The value of integrated management systems

Posted on: April 20th, 2012 by Victoria Comments
Integrated management systems

Integrated management systems

Companies recognize that they are more successful when they follow a system.  Systems allow companies to streamline processes and to evaluate their performance based on a standard.

In the past, corporations have created seperate systems for quality, safety, environmental and energy management.  In reality, these processes can not exist seperately from one another.  Company processes need to be integrated in order to be fully effective.

Safety is part of what you do; not something extra you do!

International Standards, such as ISO, recognize the need for systems integration.  In fact, the international standard for quality management systems (ISO 9001) requires organizations to meet all legislation regarding the manufacturing of product or in the provision of a service.  This requirement obliges organizations to follow Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in their processes and to include safety in their planning process.  A company can not be ISO 9001 certified and violate provincial workplace legislation.  This would be a major non-conformity to the standard.

Companies that have successful integrated management systems consider all aspects when developing standard operating procedures.  Instead of having a seperate safety manual on the shelf, safety is integrated into every day processes.

What does this look like?  For example, an exterior siding installer may have installation procedures for installing Hardi board.  The installer would have the specifications from the supplier (in this instance, James Hardi) and have procedures for the storage, handling, installation, and finishing of the product.  These procedures are necessary to ensure the quality of the installation and are required for the siding to meet warranty.  However, the installation process also raises safety concerns.  During the siding installation process, there will be safety issues such as working from heights, use of pneumatic tools,  use of power tools, and exposure to silica dust.  These issues also require job procedures.  While training workers in the correct manner to handle and install the product proficiently, the employer can teach the workers to install the product safely. By writing integrated standard operating procedures, an employer can train the full spectrum of information necessary to complete the task. 

 Management systems make processes effective.  Integrated systems create processes where effective safety leads to better quality management which leads to increased productivity and profitability. 

Safety is part of a complete business system.



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