Integrating Management Systems

The Case

The organization in this case was a manufacturer of system components and interior lining parts for the automotive industry. It employed approximately 700 employees. Its environmental management system was certified according to ISO 14001. Due to the nature of the manufacturing work and the strict legal requirements, focusing more on health & safety issues became a priority. So, the management decided to expand the environmental management system into an integrated system for environmental, health and safety management.

Our Approach

The first step in this project was to review the existing documentation of the certified environmental management system as well as the documentation related to health and safety. We then used OHRIS (Occupational Health and Risk Management System) to define the main elements of a health and safety management system (H&S).

As hazards risk assessments is a basic requirement of a H&S management system we conducted a hazards risk assessment of a core process and documented the hazards risk assessment procedure into a working instruction that would be integrated in the expanded management system. We then correlated the ISO 14001 requirements and the OHRIS requirements with the existing organizational H&S and environmental practices and documentation.

Results and Conclusions

The analysis proved that the organization was already implementing H&S practices but in an undocumented and unstructured way. The efficiency of these practices was improved once integrated into a structured management system. The environmental policy was expanded to include the H&S aspect and this led to official H&S improvement programs and action plans.

Furthermore the organization started conducting integrated environmental and H&S audits with the use of integrated checklists instead of just plain environmental audits. Training of personnel on environmental issues was also expanded to include H&S issues. Moreover, the inclusion of the hazards risk assessment procedure into the management system systematized risk assessments.