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Health and safety management systems

Introduction

Every organization should have a clear policy for the systematic management of health and safety so that health and safety risks may be effectively addressed and controlled and for those with five or more employees, it is a legal requirement that this policy must be in writing. A good health and safety policy will indicate the goals that the adopted health and safety management system hopes to achieve.

An effective audit

An effective audit is the final step in the occupational health and safety management system control cycle. The use of audits enables the reduction of risk levels and the effectiveness of the occupational health and safety management system to be improved. The auditing process is discussed in detail in Chapter 6 as is the important choice that must be made between the use of internal or external auditors.

The best health and safety policies do not separate health and safety and human resources management since people are a key resource. Organizations want a fit, competent and committed workforce rather than simply preventing accidents and ill-health. This integrated approach will extend to people outside the organization with policies for the control of environmental pollution and product safety.

Well-managed health and safety is important in business terms because stakeholders (such as shareholders, customers and the general public) are influenced by any bad publicity resulting from poor health and safety standards

Conclusion

The considerable advances in information technology have been very helpful in the development of health and safety management systems. It has enabled the rapid identification of data that is critical to the management of health and safety (e.g. accident and ill-health trends, health and safety performance variations between departments within the organization).

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