and to make sure that no employee is ever subjected to debilitating mental pressure or any harassment in the workplace.

While the adoption of a feasible occupational health and safety (OHS) management framework will certainly help you improve your employees’ welfare and overall organisational performance, you should know the appropriate procedure to adopt it. The next section will explain this process which includes 4 major steps, each ensuring that the OHS management system is properly implemented in your workplace.

Calling for Management Leadership

Any uniform or comprehensive management program that will affect key members or processes in the organisation will need to be supported or approved by the senior management. Your organisation’s leaders need to provide support and direct the human resources (HR) team in establishing the health and safety management system across the organisation. Even though health and safety experts can help them form their specific OHS policy and practices, proper leadership is needed to communicate these practices to employees and provide resources for the accurate implementation of these policies. Also, it is the senior management leaders who will define and delegate roles for the OHS management system to particular members of the HR administration team.

Planning for OHS Management System

With leadership, there comes the need for effective planning to ensure the OHS operates well. Planning for a management system starts with deciding the specific goals and performance objectives, which is also the responsibility of the leaders, managers, or supervisors of the employees. OHS goals focus on improving situations in the workplace and reducing any probable risks/hazards involved. On the other hand, performance objectives refer to factors like higher productivity, less absenteeism or sick leaves, and faster deliveries, all of which are more likely when the employees are healthy. Thus, the leaders need to decide the goals and objectives that they want to achieve and formulate their OHS management system accordingly. For planning, they need to ensure relevant information about the workplace environment, identify potential issues or risks, and assess the present performance data of their employees.

Implementing OHS Management System

To implement the OHS management system and put it into action, the leaders should train the HR managers. Training should be provided in several aspects, including-

• Identifying and controlling hazards,
• Inspecting the work processes and machinery,
• Collecting ideas and opinions from employees on hazards control,
• Implementing an effective risk or hazard reporting system,
• Anticipating plans for workplace emergencies,
• Improving or modifying workplace culture for better safety,
• Providing safety equipment to employees (during hazardous work processes),
• Providing health insurances, effective leave policies, and other welfare facilities.

Monitoring and Correcting the OHS Management System

While implementing an OHS management system will help you gradually improve the welfare and safety condition of your employees, that is just in the beginning. As the number of employees increases or decreases, as work processes evolve or change, and new risks or safety concerns emerge over time, your OHS management approach needs to be updated. Therefore, it is crucial for the management of an organisation to periodically review its OHS management system, discuss the safety and health objectives that have been successfully achieved, and identify any failures in achieving OHS goals. Monitoring the OHS management system will help you ensure its effectiveness and determine further corrections if required.

From deciding the health and safety objectives to senior management reviewing the health and safety management system, there are systematic steps involved to properly ensure the welfare of employees. Once an OHS management system is established, you can also make your company eligible for the internationally claimed ISO 45001 certification, issued in the interest of occupational health and safety.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is an expert ISO consultant that helps businesses introduce occupational health and safety management systems to safeguard their employees and mitigate workplace risks. He is a practising consultant of ISO 45001 certification and provides explicit guidelines for implementing an ISO compliant health and safety management system in their specific workplaces.

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