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Organisational development and OHS management in large organisations

Frick, Kaj

Description

How Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSM) is implemented is important. It is intended to be a linchpin in the existing systems of improving OHS. A more systematic and integrated management of OHS is to make the regulation, advice, and local co-operation work more effectively and efficiently to improve the work environment. OHSM therefore touches most of the major issues in the organisation and regulation of OHS. Several of these, I will only mention briefly, as they are dealt with in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorFrick, Kaj
dc.date.accessioned2003-10-28
dc.date.accessioned2004-05-19T15:12:00Z
dc.date.accessioned2011-01-05T08:46:20Z
dc.date.available2004-05-19T15:12:00Z
dc.date.available2011-01-05T08:46:20Z
dc.date.created2003
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/41223
dc.identifier.urihttp://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/41223
dc.description.abstractHow Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSM) is implemented is important. It is intended to be a linchpin in the existing systems of improving OHS. A more systematic and integrated management of OHS is to make the regulation, advice, and local co-operation work more effectively and efficiently to improve the work environment. OHSM therefore touches most of the major issues in the organisation and regulation of OHS. Several of these, I will only mention briefly, as they are dealt with in more depth in other papers. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of what implementing OHSM requires of employers and their organisations, and of the obstructions to and supporting factors for such an implementation (see further Frick et al. 2000a). As organisational problems are major stumbling blocks for a successful OHSM, the organisational development needed to overcome these obstacles will be given special attention. But with this broad scope, I should first clarify the meaning of my central concepts: 'Occupational Health and Safety Management' has no generally accepted definition. It is variously specified in a growing number of regulations, standards and marketed OHSM-systems. I will use the simple but principal definition of Frick et al. (2000b: 3) of OHSM as a limited number of mandated principles for a systematic management of OH&S, applicable to all types of employers including the small ones. This explicitly contrasts OHSM to the more specified and complex OHSM systems (see 4. below). The term 'organisations' is used in the broad sense of employers (which are regulated) and their firms (in which the regulations are to implemented), including schools and other public 'firms'. 'Large' organisations means that I will not go much into the special problems of small firms, in OHS in general and to implement OHSM in particular (on this, see Walters, 2001; and the paper to this conference by Walters and Lamm). 'Organisational development' is used in the practical sense of any (major) organisational and management changes, which aim to make the organisation more capable to co-operate to achieve its objectives. Finally, the OHSM I discuss is the regulated one. This is partly because of my EU background, where OHSM is mandatory since around 1993 (see 2. below). However, the same need for a broad scope – and therefore to develop the organisation and its management – applies to any OHSM which aims to improve health at work, and not only to reduce an indicator such as rate of Lost Time Injuries (LTI) or of worker compensation claims. The paper consists of two main parts. The first focuses on the aim, content and workplace implementation of the regulated OHSM, divided into: 2. The broad scope of EU's Framework Directive 89/391/EEC ('FD' below), which is the major example of regulated OHSM. 3. The crucial role of work organisation in OHS and for its management. 4. Differences between regulated OHSM and voluntary, marketed OHSM systems, with national standards as intermediates. 5. Some data on the slow implementation of the FD, especially its requirement to integrate organisational factors in the assessment and prevention of risks. I then discuss some factors, against and for the OHSM implementation, divided into: 6. How the structure of the economy, conflicting interests and inherent management limitations obstruct the implementation of regulated OHSM. 7. How an effective OHSM therefore requires a customised development of the general management. 8. The limited capacity and competence of the pro OHS actors to demand and support such an organisational development of OHSM. 9. Some general factors in the economy and some special OHS efforts, which do support the improvements in OHSM. Finally, I will (in section 10.) discuss what these aims and problems of implementing OHSM implies for public policies, which try to improve OHS through both mandatory regulation and voluntary promotion of OHSM.
dc.format.extent263633 bytes
dc.format.extent355 bytes
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/octet-stream
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subjectOHS
dc.subjectoccupational health and safety
dc.subjectmanagement
dc.subjectEU's Framework Directive 89/391/EEC
dc.subjectimplementation
dc.subjectpublic policies
dc.subjectmandatory regulation
dc.subjectpromotion
dc.titleOrganisational development and OHS management in large organisations
dc.typeWorking/Technical Paper
local.description.notesThis paper was first presented at the conference Australian OHS Regulation for the 21st Century, National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation & National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, Gold Coast, July 20-22, 2003.
local.description.refereedno
local.identifier.citationmonthjul
local.identifier.citationyear2003
local.identifier.eprintid2183
local.rights.ispublishedyes
dc.date.issued2003
local.contributor.affiliationNational Research Centre for OHS Regulation
local.contributor.affiliationANU
local.citationWorking Paper 14
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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