Implementing an occupational safety and health management system in a commercial laboratory

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Implementing an occupational safety and health management system in a commercial laboratory


Author: Louie, Tip-kau
Title: Implementing an occupational safety and health management system in a commercial laboratory
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Laboratories -- China -- Hong Kong -- Safety measures -- Case studies
Industrial safety -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Industrial hygiene -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: vi, 95 leaves : ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Competing in a global market arena, with increasing quality demands and price-sensitive competition, has heightened the awareness of continuous improvements and breakthroughs in quality to achieve competitive advantages. Many business enterprises have been taking their initiatives with adopting the ISO 9000 quality assurance system toward total quality management (TQM), and integrating the ISO 9000 and TQM practices has been a strategic quality movement. Moreover, the increasing awareness and importance of the environmental and safety compliance requirements also imposed pressures on the success of any enterprises in industry. The top management of Intertek Testing Services Hong Kong Limited (ITS-HK) realized that other than "quality", "safety and health" is also played a very important role to its business due to the observation of the following strategic issues: an increasing trend in the accident rate of the company which affect the quality and productivity of the testing services due to the absenteeism of injured or ill-health staff; occupational safety and health issues should be incorporated into the TQM environment; the quick evolution of various national guidelines or standards on safety and health in recent years which revealed its importance and is also an international trend; the enforcement of safety and health legislation by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Thus, taking a strategic move to establish an Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) has been decided by the top management in order to enhance the safety and health of the company. In this dissertation, the applicable statutory requirements related to the safety and health issues in the laboratory environment were reviewed. Moreover, after studying the various national OSHMS standards and guidelines, an OSHMS model which based on the standard BS8800 : 1996 using the ISO14001 implementation approach had been proposed. Detail elements of the model and its implementation processes were described. Clearly, effective occupational safety and health (OSH) management will not just happen. From the outset there needs to be commitment at the highest level and a proactive approach from the organization to addressing all OSH issues. This involves taking positive action to introduce and establish an OSH management system which is supported at every level throughout the organization. As a matter of fact, the processes of implementation are very similar to those of ISO9000 quality management system and ISO14000 environmental management system. After establishing and implementing the OSHMS, the safety performance of ITS-HK is obviously improved as revealed from its proactive and preventive measurements. By comparing the accident statistics before setting up the OSHMS and the one after implementing the OSHMS, one could observe that the total number of accidents, the accident rate and also the working day loss due to accident are reduced. For such a successful implementation of OSHMS, there is one guaranteed recipe: total commitment from managers and the organization by adopting a proactive and structured approach to identify hazards in the workplace and evaluating and controlling work-related risks. Finally, an overall conclusion with key successful factors for the implementation of the OSHMS and recommendations for further improvement have been made.

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