Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Management System refers to the initiatives as well as rules that an organisation follows during operations to manage risks associated with HSE. An ideal HSE Management System will be one that reduces HSE risks. To reduce HSE risks, there are many components that can be targeted and improved.
Specifically, these 3 components are critical:
- Commitment and leadership: Good leadership and the commitment to lead are the fundamentals of occupational safety and health. Good leadership with clear and directed goals will lead to the implementation of new policies that can be beneficial for the reduction of HSE risks.
- Implementation of new policy: Only when new policies are implemented, will we find out the effectiveness of the policy. It has been shown that companies with exceptional leadership skills in initiating HSE policies are often what differentiate the best performing enterprises from the rest.
- Risk management: Managing risk is essential for good management. It has been recognised that risk interdependencies will affect the environmental safety. Effective risk management provides assurance to all staff that the organisation is committed to good HSE management.
While the success of a good HSE Management System is highly dependent on interpersonal skills e.g. good leadership, putting ideas into action is equally important. Effective housekeeping is something that organisations can implement to manage risks and improve its current HSE Management System.
Housekeeping is very effective in reducing hazards that can be found in the workplace. Rather than being just limited to hazardous industries, housekeeping is relevant to all industries. In any industries, poor housekeeping can create workplace hazards and increase HSE risks.
Effective housekeeping is able to generate the following advantages:
- Improvement of workplace hygiene leading to better employees’ health
- Initiation of preventive maintenance, reducing equipment and property damage and increasing efficiency of equipment maintenance
- Improvement of working atmosphere and environment
- Improved staff morale and wellbeing
Based on a Japanese quality management concept, the 5S concept is a systematic workplace organisation concept that offers opportunities for continual enhancement of daily operations while raising awareness of any present abnormalities.
Here is the 5S concept:
- Sort (Seiri)
This includes the organisation of items in the workplace – tidying up relevant items and discarding irrelevant ones. For items that are in good condition but have not been used for a long time, they can be sorted out and evaluated by the higher-ups for further actions.
- Straighten (Seiton)
For this step, it refers to the labelling of items and storing them at optimal places for easy retrieval and higher efficiency in terms of tools usage. One tip will be to incorporate a visual control management system by colour coding the items.
- Shine (Seiso)
Shining means to keep the workplace clean and tidy. This can be done by having cleaning or inspection sessions regularly and focusing on the areas that get dirty easily. By ensuring that machines and equipment are kept clean and in good working condition, it translates to safer working conditions and greater ease of workplace tools utilisation.
- Standardise (Seiketsu)
This step is critical in terms of ensuring the previously mentioned 3 steps are carried out. To do so, standard operating procedures or a duty chart can be done up.
- Sustain (Shitsuke)
Sustainability of the 5S concept will be largely dependent on this step. Housekeeping should not be just considered as a daily chore. Rather, it should be integrated into the culture of a workplace.
Overall, for any improvements made to an existing HSE Management System or for a successful 5S concept implementation, the management plays a critical role in terms of leadership. Communication of the management’s intention to commit to good HSE practices is a must.
To provide more information on how the Heath and Safety at Work Act (‘the HSW Act’) is carried out, the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a report on how statutory bodies approach decisions about the management of risk. The report aims to serve as an overall framework for decision taking by HSE which would ensure consistency and coherence across the full range of risks falling within the scope of the Heath and Safety at Work Act. It covers information, inclusive but not limited to, these topics – overview of risks and risk management issues, review of developments that have influenced the decision-making approach and approach to reaching decisions on risk.
Click below to download your free report
“Reducing risks, protect people (HSE’s decision-making process)”