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MOS 5525, Integrated Safety Management Systems 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Identify and discuss fundamental principles and tenets common to environmental safety and health (ESH) and quality management systems standards. 1.1 Identify and recognize standard setting organizations that have developed ESH management

systems standards. 1.2 Identify and recognize key tenets common to ESH management systems standards.

2. Evaluate the efficacy of ESH management systems in controlling workplace injuries and illnesses,

and environmental incidents. 2.1 Discuss and present both benefits and/or challenges to implementation of an integrated

management systems approach. 2.2 Describe how integrated management systems fit into a goal-oriented and continuous

improvement framework.

6. Apply important safety and health related technical topics as they relate to the management systems approach. 6.1 Identify an organization to evaluate for the purposes of completing your course project.


Reading Assignment Introduction Chapter 1: A Primer on Integrated Management Systems

Unit Lesson Management Systems Defined This should prove to be an interesting course for you in that the topic is very relevant to today’s environmental safety and health (ESH) practitioner. The application of management systems to the ESH field has resulted in a fundamental transformation in the way ESH functions are handled by many organizations. Unfortunately, many organizations look to governmental regulations to guide them in identifying what needs to be done by a given organization to assure compliance and essentially stay out of trouble. Utilizing a management systems approach to environmental safety and health in the workplace, however, requires that organizations go beyond the level of simply doing their best to minimally comply. Utilizing an ESH management systems approach requires a different focus and method. What is a management system? The International Standardization Organization (IOS) defines it as “A management system describes the set of procedures an organization needs to follow in order to meet its objectives” (n.d.). The first page of Chapter 1 in the course textbook describes a management system as “the framework of policies, systems, processes, and procedures used (hopefully effectively) to ensure that an organization can fulfill all tasks required to achieve its defined business objectives” (Pardy & Andrews, 2010, p. 1). This is the most concise definition. Often, smaller organizations can get by without elaborate management systems due to the limited complexity inherent in dealing with issues of relatively small scale; however, as organizations


Introduction to Safety & Health Management Systems




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grow in size, complexity grows exponentially as individuals and new technical and functional groups are added to the firm to deal with new issues. What is a management system standard? A standard is a set of requirements (a paperback booklet) that defines the specific areas to be covered within the procedures identified above. Essentially, a standard is a publication which defines the specific requirements which must be met within the management system. Typical standards cover quality, environmental, and safety/health management systems. See Appendix A in your textbook for an example of a page of requirements from the ISO 9001 Standard. You can also click on the thumbnail image below to view the example.


Note: This page of the standard specifies “4.1 General requirements” and begins “4.2 Documentation requirements.” Each clause is numbered, the numbering of clauses starts at 4.1 and ends at “8.5.3 Preventive action.” What are some of the key international standards? The textbook describes the following:

 ISO 9001:2008, the international Quality Management System (QMS) Standard (IOS, 2008)

 ISO 14001:2004, the international Environmental Management System (QMS) Standard

 BSI 18001:2007, the British Standards Institute Standard for Occupational Safety and Health (recognized internationally, OHSMS)

What requirements are identified within a management system standard? It depends on the standard but there are some common elements which appear in all of the standards as follows (Pardy & Andrews, 2010, p. 15):

 Policy: Develop and implement a policy covering the commitment of management to meet the requirements of the MS.

 Planning: Plan for the implementation of the quality, environmental, safety/health program.

 Implementation and operation: Develop consistent processes that reflect identified impacts and risks.

 Performance Assessment: Develop and implement methods to evaluate how well the MS is performing.

 Improvement: Continuously improve.

 Management Review: Top management periodically reviews the management system with regard to its implementation and performance.

In Chapter 2, the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle is described as it related to the common elements identified above. Indeed, you will find that the various management systems standards that we will consider in this course all share some very similar traits. This is because the systems-based standards all grew out of the quality movement that occurred in the 1970s, when a systems approach for dealing with quality issues was first identified and applied in American industry. You will find some recurring themes when looking at these systems-based standards including:

 The need for unwavering commitment from the top executive levels of the organization

 Involvement of stakeholders including employee and community groups




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 Evaluation and analysis of problems faced by the organization and implementation of controls and other corrective actions

 Stakeholder (particularly employees) education and training

 Continuous evaluation and improvement of processes You will also be introduced to various entities that have established systems-based standards dealing with environmental safety and health in the workplace. Some of these entities include the International Standards Organization (ISO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Consensus standard-setting organizations such as these tend to develop standards based on expertise and best practices garnered from the field utilizing a peer-reviewed, deliberative process for the setting of standards. The standards tend to represent what has been demonstrated to work in practice in multiple settings. With this said, it is hoped that you will gain a great deal of useful information from this course. It is also preferred that you take this course toward the completion of your program as this course should adequately serve as a proper capstone for your plan of study. This should be obvious in that the course looks at management systems from a rather broad perspective, but at the same time digs into the fundamentals of how successful management concepts, human psychology and technical advances in the field of safety and health come together to create an effective and proven approach for dealing with environmental safety and health issues in the workplace. Certainly, the addition of staff feeds this complexity as professionals are hired to deal with a range of issues that may have previously been handled by one or two people. These professions themselves, such as human resources, accounting, quality, finance, and ESH, actually introduce complexity to the firm as the true scope of these organizational functions become known to the organization. In order to overcome the potential chaos spawned by this added complexity and perform in each functional area of the organization, management systems—of one type or another—are required. As previously indicated, management systems standards developed by organizations such as ISO, ANSI, and ILO are based on what has been demonstrated to work in the industry. They are all fundamentally similar and efforts to implement the essential tenets of one such standard can result in positive useful applications for other functions within a given organization. This is what the concept of integrated management systems is all about. The fundamentals of these best practice-based management systems are, in the majority of cases, applicable to a wide range of purposes and functional areas within a given organization. Historically, systems- based management standards have been focused on quality, environmental stewardship, and worker safety and health. As we proceed through this course, we will begin to see reasons why this seems to be the case. Given the similarities behind the various systems-based standards, it is interesting to note that many of the management systems-based standards have a common historical root in Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who was one of the primary forces in driving the quality revolution in Japan. Dr. Deming later brought his successful quality management approaches back to the U.S. just in time to help us in our efforts to catch up with the quality products coming out of Japan. His philosophies, as you will note in your reading, were based on the concept of continual improvement through what is commonly referred to as the Plan- Do-Check-Act cycle. This cycle, diagrammed on page 9 of your textbook, is a continuous feedback loop that allows organizations to continuously improve through the process of trying new things and learning from the outcome, and then trying again with the benefit of that knowledge. This concept is central to all well-known management systems, and organizations that apply this model well might be appropriately described as learning organizations.

Reference Pardy, W., & Andrews, T. (2010). Integrated management systems: Leading strategies and solutions.

Plymouth, United Kingdom: Government Institutes. International Organization for Standardization. (n.d.). Management System Standards. Retrieved from




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International Organization for Standardization. (2008). ISO 9001:2008, Quality management systems- requirements. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization.


Suggested Reading U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). Voluntary Protection

Programs: An OSHA cooperative program. Retrieved from

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