C2.17 Integrated Management Systems


Many companies hold certification to more than one standard (ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001). Rather than operate two or three separate management systems, it can be more efficient to operate one integrated system that meets the requirements of all standards.

We have seen previously that there are several similarities in the different standards. It can be straightforward to integrate the procedures, especially in the common areas such as document control, communication and management review.

The benefits of integration can include eliminating duplication of effort, for example, by combining inspections, audits, objectives and targets and management reviews. This can save time and reduce costs. There can be conflict between separate systems, which is eliminated when they are integrated. Integration can reduce paperwork, which can result in better understanding of the overall management system by employees and therefore greater cooperation in its implementation.

However, it is always important to remember that environment, safety and quality are separate disciplines and indeed professions. No-one can be an expert in everything. The challenge is to up-skill your HSEQ staff without losing the expertise in the individual disciplines.