Tag: inspection

Process NOT Perfection

I received the following question from a reader last week –

 When it comes time for our company to be audited on the OHSAS 18001 system, our auditor usually says, “Your Company has not identified ALL the hazards at your facility.”

…  I don’t believe that every potential hazard needs to be identified in order to be compliant.  I always explain this to the auditor, and address what it states in 4.3.1:

“The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for the ongoing hazard identification, risk assessment, and determination of necessary controls.”

… I don’t feel our auditor is correct in saying we are not compliant because we have not identified all potential hazards.

I really would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

You are correct in your analysis of the requirement in Section 4.3.1 of OHSAS 18001. What is required – and what auditors should be looking for – is a process NOT perfection.

This is an important distinction and a fundamental principle underlying all of the ISO management system standards and OHSAS 18001.  It is one of the 14 Points for Management that Deming emphasized in his 1982 book, Out of the Crisisand it is what the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach is all about.

To illustrate the difference, consider how one goes about controlling a manufacturing line making widgets.  There are 2 different approaches that can be used to ensure quality widgets – an inspection approach and a management system approach.

July 13, 2011 | 0 Comments More