Topic area 4: Health and safety management

Estimated Duration: 3 Hours


  • To define the concepts and key components of a health and safety management system;
  • To outline recent developments in health and safety management including the development of OHSAS18001 and accreditation.

Lecture Plan

Introduction to health and safety management


  • Part of the overall management system that facilitates the management of the OH&S risks associated with the business of the organisation. This includes the organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing and achieving, reviewing and maintaining the organisation's OH&S policy.

Concept of the 'systems approach' to health and safety management;

Key elements of a H&S Management System (based on HS(G)65)

  • Policy - Effective health and safety policies set a clear direction for the organisation to follow.
  • Organising - An effective management structure and arrangements are in place for delivering the policy.
  • Planning - There is a planned and systematic approach to implementing the health and safety policy through an effective health and safety management system.
  • Measuring performance - Performance is measured against agreed standards to reveal when and where improvement is needed.
  • Auditing and reviewing performance - The organisation learns from all relevant experience and applies the lessons.

Recent Developments in OH&S Management Systems

Standardisation - international move to standards and accreditation specifically with respect to ISO 9000 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems).

Overview of BS8800

  • Guidelines based on the general principals of good management and are designed to enable the integration of health and safety management within an overall management system.
  • Uses ISO 14001 and HS(G)65 models

OHSAS 18000 Series

Development of OHSAS 18001/18002 - developed in response to industry demand for a recognisable H&S management system standard against which their management systems can be assessed and certified (as in QMS and EMS).

  • Accreditation to the above standard
  • Benefits of Accreditation

Practical Aspects of OH&S Management Systems

Safety Policy (including legal requirement)

  • Purpose and content of effective health and safety policies.


  • Assessing risks and implementing risk control systems.
  • Setting H&S Objectives and Management Programmes
    • Types of H&S Objective
    • Indicators
    • Action Plans

Implementation & Operation

  • Defining Management Structures, Roles and Responsibilities.
  • Ensuring communication of necessary information throughout the organisation;
    • Identifying relevant OH&S information
    • Ensuring two way flow of OH&S information within organisation
      • Training - Securing the competence of employees
      • Health & Safety Documentation (covered generally with reference to the Quarry 'H&S Document').

Measuring Performance

  • Purpose of Measuring Performance:
  • Active measuring systems which monitor the achievement of plans and the extent of compliance with standards;
  • Reactive systems which monitor accidents, ill health and incidents


  • Purpose of Auditing: Auditing is a process whereby an organisation can review and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of their management system.
  • Planning Audit programmes and undertaking audits.

Management Review.

  • Purpose of Review: Top management should review the operation of the management system to assess whether it is being implemented and remains suitable for achieving the organisation's objectives.

Suggested Reading & Other Resources

  • HSE - Successful Health & Safety Management HS(G)65, HSE Books, 1995
  • British Standards Organisation - BS8800: Guide to Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, BSI, 1996
  • British Standards Organisation - OHSAS 18001: Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems - Specification, 1999
  • British Standards Organisation - OHSAS 18002: Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems - Guidelines for the Implementation of 18001, 2000

Course documents

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Updated 2023-11-21