یادگیری سازمانی و بهبود مستمر سلامتی و ایمنی در تولید کنندگان دارای گواهینامه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4068||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Safety Science, Volume 49, Issue 7, August 2011, Pages 1030–1039
Certified management systems have increasingly been applied by firms in recent decades and now cover the management of health and safety, principally through the OHSAS 18001 standard. In order to become certified, firms must not only observe the relevant legislation, but also improve performance and raise goals within health and safety on a continuous basis. The article examines how certified occupational and health management systems influence this process to evaluate how far they hinder or support learning. It presents a model with which it is possible to identify and analyse improvement processes. The model is applied to five cases from a qualitative study of Danish manufacturers with certified health and safety management systems. The cases illustrate the wide variation in health and safety management among certified firms. Certification is found to support lower levels of continuous improvement performance in handling health and safety issues. However, more advanced improvement practices are shown to be connected to the integration of health and safety in other managerial areas, as well as to the employment of similar advanced improvement processes within firms. The article argues that certified health and safety management does not obstruct learning, and can support advanced learning. Improvement practices with regard to health and safety are mainly dependent upon the firm’s overall organisational processes and do not automatically arise from the standard alone.
Certified management systems are increasingly used by enterprises to document and develop conformance in a variety of different areas. Within the past decade, the application of certification has spread from documenting quality standards to additional areas, including the management of occupational health and safety (OHS). The certification of occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) is a form of soft regulation requiring the company to fulfil certain legal obligations as well as engage in organisational processes to promote the continuous improvement of health and safety conditions. Specific to OHSMS certification is that it liberates companies from direct public control and can thus be regarded as a self-regulatory regime. However, OHSMS certification is a conformance specification that demonstrates that the organization’s OHSMS is potentially capable, it is not a performance specification. In Denmark, the certification of OHSMS has been available since 2001, and the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment System (OHSAS) 18000 series is becoming the dominant international standard for assessing health and safety management processes in the country. The 2007 version is increasingly aligned to the ISO quality and environment standards, strengthening the integration of different management systems (BS, 2007). OHSMS has been criticized for a proclivity to increase the bureaucratisation of health and safety issues and hence discourage genuine worker involvement (Nielsen, 2000). OHSMS is understood to shift the focus from health and safety problems towards bureaucratic control. This implies that in terms of health and safety it is potentially worthless or even regressive (Else and Beaumont, 2000, Kamp and Blansch, 2000 and Quilan and Mayhew, 2000). Kamp and Blansch (2000) argue that the requirements of these systems are unlikely to support learning because they do not promote creativity and experimentation. Organizations may also adopt health and safety management systems in order to manage external pressures, and at the same time maintain the same internal structures. In these cases, internal processes are decoupled from external image and prevent learning processes from occurring. Several examples can be found in the literature dealing with management systems. Kostova and Roth (2002) showed that decoupling occurred in the context of quality management. Kimerling (2001) suggests that decoupling is likely to occur in the adoption of ethics codes when external pressures for adoption are high. These cases would imply that OHSMS may hinder learning for three main reasons: they are based on management models not supportive of learning; they increase organisational bureaucracy and shift the focus away from health and safety problems; and decoupling is a substantial risk. Other researchers argued that OHSMS may trigger a learning process which results in improvements to health and safety (Rocha, 2010 and Zwetsloot, 2000). Hudson (2000) argues that safety control has changed from an unsystematic though well-intentioned collection of processes and standards to a systematic means to achieve improvements. However, precisely how improvement practices are facilitated and whether certification of health and safety management advances a firm’s improvement practices is still not evident (King et al., 2005, Robson et al., 2007 and Rocha, 2010). An important characteristic of the OHSAS standard is the requirement for improvement processes on a continual basis. To analyse improvement practices at the firm level with regards to health and safety, we apply the management perspective continuous improvement (CI) (Bessant, 2000 and Boer et al., 2000). Firms’ improvement practices can be rudimentary or advanced, reflecting less or more advanced organisational learning or even counter-productive learning (Argyris and Schön, 1996, Bessant, 2000, Elkjaer, 1999 and Ellström, 2001). Lower levels of CI are characterised by measurement and feedback structures. Advanced CI demands structures that encourage the generation and sharing of ideas and reflections, as well as a strong culture to drive improvements in production and managerial processes and company-wide participation (Anand et al., 2009, Bessant and Caffyn, 1997, Bessant, 2000 and Boer et al., 2000). In spite of their importance, CI perspectives have mostly been applied with reference to quality management (e.g. Bessant et al., 1994, Oliver, 2009 and Terziovski and Power, 2007). The objective of this article is to examine how certification influences the management of health and safety improvement practices and whether certification hinders or promotes learning. It analyses these issues on the basis of both the requirements of the certification process and firms’ actual practices. To achieve this, continuous improvement and organisational learning perspectives are integrated in a single analytical model.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Certification of health and safety management systems within OHSAS 18001 requires policies for the improvement of health and safety performance and systematic attention to the issue on an on-going basis. The article utilizes a model with which it is possible to analyze the improvement processes linked to OHSMS and applies it to the OHSMS practices of five Danish manufacturers. The article shows that there are opportunities for supporting learning in certified OHSMS and that certification does not obstruct learning. However, advanced organisational learning and reaching advanced levels of continuous improvements (CI) with regards to health and safety are connected to the firm’s overall organisational processes and are not an intrinsic characteristic of the OHSMS. As illustrated by one case, which supports the CI literature, more advanced levels of performance require additional management support for organisational learning and CI targets, such as suggestions, employee involvement, and room for experimentation and reflection. The general integration of OHSMS improvement practices within the organisation and within other managerial areas has significance for the CI processes, whereas the maturity of the CI approach has been found to be less influential than the literature would lead one to expect. This article has focused on Danish manufacturers, their application of certified OHSMS and their improvement performance with regard to health and safety. Future research could contribute by focusing on the role of the auditing bureaus. Other relevant areas of enquiry may be alternative sectors such as the public sector. Cross-country studies could shed light on the influence of certification under different institutional conditions, and how to support advanced improvement practices of health and safety in these environments. Further research could explore the role of CI management in the innovation of health and safety practices beyond the structured approaches, by emphasis on human relations and employee participation, as suggested by Zwetsloot et al. (2007).