How to Approach SHEQ Management Representative Training in South Africa
Before sending your employees on SHEQ management representative training, read below to get a better understanding of SHEQ and how to prepare your training plans.
Unfortunately, many organisations misunderstand what SHEQ management systems are about and how integration works. Some enterprises only implement a single component and sometimes two components of a fully integrated ISO compliant management system. They think that it will be better if they roll-out integration in phases, but having only part of the system is leaving the company open to significant risk.
Just implementing a SHEQ management system and doing away with the quality aspect is looking for trouble when it comes to consistency in quality of services and products. As a result, customer satisfaction suffers and eventually the reduced confidence in the organisation’s ability to keep to its commitments regarding the SHEQ aspect also dwindles with financial losses following.
But, before we go on – let’s look at what SHEQ management entails. There are three main management systems in relation to the International Standards Organisation. These systems aim to improve quality, safety, health, and environmental responsibility. Although each of the standards has specific requirements, which are relevant to a particular area of operation, there are some overlapping components and this is how integration can help to improve the management of all the systems.
Of importance is OHSAS 18001, which deals with safety and health management systems, ISO 14001 dealing with environmental management, and ISO 9001 dealing with quality management. There are also systems in place for quality in specific sectors, such as ISO 22001, specifically relevant to the food and beverage industry. However, ISO 9001 is the main standard when it comes to quality.
From the above, it becomes clear what a SHEQ management representative training plan should include. It should at the very least introduce the attendee to SHEQ and the main standards making up such a management system.
Although firms are under no legal obligation to implement a quality management system in compliance with ISO 9001:2015, there are legal obligations in terms of health and safety, as well as environmental management in South Africa. That being said, many customers and business partners now demand that their suppliers implement compliant quality management systems. It should also be noted that there is no legal obligation to use the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards, although it is certainly recommended.
In South Africa, occupational health and safety, especially in the mining industry, is strictly regulated by the Occupational Health & Safety Act, whilst environmental management is regulated by the National Environmental Management Act. In addition, companies operating in South Africa must comply with local laws as well.
Even though legislation is in place to ensure proper standards in health and safety, in addition to environmental management, many companies don’t comply because of the lack of enforcement and inspection.
Complying with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management system requirements thus provides customers with confidence that the company, regardless of national laws, already meets international requirements. However, implementing the three management systems can be a daunting task, but having the systems operate separately simply does not make economical or managerial sense, since it creates unnecessary administration, costs and confusion. Isolated or silo management systems simply don’t work.
One SHEQ system solves the problem, especially because the standards have been compiled in a manner that allows for integration with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 completely aligned. Although ISO 9001 until now had a different structure, the updated 2015 version has been structured for optimal integration with the other two standards in one SHEQ management system.
With each of the standards having specific clauses for their topics of focus, with various clauses applicable to all three, it is thus possible to ensure completed integration. ISO 9001 has customer satisfaction as an outcome because of consistent and ongoing improvement in quality management. It provides the framework for conducting business for minimum waste, optimal quality and profitability.
OHSAS 18001 provides the framework for ensuring improved health and safety of employees and any visitors to the premises, as well as the general public, while ISO 14001 is focused on the reduction of the human footprint on the environment, whether it is the man-made or living.
The standards, however, contain common elements, such as management review, the corrective systems, preventative measures, control of documents, conducting of internal audits and compliance with the country’s legal requirements, as well as industry regulations. Other elements in common include calibration requirements, monitoring, measuring and training.
With full integration of all three standards into one SHEQ system, every standard is seen as important and the risk of one standard being ignored in preference of another is thus eliminated. As such, SHEQ management representative training should include training in all three areas, in addition to internal audits, leading audit teams, external audit teams and the leading of such.
Attendance of a SHEQ management course for one or three days is thus not sufficient to deal with the integration aspects. Candidates should attend four to five courses over a period, of which the first courses should address each of the standards separately, whilst the fourth course should focus on internal auditing. However, attendance of courses such as safety officer training, inspections and more will certainly help the candidates gain improved knowledge for proper implementation and management of the SHEQ system.
Training alone isn’t enough. Practical application and experience will ensure that the managers or representatives gain the knowledge needed to deal with every type of situation.
Training in integration of the system can also be attended. WWISE offers the various training options for SHEQ management representatives, internal and external auditors, and system development. We furthermore provide GAP analysis services to help firms identify shortcomings and furthermore provide consultation services and assistance with integration of the various management systems into a single SHEQ management system. We help client companies to prepare for certification for each of the standards and offer a comprehensive maintenance programme that includes management reviews.
Make use of our expertise regarding management representative training, internal and external audits, systems development and integration to help your firm become compliant to ensure profitability, environmental responsibility, health and safety compliance and improved customer satisfaction.