WHAT IS AN OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (OHSMS)?
An OHSMS is a set of plans, actions and procedures to systematically manage health and safety in the workplace. It can benefit any organisation, no matter how small or large, and research shows that there are clear links between good OHS management systems and long-term business efficiency.
An OHSMS that is actively endorsed by a committed employer will achieve:
- Provision of a safe and healthy workplace and the prevention/reduction of illness and injury equally for employees and contractors.
- Identification of workplace hazards, assessment and control of all risks.
- Active involvement in health and safety matters by managers, supervisors and employees and their representatives.
- Provision of information and training for employees at all levels so they can work safely.
- Audit and review of the OHSMS.
The system commonly has key elements such as: OHS Policy Planning Implementation Measurement and Evaluation Management and Review Benefits of an OHSMS An OHSMS can benefit any organisation, no matter how small or large, by: Helping organisations-create safer work environments Reducing injuries and injury-related costs. By pre-empting injuries, employers save money on medical expenses, the injured employee’s wages, insurance claim excesses, replacement labour and increased workers compensation insurance premiums Improving business opportunities - many companies have preferential purchasing policies that favour purchasing products or services from companies with an OHSMS providing measurable systems that can-verify OHS performance Demonstrating that the organisation is-meeting legal requirements, and enhancing the organisation’s-reputation. Research shows that there are clear links between good OHS management systems and long-term business efficiency. Features of an effective OHSMS Whether your organisation is large or small, complex or basic, your OHSMS should: Have top management commitment to managing OHS risk - top management must demonstrate OHS leadership and promote the involvement of staff in the development and implementation of the OHSMS Be supported by the organisation’s overall management system - the organisation must provide corporate commitment and sufficient resources Make the OHSMS’s structures and processes visible to employees and relevant to all business activities all the time, and Ensure that OHSMS’s are regularly updated because OHS risks can increase at busy times, or when changes are occurring (eg during restructures, changes of products and services, changes of suppliers). The OHSMS needs to adjust to, and be appropriate for all circumstances. Australian Standards The commonly used standard for an OHSMS is AS/NZS 4801:2001
- Top End Safety