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Quality Digest


Health and Safety Draft Standard Released for Public Comment

Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2004 - 22:00

A joint committee of the American National Standards Institute and the American Industrial Hygiene Association recently released a draft Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) standard for public review.

The deadline to submit comments on the proposal is Oct. 15. ANSI established Accredited Standards Committee Z10, with the AIHA as its secretariat, when the work on the draft standard began in 1999. The committee drew from many established international standards when writing the OHSMS standard.

“The committee examined current national and international standards, guidelines and practices in the occupational, environmental and quality systems arena,” the committee reports in the draft. “They adapted the principles most relevant from these approaches into a standard that is compatible with the principal international standards as well as with management system approaches currently in use in the United States.”

Additionally, the committee also draws from approaches used by the International Labor Organization’s guidelines on OHSMS. The compatibility encourages integration of the standard’s requirements into other management systems, thereby enhancing overall performance, the committee writes in its draft.

The standard outlines an OHSMS cycle, entailing an initial planning process and management system implementation, followed by a process for checking the performance of these activities and taking appropriate corrective actions. The following management review involves a complete review of the system for suitability, adequacy and effectiveness against its policy and the OHSMS. The cycle is then repeated, resulting in ongoing continual improvements in occupational health and safety.

Additionally, it uses the SMART model to create occupational health and safety objectives. The acronym stands for:

  • Specific —Clearly define desired outcome
  • Measurable —Establish criteria for achieving goals
  • Actionable —Write objective in an action-oriented fashion
  • Realistic —Establish objectives that are practical in scope
  • Time-oriented —Establish a concrete timeframe for achieving goals

The draft also includes a standardized incident investigation form and conformance scorecard. For more information, or to view the draft standard and submit comments, visit www.aiha.org.


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