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If you ever had an odor or indoor air quality issue within your facility you can appreciate the difficultly in identifying the sources or causes and responding to questions from employees.

OHSMS: A Pathway to Occupational Health and Safety Performance Improvement

Monday, March 25, 2013
OHSMS: A Pathway to Occupational Health and Safety Performance Improvement

OHSMS: A Pathway to Occupational Health and Safety Performance Improvement

How can you be certain that you are doing a good job in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses, meeting the regulatory requirements associated with workplace safety and health, keeping costs and associated liabilities down? The answer is: by treating workplace injury and illness prevention as a process. Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) offer you a process. We can save you money by increasing your safety and health performance.

There are a number of good OHSMS tools available to help you. ANSI/AIHA Z10-2012, Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems, is one such tool. This voluntary consensus standard recognizes that management systems are necessary to achieve desired results. Typically management systems have the following levels of implementation from start to finish: Policy ? Processes ?Job Instruction ? Documents. There needs to be a method in place to move from policy to documents development.

Risk DiagramOHSMS also include a continuous improvement cycle, recognizing that work environments, their hazards, and knowledge regarding the hazards have the potential for constantly changing. The cycle normally is a variation of the plan, do, check, act one shown here. When you are made aware of a hazard you plan how to address it, determining what steps need to be taken and in what order.

First, you PLAN by reviewing all relevant issues, prioritizing them, developing objectives, and then formulating an implementation plan. This includes risk assessment, understanding the hierarch of controls, design review and management of change, communication methods, and document and records control process. Second, you DO by implementing the PLAN and each of its components. Third, you CHECK the results to determine if you have achieved what you hoped. This involves evaluating the effects of the actions through: monitoring, measurements, assessment, incident investigations and audits; taking corrective actions where non-conformance with the desired change is present; and including the results of the evaluation activities as part of the planning process and management review. The fourth and final step is to ACT on the knowledge learned from the review.

What benefits does an OHSMS provide to you?

Cost Savings!

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has concluded that a direct, positive correlation exists between investment in safety and health and return on investment (ROI). OSHA (2007) asserts from its own evidence that companies implementing effective safety and health programs can reduce injury and illness rates 20% or more – and generate a return of $4 to $6 for every $1 invested.

This knowledge gained in the use of an OHSMS, communicated to management leadership and shared through employee participation, assures a process for continued control, anticipation, recognition and evaluation of workplace health and safety hazards. The 1Source Safety and Health, Inc. slogan that we developed explaining this process is: Demonstrate CARE™. We have an OHSMS that may be used by clients entitled Get into SHAPE ... Safety and Health Achievement of Performance Excellence! One client with over 80 sites nationwide reduced their workers’ compensation program cost from $0.77 per $100 of payroll to $0.70.

Performance Improvement!

The professionals at 1Source Safety and Health have helped employers achieve OHSMS excellence going back 40 years, receiving recognition through awards programs of the National Safety Council, from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and helping sites to become and remain OSHA VPP participants at the Star level. These participants have an injury and illness rate that averages over 40% better than industry average.

For more details, contact Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP at or 610.524.5525, ext. 24.