Management Review of an OHSMS

Management review of an OHSMS, or Occupational Health and Safety Management System, is an important aspect of safety management. In this article, we’ll give you tips for performing management reviews on a timely and recurrent basis and in an effective manner.

This article is the last of a multi-article series on the issue of safety and health management in general and on the issue of the safety and health management guidelines in ANSI/ASSE Z10, the national standard for occupational health and safety management systems., in particular The focus of this article is to provide an overview of Z10’s section 7.

(Note: In addition, we WILL follow up with one additional post that summarizes all of the separate articles related to Z10 so you can use that as one handy, stand-alone resource).

For those interested in reviewing the articles in the series, here’s a list and the links:

You might also want to know that OSHA recently released their own Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs. We recommend you check that out or read our overview of OSHA’s Safety and Health Programs Guideline (2016).

For those of you interested in reading about management review of an OHSMS, the article below awaits you.

Management Review of an OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management System)

Part of setting up an OHSMS for your workplace is to set up a process for top management to review at least once a year and establish a method for top management to recommend improvements to the OHSMS to make sure it continues to be suitable and effective (and even improves) over time. Management reviews can be conducted more often than yearly, and in many cases that may be more appropriate (such as to keep the OHSMS review aligned with reviews of business goals).

Although this is called the “management review” and top management should be involved, it’s also true that OHSMS leaders, process owners, and employees (and/or their representatives) should be involved and should play a role as well.

The organization will have already set up (and can still modify) the overall goals of the OHSMS. As a result, no organization’s management review will judge the OHSMS against the exact same goals, standards, or criteria.

Purpose of the OHSMS Management Review

The point of performing a management review of the OHSMS isn’t just to make sure everyone knows what the OHSMS is or to pass a leisurely meeting in a non-critical discussion of the OHSMS.

Instead, the point is to continue the never-ending process of continual improvement which the work of monitoring, evaluating, and correcting the OHSMS discussed in our previous article in this series set you up for.

It’s important to include top management in this annual review process it’s top management that has the authority to make necessary decision about actions, resources, and resource allocation.

OHSMS Management Review Inputs, Discussions, and Considerations

If the management review is to be effective, the OHSMS owners must make sure all necessary information is available to review. This includes all “standard” safety and health information, but also information about security issues and changes related to the internal organization and even vendors.

To make that information easier to process and discuss, it’s a good idea to present rules in an easily digested format, such as a scorecard or rubric. This will also keep the review focused on the most important aspects of the OHSMS and the issues that are most in need of management attention.

The review should assess the OHSMS to determine if it is eliminating, reducing, controlling, or otherwise aware of and assessing all risk the organization is exposed to. It’s important at this phase to determine if any deficiencies in the system are leaving the organization exposed to risk, especially major risks.

Sources of data for the management review should include:

  • The results of work-related injuries, illnesses, property damage, and near misses
  • The results of incident investigations
  • OHSMS performance monitoring and measurement
  • OHSMS audits (this and the previous bulleted item are covered in the previous article in this series)

During the management review, consider the following types of data:

  • Overall trends and progress toward risk reduction
  • Effectiveness of efforts and processes to identify, assess, and prioritize risk
  • Effectiveness of efforts and processes to identify, assess, and prioritize system deficiencies
  • Effectiveness of processes intended to address underyling causes of risks and system deficiencies
  • Input from employees and employee representatives
  • Status updates on corrective actions, preventive actions, and changing circumstances
  • Follow-up actions and status updates from OHSMS audits and previous management review of the OHSMS
  • Status updates on the extent to which the OHSMS has met the objectives of the OHSMS
  • Performance of the OHSMS relative to expectations, taking into account changing circumstances, resources needs, alignment of the business plan, and general consistency of the organizations’ occupational health and safety policy

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OHSMS Management Review Outcomes and Follow-Up

When the management review is over, management should be prepared to make decisions for improving and sustaining the OHSMS, give directions to appropriate parties based on those decisions, and properly commit and allocation resources to implement those action-items.

These decisions should determine the:

  • Future direction of the OHSMS based on the organization’s safety policy, business strategies, and overall operating conditions
  • Need for changes to the organizations’ policy, priorities, objectives, resources, or other parts of the OHSMS

Summary and Action Items from Management Review

A summary of the management review should also be created. The purpose of the summary is to list the top commitments and directives made by top management.

In addition, the summary should include a list of more granular action items and their target completion dates. These action items should be documented, communicated to the individuals responsible for completing them and to those affected by them, and tracked until they are complete.

Management Review Periodic Status Update Reports

Finally, it’s a good idea to create and distribute periodic status reports on the issues arising from the management review so that progress toward their completion can be tracked.

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Conclusion: Management Review of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS)

We hope you enjoyed this article and enjoyed our entire series of articles on occupational health and safety management systems in general and the ANSI Z10 standard on occupational health and safety management systems in particular.

As we said, we’ll follow up with one last article that compiles and summarizes all the posts that looked at specific sections of Z10. Stay tuned for that.

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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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