OHSAS vs. VPP: Does it really matter? Safety management systems have been around for a number of years, and they come in several different variations. Management systems in general are what they sound like: a framework for systematically managing an aspect of an organization.
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Performance Evaluation Improvement The goal of this structure, which parallels the ten- section format of ISO , is to make certification to easier for users of Z10 to achieve. Sections 5 through 10 of both standards cover basic elements and requirements. Traditional health and safety programs concentrate most of their energy and activity on the requirements in section 8 Operation. That is where the heavy lifting of eliminating hazards, reducing risks, and ensuring regulatory compliance is typically done.
The key to success for health and safety management systems is to strengthen elements covered in other sections, which guide and reinforce improvements in operation and help integrate health and safety with other business processes. Sections Scope, definitions, and context may sound like things you can skip over, but these sections include important information.
Section 4 on strategic considerations and context helps the user understand the needs and expectations of the organization, its workers, and other interested parties, including regulatory agencies.
For example, will fire prevention, fleet safety, product stewardship, or sustainability issues be included in the OHSMS? Section 5: Leadership and Participation.
To function well, an organization needs committed leaders, effective policies, and clearly assigned roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and authorities. Worker participation is crucial, as is feedback from the other elements of the management system. An effective flow of information is necessary for leaders to know what is working and what needs to be changed.
Section 6: Planning. Improving safety requires planning and goal setting. These must be translated into goals and objectives that are established and monitored throughout the organization and integrated into business practices. Goals are not simply based on improving regulatory compliance or reducing injury numbers. Instead, goals are strategic, focused on reducing risks and engaging all parts of the organization in the effort to improve health and safety. Section 7: Support.
Support includes providing sufficient resources, making sure employees and managers are competent, and promoting awareness of hazards and controls, and all of this depends on effective communication and training. Other aspects of support are documentation of key processes and control of documented information. Section 8: Implementation and Operations. This section covers the areas where the heavy lifting of health and safety programs is performed, including regulatory compliance, risk identification, risk assessment, application of the hierarchy of controls, management of change, contractor safety, occupational health, and emergency preparedness.
These aspects are the backbone of safety and health, but unless they are surrounded by the other elements of the OHSMS, they will not lead to continuous and lasting improvement. Section 9: Evaluation and Corrective Action.
Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation are important tools to gauge compliance and progress. This includes meaningful metrics and effective audit processes. Section Management Review. The organization must have a process for top management to review the OHSMS at least annually and to recommend improvements. Other inputs to this process may occur more often, in some cases even daily, including progress in risk reduction, identification of priorities, progress toward objectives, and knowledge gained from feedback.
Management needs this information to adjust policy and make necessary changes to priorities and resources. The manual is also expected to be of great help to users of ISO , which has similar requirements but lacks guidance documents or examples to help with implementation.
More than a how-to guide, the manual contains cutting-edge thinking on a variety of health and safety topics: The manual promotes a new view of health and safety as active, not passive. This concept expands beyond the historical view of safety as merely the absence of injury or freedom from unacceptable risk. For example, building error-tolerant systems and learning from work as performed are key elements of health and safety.
The guidance manual has a chapter on integrating occupational health—including medical issues, industrial hygiene, and total worker health—into the OHSMS. A separate chapter discusses prevention of fatal and serious injuries and illnesses, or FSII. Companies with effective safety programs as measured by most traditional indicators may still experience FSII.
Because these events are typically infrequent, their causes and precursors may sometimes be overlooked. The chapter explains how FSII prevention activities require a greater focus on a set of risk-based tools and techniques that need to be integrated into an effective OHSMS. The metrics and measurement chapter provides helpful information on leading and lagging indicators.
Lagging indicators, including many of the familiar injury and illness statistics, are measures of outcome, while leading indicators can be predictive or can drive activities that lead to better performance. The chapter explains how metrics can be used to manage and improve health and safety, and not merely to monitor outcomes.
The guide explains how the principles of Z10 can be applied to any organization. Users of the guide may not check off every conformance box for third-party certification, but they will be able to take advantage of health and safety improvements that come from using an effective OHSMS.
The new version of Z10 will be aligned with and enable users to become certified to ISO Why bother with Z10 at all, then?
Why not simply certify to ISO ? For one thing, the provisions of Z10 are easier to interpret in the social and regulatory context of the U. For another, the ISO standard is the result of negotiations between many countries with different levels of health and safety advancement. Improvement in any element of the system can lead to improvement in other elements. For example, improving the incident investigation process can identify underlying risks that lead to improvements in prevention planning.
Improving metrics can lead to better planning and goal setting. Remember, you already have a management system. Many organizations already have strong operational elements in place as part of traditional health and safety compliance and prevention programs.
Using a formal OHSMS can help focus on other elements that help integrate health and safety efforts with other organizational operations and lead to continuous improvement. Send feedback to The Synergist.
What you should know about ANSI/ASSP Z10.0-2019 OHSMS
Performance Evaluation Improvement The goal of this structure, which parallels the ten- section format of ISO , is to make certification to easier for users of Z10 to achieve. Sections 5 through 10 of both standards cover basic elements and requirements. Traditional health and safety programs concentrate most of their energy and activity on the requirements in section 8 Operation. That is where the heavy lifting of eliminating hazards, reducing risks, and ensuring regulatory compliance is typically done. The key to success for health and safety management systems is to strengthen elements covered in other sections, which guide and reinforce improvements in operation and help integrate health and safety with other business processes. Sections
OSHAS 18001:2007/ANSI-AIHA Z10/ISO45001/SHARP – Occupational Health & Safety
We can all learn together, right? For now, be aware of the different terms systems and programs, and know we plan on focusing on that issue in the next article in this series. ANSI Z10 was revised in You can read more about it here , including keeping up with the various comment periods, extensions, and ultimately its final release. As we mentioned earlier, note that this is about Safety and Health Program Management. You can read the OSHA guideline in draft form here. You can also read a bunch of related supporting documents from OSHA, including public meeting transcripts , here.