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Why it is Important to Attend Comprehensive SHEQ Training

Correct Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) supervisor training is essential for optimal results and benefits to your company. Many enterprises only implement the SHE management system and train their supervisors only in this system. The problem is that implementation with only one or two sections of the SHEQ management system leaves the company vulnerable, and if only partial training is done, the supervisors lack essential knowledge to ensure optimal health and safety, environmental management, and quality in the workplace.

To understand the importance of comprehensive SHEQ supervisor training, we first need to look at what SHEQ management entails. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has developed several standards to help enterprises implement and integrate various important management systems that address specific parts of enterprise management. Though the various standards address specific aspects, they can work together, as they have some common characteristics.

The main complementary management systems that work well together are that of OHSAS 18001 for health and safety management, ISO 9001 for quality management, and ISO 14001 for environmental management. The three standards can be integrated to make compliance with the various standards more cost-effective and to reduce the administration involved in their management. The ISO has also introduced other standards intended to be more industry-specific, such as ISO 22001 for the food industry, though ISO 9001 remains the foundation standard for quality regardless of the industry in which an enterprise operates.

Where does SHEQ Fit in?

Safety, Health, Environment and Quality represents the integration of the three main management standards of OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, and ISO 9001. At this stage, it is not yet compulsory to be ISO 9001-compliant, although international trading partners are now starting to demand compliance from their suppliers. Many customers also require compliance with ISO 9001. There are, however, legislation and regulations when it comes to health and safety in addition to environmental management. Indeed, the pressure is on across the globe for more environmentally sustainable practices and various laws govern environmental their management in South Africa. Occupational Health & Safety regulations are also in place in South Africa and we have three important acts to note:

  • Mine & Safety Act;
  • Occupational Health & Safety Act;
  • National Environmental Management Act.

Enterprises in South Africa are therefore under legal obligation to ensure compliance with the requirements of the law, though sometimes companies ignore regulations that are not well enforced, simply because they can get away with it. However, compliance with the SHEQ-related international standards makes it easier for the organisations to also comply with all the legal requirements applicable in South Africa. It is futile to keep the three main management systems apart from each other. One cannot operate any one of them in isolation from the other two. ISO has realised the dilemma and this is where the SHEQ management system comes in. It is an integration of the three standards, which enables complete control over all three areas of management. Though many aspects overlap, each standard still deals with specific aspects as well.

OHSAS 18001 deals with the creation of a work environment where the health and safety of employees, visitors, and the public can be ensured, whilst ISO 14001 is aimed at the minimisation of the enterprise’s environmental impact; lastly, ISO 9001 aims at consistency and an improvement in quality to ensure ongoing customer satisfaction, which also helps to keep companies competitive.

SHEQ supervisor training thus must address all three standards and the integration of these standards into a single management system. Some of the requirements that overlap in the three standards are that of management review, document control, training, internal auditing, corrective actions, preventative management, compliance with legal requirements, device calibration, and several more.

How does Implementation of SHEQ Benefit the Company?

With a SHEQ system in place, the company benefits from an improvement in quality, lower impact on the environment, lower levels of waste, improved customer satisfaction, higher employee morale, fewer accidents (and lower costs associated with these), and ongoing legal compliance with statutory requirements.

Through integration of all three the management systems, the risk of one management system getting preference over the others is eliminated. This also means that SHEQ supervisor training includes training in all three management systems. Each component is treated with equal priority and this means that top-level management will allocate the necessary manpower, training, equipment, funding, and policy control equally among the systems. Because of the integration aspect, duplication of efforts, procedures, policies, and processes is avoided. This helps to save on costs associated with resource usage, including manpower, equipment, facilities, time, and funds.

Why Several Courses Must be Attended Over a Period

With the three systems being so comprehensive, it is not possible to attend a short course and therefore quickly qualify as SHEQ manager. Training can be done in SHEQ specifically, but it is also necessary to train in various other aspects, such as OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001. In addition, internal audit training, and audit lead training, amongst others, should be completed. Risk management training is also recommended, and it is also essential to understand that just because a person has attended training, it doesn’t mean that they are qualified and competent. Work experience is crucial to help develop insight.

Where to Get Training?

WWISE offers an extensive range of ISO-related courses, including courses specifically dealing with OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001, in addition to internal auditing, audit lead, and legislative topics. Some of the courses that your employees will benefit from attending are:

  • Incident and accident investigations – suited to SHEQ supervisors.
  • Health and safety – legal aspects.
  • SHEQ policy.
  • Shop floor quality awareness training.
  • Internal auditing – OHSAS 18001.

We recommend reviewing our training section for a list of relevant courses and to contact us to discuss your company’s specific training needs, in addition to assistance with SHEQ integration. We will also inform you regarding relevant training in all areas of the ISO management systems. In addition, we provide GAP analysis assistance and systems development and integration consultancy, ISO certification preparation, and maintenance of compliant systems.