Does your company have or plan to pursue a management system based on ISO 9000, ISO 14000 or other standard management system? Are the companies EHS needs integrated in the management system it uses? Whether ISO based or not, the components of the management systems are good tools to know and use for your EHS tool kit. This paper will explore how EHS professionals can leverage management system tools for optimizing results, and to get the right things done.

George Swartz reminds us in his November 2002 Professional Safety article " Job Hazard Analysis: A Primer on Identifying and Controlling Hazards"- we often fail to get the time and attention of management, which is needed to make real changes in the organization, particularly in small businesses. Utilizing accepted management systems in approaching, justifying and implementing EHS requirements helps us to get the time and attention of management and make real changes.

Effectiveness Essentials

The Wall Street Journal identifies Peter Drucker as " The Dean of this country's Business and management studies." Drucker in his latest book " The Effective Executive" identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness:

  1. Management of time

  2. Choosing what to contribute to the practical organization

  3. Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect

  4. Setting up the right priorities

  5. Knitting them all together with effective decision making

Within the case studies presented, you can see how management systems aligned with Drucker's practices hit the nail on the head.

Change the Business Model

By using your company's management systems for safety, you can integrate this process to boost your company's safety and environmental performance. The competitive pressures of the world economy have put tremendous pressures on our organizations. The trend for consolidation and reduction of staff is clear. A dedicated safety or environmental staff is not the norm in most smaller organizations, and consolidation of safety with environmental is common in many corporations. America has the challenge to remain competitive, and we as EHS professionals must continually strive for the most efficient and effective practices.

While there are some recognized safety management models, such as the VPP model in the US or OSHAS 18001 in the UK, there is not an Internationally recognized safety standard consistently pursued standard similar to ISO 9000 or 14000. Therefore, safety and health professionals must look for ways to integrate the company's safety needs with their existing management models. Once this is successfully accomplished, safety will move from the management perception of a "necessary evil" to a key aspect of the overall success of the company.

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