Integrating Environment / H&S / Quality / Energy

B

Bob Clifford

#1
I'd appreciate feedback on my presentation topic for March's ASQ meeting, Long Island (NY) Section. I'm discussing the process and +/- 's of an integrated management system to address quality, environment, health & safety, and energy. The standards I'm presenting as models are ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001:2000 (quality), ISO 14001:1996 (environment), OHSAS 18001:1999 (health & safety) and ANSI/MSE 2000 (energy). Each of these are similar in approach, the latter three (18001, 14001, MSE 2000) being very similar, P-D-C-A management systems.

I'd like to address the mechanics (procedural integraton, etc.) as well as the ability of an integrated system to achieve sustainability, which I define as efficient, proactive management of elements critical to business.

Thoughts? Thanx in advance.
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
Great idea there Bob.

Hopefully you will stress as a + the potential savings during implementation and maintenance of integrated systems. Also potential savings from not having to develope redundent auditing, document control, C&P actions, and other related elements.

14K & 18K are basically the same document with some minor differences, I'm not familiar with MSE 2000.
 
#3
I'm all for integration...

We are in the process of doing just that (Quality, Environment and Health and safety procedures). Our users presented a very firm view on the subject: They want to have one system... period.

And I agree:

Imagine (as a user) having to sift through several systems at once, as opposed to a single integrated one... Besides, having several systems will with certanity mean that they give you conflicting instructions every now and then.

An integrated system will without doubt be more efficient. It may mean (not necessarily) that the auditor gets a tougher task, but the system is not there for the auditors benefit. It's there to help the users.

/Claes
 
B

Bob Clifford

#4
:bigwave: Thanx for the comments. FYI, ANSI/MSE 2000 is the Management System for Energy and was developed by Georgia Tech's Energy and Environment Management Center. It became an American national standard in April 2000. It's very closely aligned with ISO 14001.

The mechanical advantages (procedural integration - doc control, records, etc.) are easy to understand. And the theory - one system is better than many - is widely touted. So why don't more companies so it ? And how does one achieve sustainability, rather than simply integration. ??

- Bob
 
#5
Hi again, Bob,

And the theory - one system is better than many - is widely touted. So why don't more companies so it ? And how does one achieve sustainability, rather than simply integration. ??
Good point... Why don't they? I suppose it's because even if the end results are better with an integrated system, it's by no means as easy to create as several smaller systems. It may take longer to set up, and there is a lot of sifting through old procedures to be done. Perhaps it can be seen as taking the easy way out (for the time being)?

I have noticed that in many cases companys who already have a QMS opt for a separate EMS, with the intention of merging them later... whenever later may be is usually unclear... (ouch).

We have a saying around here: Isn't it strange that we never seem to have the time to do things right, but we always have the time to do them over again (to correct the mistakes we did the first time....)?

As for sustainibility... Well, I guess that if we create a simple to use system that really adresses what we need (easier said than done, ofcourse) we'll be able to keep it going. So, the important question must be: What do the *users* need?

/Claes
 
Last edited:

JodiB

Still plugging along
#6
Bob,

Perhaps the systems are run separately because the knowledge base is fragmented.

Many companies use personnel who have other duties, so one person looks after one system "in their spare time" and another looks after a second system "ditto". It would be too much for one person to do both or even learn to understand both (or 3 or 4..).

In our company there is a well defined and implemented safety system. This is a requirement for offshore industry. We can't even bid for jobs with a certain number of recordable incidents. There are various programs in place for safety. We have an "expert" on OSHA regs, risk assessment, etc. But this person doesn't have the training (or time) to deal with a QMS or an EMS. So we have a separate (for now) system for establishing the QMS, and eventually an EMS.

While a team concept (get us all together in a room to make decisions,etc.) sounds great, it is not a practical answer for us at this time. And then the decision is : who will supervise it? The safety guy or the quality girl?:)

To have effectively merged systems, you have to have a core of people who have the knowledge and experience in each system.

