Average Reading time is 8 minutes
A Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Management System refers to the set of initiatives that an organisation follows during their operations to manage any risks that are associated with HSE issues. An ideal HSE management system is one that reduces HSE risks. When designing the HSE management system it is important for new HSE managers and HSE engineers to understand what are the essential HSE management standards they must adhere to. We’ll discuss the 6 essential HSE management standards that should help frame the design of an HSE management system.
What are the 6 key HSE Management Standards?
Introduced in 2004, the HSE Management Standards, help organisations understand what they need to do to assess and manage the risks that employees experience due to work-related stress by providing a systematic process for managing workplace safety and health. As such, many workplaces especially in Singapore and UK are now required to implement a HSE management system which includes risk assessments and risk management. The following lists the 6 key HSE management standards that the UK practices that other workplaces in the world can learn and adapt, to ensure high productivity rates and low accident rates in the organisation.
The first standard is Demand. This includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment. The standard set by the UK HSE association indicates how employees should be allowed to provide feedback on whether they are able to cope with the demands of their jobs. There are systems in place locally to respond to any individual concerns.
Therefore, to satisfy these standards, firstly the organisation needs to provide employees with adequate and achievable work demands in relation to the agreed upon working hours in the work contract. Secondly, employees’ skills and abilities need to be matched to the appropriate job requirements and demands. Thirdly, jobs should be designed to be within the capabilities of employees and lastly, the concerns that employees’ have about their work environment must addressed.
The second standard is Control. This refer to how much of a say an employee has in the way they can carry out their tasks and work. Thus, the standards for HSE systems indicate that employees must be able to have a say about the way they do their work and systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns.
In order to meet the standards, set in place, companies firstly need to allow employees to have control over their pace of work where possible. Secondly, employees must be encouraged to use their skills and initiative to do their work. Thirdly, employees should be encouraged to develop or upgrade their skills to allow them to undertake new and challenging pieces of work where possible. Fourthly, employees should have a say when their breaks can be taken and lastly the work patterns of the employees need to be taken into consideration a well.
The third standard is support. This includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation to the employees. Thus, the standards for HSE systems state how employees need to they receive adequate information and support from their colleagues and superiors and that organisations need to have systems are in place to respond to any individual concerns.
To satisfy the standards in place, companies have states which they can achieve. Firstly, the organisation needs to have policies and procedures in place to adequately support their employees and give them constructive feedback. Secondly, systems need to be in place to enable and encourage managers and other employees to support their colleagues. Thirdly, employees should be aware of what support is available and know how and when to access these support services. Lastly, employees need to know where they can access to acquire the required resources to do their jobs.
The fourth standard is relationship. This refer to promoting positive working environments to avoid conflict and dealing with any unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. Thus, the standards for HSE systems require employees to be able to indicate that they are not subjected to unacceptable behaviours such as bullying at work and that support systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns.
As such, companies need to firstly, promote and reward positive behaviours at work to avoid conflict and ensure fairness. Secondly, employees should be motivated and willing to share information relevant to their work. Thirdly, policies, procedures and systems need to be in place to prevent or resolve unacceptable behaviour and to encourage employees to report inappropriate behaviour and managers to deal with unacceptable behaviour.
The fifth standard is role. This refers to whether employees understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that employees do not have conflicting roles. Thus, the standards for HSE systems require employees to fully understand the role that they play in the organisation and require the organisation to have systems in place to respond to any individual concerns.
Methods to accomplish this includes, firstly ensuring that the different requirements it places upon employees are compatible with the employees to a large extent. Secondly, the organisation needs to provide information to enable employees to understand their role and responsibilities clearly. Lastly, clear feedback and communication systems must be established to enable employees to raise concerns about any uncertainties or conflicts they have in their role and responsibilities
The last standard is change. This refers to how organisational change, regardless of its scale, is managed and communicated in the organisation. The standards require organisations to allow their employees to feel that the organisation engages them frequently when undergoing an organisational change and to know that there are systems in place to respond to any individual concerns.
To achieve these high levels of standards, the organisation needs to firstly provide their employees with information to enable them to understand the reasons for the proposed changes made. Secondly, the company should also engage employee feedback on changes and provide avenues for employees to influence proposals and voice their concern. Lastly, employees must be made aware of timetables for change and have access to relevant support services during any transition or change.
To better understand how you can improve your organisation’s HSE management system, do check out our other related blogs below!
Best Practices in HSE Management is a 4-day online training course. Designed to focus on the upstream, mid-stream and downstream oil, gas and petrochemicals business segments, participants will discover the real HSE challenges that the Executive Management team and their sub-ordinate managers and staff face with. The course will describe industry HSE management systems, to cater for both occupational and process safety hazards and the specific aspects requiring control to ensure risks are controlled to As Low As Is Reasonably Practicable, ALARP, through the people, processes and plant utilised in the business.
Interested to find out more?