What is Occupational Health & Safety Management?
Occupational health and safety management (also called safety management) deals with the organization of all areas of occupational safety, health and safety in workplaces. In general, management includes the alignment, planning, steering, initiating, controlling and continuous improvement of structures, processes, and activities.
Companies are not explicitly, but only indirectly obliged to introduce an occupational safety and health management system. According to § 3 of the Work Protection Law, the employer(s) must provide a suitable occupational safety and health organization and the necessary resources to ensure effective occupational safety and health.
The employer must also take precautions to ensure that the occupational safety measures are followed in every activity and within the company structures’ framework and that the employees can meet their obligation to cooperate.
Aim of the occupational health and safety management
Occupational health and safety management aims to manage internal measures to protect employees from occupational accidents, occupational diseases, and work-related health hazards and promote health in the best sense and within legal requirements.
The aim of occupational health and safety management should be to manage companies so that occupational health and safety as corporate goals are equated and in harmony with other corporate goals. They are consistently implemented in all areas of the company, organizational and work levels.
What is an occupational safety and health management system?
Since the regulations and laws to be observed in the area of occupational safety are very extensive, it is advisable to introduce an occupational safety management system, such as ISO 45001. It enables the employer to implement the prescribed occupational safety regulations effectively.
At the same time, the employer with an occupational health and safety management system fulfills his documentation obligations and can use it to prove that the duty to organize the company and workplaces safely and healthily is being fulfilled.
The introduction of an occupational health and safety management system means additional expenditure. However, the company’s cost-effectiveness and safety can be increased by systematic occupational health and safety management.
The occupational safety manager
The responsibility for occupational health and safety always lies with the employer and his deputy. However, the company doctor, the occupational safety specialist and the employee representatives should always be involved in occupational safety management. It is advisable to appoint a representative for occupational safety management.
The employer can appoint any internal employee or external service provider (consultant, engineering office, etc.) as a representative. It is advisable if the selected representative has the appropriate qualification and suitability.
It can be useful if the occupational safety specialist also takes on this task, as it can usually be assumed that he has the appropriate qualifications and aptitude. In this case, however, the employer must check whether the available time quota for fulfilling the tasks still allows this.
In the case of suitable positions, a certificate of qualification as an occupational health and safety management representative can also be submitted. Often these further trainings refer to the handling of an occupational safety management system.