John Maxwell (An American author and speaker) once said “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way” and these very words could not hold more truth when we look at the importance of Senior managers and their influence on driving QHSE management systems.
So Why is Senior management commitment so important? Below are just some of the reasons:
- If Senior Management does not provide the necessary support towards actively promoting the system, then it is not likely to work
- If Managing Directors do not practice what they preach, then why would lower level production staff or labourers comply with procedural requirements?
- Through senior management commitment and action, it provides a sense of truth and integrity to the Quality/Health and Safety and/or Environmental Policy statements
Consequences of a poorly executed level of Management commitment
Your employees must have that incentive and drive to adhere to all QHSE policies and procedures and this is heavily shaped by Senior management. If people should perceive that the most senior managers in the organisation do not have any interest in Customer/OHS/environmental requirements, regulations or laws then why should they, the employees, care?. It is integral that as a Senior management group, there are established communication channels reiterating the significance of compliance and this can be in any form including:
-Documented policies and procedures
Another major negative consequence of poor management commitment is the continuous breakdown of systems as a result of a lack of resources provided for by Senior Management. Without the adequate resources (Human,Physical, Financial, technological), it becomes a nightmare for any organisation to sustain effective implementation of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or AS/NZS 4801 programs and at best they might be able to just keep their heads above water.
One final such consequence of a lack of management commitment is the resulting poor culture that has the potential to surface within any organisation. Whether any organisation is trying to promote Health and safety or continuous improvement or even a greater awareness of environmental aspects, it is such that impending outcomes on culture are greatly influenced by a proactive drive shown by Senior management towards achieving these outcomes.
The involvement of Top Management just shouldn’t be an optional exercise
There is just no point in wasting your time and money on trying to implement a management system if senior management are going to focus on other priorities. Without the expertise and enthusiasm shown by Top management, the primary objectives of the system implementation such as continual improvement, reduction in incidents,Minimisation of environmental harm or even improvement in Information Security management will never be realized.
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A risk management program is an integral tool/method for identifying risks and ensuring that you are aware of all of them. You can avoid various problems by understanding and managing your risks on a daily basis. There are some steps that are referred to below for mitigating and managing your day to day risks.
Step 1: Conduct a Walk Through of Your Facility
One of the first things that you need to do in order to create a successful risk management program is to conduct an inspection or walk through your facility. One of the key steps here is to pay particular attention to all significant areas of concern and/or worst case scenarios.Many organisations will capture photos as part of their inspection in order to highlight the significance of the issue to Senior Management.
Step 2: Speak to Employees
Your employees are likely to have more intimate knowledgewith your facility than you have. Create a focus group of employees from various departments. Provide a debrief to them and encourage their input about areas that they are concerned with and ask them where they think the most risks exist. Their information is vital to helping you develop and maintain a risk management program.
Step 3: Identify the Major Risks
There are always going to be risks inherent within your organization. Some may be physical while others might be strategic. Some of the most common project risks include:
- Poor leadership
- Staff issues
- No continuity plan
- Lack of resources
- Change in business strategy
You have to pose the “what if” question when establishing the major risks. Break them down into sub-categories. For example, if there is no continuity plan, this might be broken down into smaller categories to include if a particular department goes under, there is a natural disaster, or something else were to happen.
Step 4: Evaluate the Risks
All of the risks that you identified need to be evaluated. This is where the “What if” situation will help you as well. You need to determine the likelihood of a risk actually happening. The “major” risks should be put at the top of the list, where you will put the most attention and allocate the most resources.
Step 5: Develop a Treatment Plan
A treatment plan should be formulated and written to help you identify how you would handle the different risks. It’s also important to assign tasks to different employees. For example, some items might need to be repaired or ordered in order to have a complete plan in place should something happen.
This is where it’s important to have a system and database included with your risk management plan so everything becomes more organized.
Step 6: Train Your Employees
Your employees need to be educated on risk management culture. When you are ready to train your employees, it’s important to communicate effectively. This involves letting all of your employees know and understand the meaning of Risk management and its significance within the business.
A curriculum should be built to focus on the courses that are mandatory. You should also empower employees to be more focused on risk-related topics. Your employees might surprise you. Since they are the ones in the roles, they should have the ability to work on risk management within their position. It might include additional training, allocating resources to minimize risk, and much more.
Step 7: Schedule Regular Audits
Audits should be scheduled on a regular basis. This should include those done by your employees as well as a third-party company. It will ensure that you have as many eyes on what’s going on as possible.
Discover more about a risk management program by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd
Will Certification Beat Competition? Myth Or Fact?
Competition is fierce in any industry. It’s imperative to understand how to effectively beat your competition. Using third party certification audits will make it easier to identify and locate the various flaws in the system. However, will this be sufficient toconsolidate your position against your competition? The consensus is that it’s not enough.
The Certifications Available
There are numerous certifications you can obtain that will help you to get an edge over your competition. This includes:
- Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001)
- Environmental Management (ISO) 14001)
- CCF (Civil Contractors Federation) IMS or SCIMS
- Food Safety Management (HACCP)
- Information Security Management Systems (ISO 27001)
- Business Continuity Management (ISO 22301)
- Energy Management Systems (ISO 55001)
- Asset Management Systems (ISO 50001)
Whether you’re applying for certification internationally or locally in Australia, you need to review how third-party certification audits will identify and assist in closing the gaps within your system. For example, if you’re looking at achieving ISO 14001 certification, you will have audits thatprovide you with intel on such matters as your environment protection measures, wastage, efficiency, and much more.
Choose the Right Certification
With so many certifications available, you should choose the one that will best fit your company needs and objectives. It is a good idea to spend some time researching your competition. Find out what ISO certifications they have already obtained. if everyone in your industry has an ISO 9001 quality management systems certification, it’s going to be in your best interests to acquire a similar certification. The consequence of the decision to not follow in a similar footpath to your competitors will give them a distinct advantage. Listen to what the government says or your vendors.
The certification itself plays a major role in how consumers choose to do business with you. When you are in a B2B industry, many businesses will elect not to do business with you if you don’t have sufficient certification.
In some cases, multiple certifications provide benefit and can work in tandem depending on the industry you operate in for example in the construction industry, ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 offer numerous benefits both in prevention of safety issues and improvement of overall customer satisfaction. Through having a diligent selection of the right certification, it ensures that the management system will focus on business operations and that you are meeting and exceeding objectives. It will also ensure that you are delivering high quality and consistent results.
Busting the Myths
Knowing the myths that are out there regarding certification and third-party audits will make it easier for you to obtain the truth. It will enable you to more simply schedule your audits with the right certification body. Additionally, it will allow you to focus on what’s needed for your company in order to take it to the next level.
The primary myth is that any certification will help you defeat yourcompetition. The reality is you need to have the certification and regularly schedule your third-party audits to ensure that your methods for ensuring you are across all legislation matches industry best practice.
Another myth is that certification will automatically bring more business. You will need to advertise that you have been certified, which means including the information on your website as well as any printed material that you have for your company. Plus whole of your organisations must adopt the system with enthusiasm.
You will also hear companies talking about how there is no need to use a third-party accreditor for audits. While you could simply have a company come in and see you meet ISO or another certification in terms of qualifications, it’s going to be easier if you work with a reputable name within the world of certification. It will ensure you have the right process in place and that you are truly offering the highest quality and reputable services as advertised.
When you take the time to schedule your audits, it allows you to identify your flaws and provide a better experience to your customers. Make sure you demand the best from your auditors.
Learn more about third-party audits to help you beat your competition by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today.Read More