We're dancing around the integration idea by incorporating the safety forms and safety procedures into the one doc control system. We will include risk assessment as a preventive action. We may include safety related issues as quality objectives because when there's an injury offshore, it impairs our abililty to get a job done, creating expensive downtime for our client.

Our procedures for work include any safety reminders and instructions within the text.

Safety training is listed along with any other job category training that is required.

But programs are in place to deal specifically for safety issues, or quality issues. They must exist separately since the information and the use of the information are for different reasons. There is nothing to "integrate".

Management review is something that is done for both, and a full meeting can be had on each one. Why would a company want to blend the two into one monster meeting?

With the few exceptions I've noted here, I don't see where "integration" is easier or even practical. Maybe I'm missing something.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#7
I think I believe in partial more than total integration, but it really depends on the organization.

I know that an EMS (according to the present standard anyway) does not require as much in the way of work instructions and other documents as a QMS. That may or may not be a good thing.

Some organizations are up to the challenge of totally integrating everything and some aren't. Those folks that can truly"manage" their systems continually instead of when they have time have a better chance of successful integration than those that can't. IMO

My approach to partial integration is to use as many of the already existing elements of a QMS (if there is one of course). I ask "Why re-invent the wheel?" I use the audit, C&P actions, doc control, and everything else that may be common between the 2 systems. I think of it as more of a blended than an integrated system. You can mix oil and water if you add a catalyst like alcohol. They are not truly mixed, just blended.

The previous comment about fragmented knowledge is true and un-preventable. Can it be overcome? In time, yes, but it's tough. There are and will continue to be few folks that can master the complexities of Quality, Environmental, Financial, Safety and any other system. We are, have been, and will continue to be specialists. That's why some people were better at farming and others at being shopkeepers in the past, and why there are so many diverse specialties today. Knowbody can know and do it all.

I'll stop the philosophy lesson here because I'm losing track.:bigwave:
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#8
The mechanical advantages (procedural integration - doc control, records, etc.) are easy to understand. And the theory - one system is better than many - is widely touted. So why don't more companies so it ? And how does one achieve sustainability, rather than simply integration??
Bob, in addition to what Lucinda very well illustrated, I believe that one of the primary reasons for many companies not doing it, has to do with "job protection" factor:eek: !

I have seen a number of integration initiatives being "sabotaged" because middle managers realize that if they truly integrate, some jobs might become redundant.

Personally, I am all for management system integration because of efficiency and effectiveness gains, but, like many other programs, senior management needs to understand all the risks involved and drive the fear out. Otherwise they will encounter significant resistance from part of the workforce.

PS. I am familiar with the ANSI MSE 2000 Standard, and, being in energy-crisis-striken California, you would think there would be a lot of interest in the document. Unfortunately, not so. How is MSE 2000 working in the Northeast? Any organizations subscribing to the document?
 
#9
Integration issues

In my implementation work I have found the biggest factor in the reluctance to integrate systems is not so much job protection, but fear on the part of the original owner of the procedures and processes where the new requirements will be added. The fear is that someone else will "Mess up" their system & procedures.

Woodrow Wilson once said “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

My methods for dealing with this attitude has always been to walk before you run. Paritally integrate the system (document Control, Records, CA & PA...) When the people in the system see these successes they will be more open to further integration in the future.

The first several EMS systems I reviewed were entirely stand alone systems with duplicate procedures. In the last couple of years I have witness a trend to partially integrate. I think this will continue to grow.

Brandon
 
#10
Good approach

In my implementation work I have found the biggest factor in the reluctance to integrate systems is not so much job protection, but fear on the part of the original owner of the procedures and processes where the new requirements will be added. The fear is that someone else will "Mess up" their system & procedures.
You're absolutley right, Brandon. That is certainly a factor: (If it ain't broke, don't fix it...) I also agree with your approach. Fortunately, in our case it's the same people that are involved, so the resistance against integration is low.

/Claes
 
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