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Integrated safety, health and environmental management: An introduction
Integrated safety, health and environmental management: An introduction

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4.2.1 Comparing the management systems

One approach to BS 8800 follows the ISO 14001 model, and the ISO 14001 system itself was closely modelled on the previous ISO 9000, with the 2000 revision of ISO 9000 following ISO 14001 principles. As a result, you may imagine that there are similarities between the standards. Many of the elements are similar, and some are nearly identical. Management systems share common elements, including developing and documenting procedures, training, record keeping, auditing, and corrective action. Figure 8 illustrates this in relation to the cycles for environment and health and safety.

Environmental and health and safety management system cycles compared
Figure 8 (a) Environmental and (b) health and safety management system cycles compared

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The foundation of ISO system standards is a TQM approach. These standards are process-oriented and are used to evaluate management systems. They do not establish technical guidelines, limits or goals. They do not measure performance.

ISO 14001 describes the basic requirements of an environmental management system. It is the standard that organisations implement and to which they either seek third-party registration or self-declaration of conformance. An ISO 14001 registration will not guarantee that a particular facility has achieved the best possible environmental performance, only that it has put an environmental management system in place. Notice also that the ‘continual improvement’ mentioned in the standards refers to continual improvement of the management system itself, not environmental performance directly. Most professionals agree that a systematic method is equally essential for an effective safety programme.

Quality management is based on the quality management principles listed in Table 7. These are comprehensive and fundamental rules or beliefs, aimed at continually improving the performance of an organisation over the long term by focusing on customers while addressing the needs of all other stakeholders. ISO 14001 is aimed at these, and more: ‘customer requirements’ expands to embrace regulatory and other mandatory environmental requirements; and ‘continual improvement’ is driven not only by ‘customer’ expectations but also by priorities and objectives generated internally by the organisation.