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The Challenges of Harnessing the Potential of Safety Management Systems

Posted in on Mon, May 5, 2014

DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 5, 2014) – As more companies shift to using safety management systems to monitor their occupational health and safety programs, the American Society of Safety Engineer’s monthly journal says the potential they hold may be lost if not properly integrated or measured against set goals. The devil is in the details.

Those are the warnings in the cover story of ASSE’s Professional Safety, titled “Safety Management Systems, Comparing Content & Impact,” written by authors Joel Haight, Patrick Yorio, Kristen Rost and Dana Willmer.

The advantage of using an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OSHMS) is the ability for a system-wide record-keeping, document control and integrated tracking in one place. This consistency allows for sound, cost-effective, risk-reducing interventions that are consistent with overall system objectives.

However, proper planning is needed to ensure a company captures the correct data. “In the planning process, an organization must first identify and prioritize its risks, then develop plans necessary to minimize this risk, set performance objectives and facilitate management buy in and employee ownership,” the authors write.

In terms of measuring effectiveness, an organization can rely on many of the intervention activities that make up existing safety programs to form the foundation of OSHMS implementation. The state of the available research is such that anyone can determine what variables indicate OSHMS performance; they can determine how best to quantify and measure those variables, the article states.

Read this article at: http://www.asse.org/professionalsafety/pastissues/059/05/F1Haight_0514.pdf

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For more than 50 years, ASSE’s Professional Safety journal has been sharing the latest technical knowledge in SH&E—information that is constantly being developed through research and on-the-job experience. Each issue delivers practical guidance, techniques and solutions to help SH&E professionals identify hazards, protect people, prevent injuries, improve work environments and educate management that investing in safety is a sound business strategy.For more information please visithttp://www.asse.org/professionalsafety.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 36,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org.



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