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Top 10 Reasons to Pursue a Management System

November 11, 2013 - Kestrel Management

Designing and implementing a compliant environmental or health & safety management system can help organizations improve in many areas beyond the system’s defined tasks. Here are some of the top reasons why companies may want to pursue developing and implementing a management system:

10. Know and understand the organization’s environmental footprint and/or health & safety risks.
Once this information is known, management can prioritize and decide how to reduce their environmental footprint, health & safety risks, and related business liabilities to acceptable levels in a manner that reduces internal costs. As an added bonus, employees will become more attuned to thinking about risks and helping management improve overall operations.

9.  Develop work instructions and/or procedures to guide employees’ actions and to ensure that each environmental, health & safety task is completed in a disciplined manner and approved by management.
This will reduce the risk to an organization of an employee accidently making a mistake that negatively impacts the environment or that causes the employee or others to be injured (or worse). It also reduces the company’s risk of governmental inspections, fines, poor public perception, and loss of business.

8. Assure management that it, in fact, knows and understands the legal requirements that must be met on a daily basis.
These legal requirements drive continual improvement by enforcing that the company has up-to-date procedures and work instructions for employees to follow each and every day.

7. Develop meaningful goals and objectives that drive sustainability and personal health and safety performance, while also reducing internal costs.
Each business will have different goals and these goals will likely change each year. Goals assure continuous improvement in environmental, health & safety performance for the business over time.

6. Create a strong training program that stems from well-written procedures and work instructions and clearly defined employee expectations.
A well-trained workforce is a motivated and happy workforce. Turnover is reduced, accidents and incidents are reduced, and production efficiencies increase. Employees are very aware when an organization takes time to ensure that each job requested is completed in the safest and most sustainable manner possible.

5. Develop appropriate monitoring and measurement of key characteristics and requirements.
Once all legal (i.e., OSHA, EPA) requirements are known and understood, the organization will be able to gauge environmental, health & safety performance based on regulations and laws and guide the organization’s actions in a direction of continuous improvement and compliance.

4. Verify that the management system is functioning as designed and implemented.
By continuously auditing each environmental, health & safety function, the organization will discover issues of concern and non-conformances prior to an incident or governmental agency finding. Routine audits allow the company to choose a timeframe that will help improve the situation without undue influence by outsiders.

3. Monitor issues of concern and/or non-conformance and the actions used to rectify each identified situation through a fully functioning corrective/preventive action program.
As employees watch management fix problems, they will learn that management is concerned about continuous improvement. This will prompt employees to start making their own improvement suggestions. These suggestions will further drive improvement in areas outside the management system.

2. Evaluate the business model and the management system in a holistic fashion.
By using this self-reflection and identifying improvement opportunities, management can direct responsibilities for improvement actions across many departments of the company. Each of these improvement opportunities has the potential to help the bottom line and reduce the possibility of an environmental, health & safety liability now or in the future.

1. Know and believe that the company has done everything possible to maintain the business in a manner that meets all EPA and/or OSHA rules and regulations and other associated government requirements. 
The last and most important benefit for an organization that goes through the process of designing and implementing a compliant management system is knowing that the organization has done everything possible maintain their business in a manner that meets all environmental, health & safety laws, regulations, and statutes every day the doors are open for business. To a business owner, that knowledge is priceless.

Submitted by: Randy Block

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