DIN SPEC 91020 published
B•A•D GmbH and DIN present a new cooperative standard on occupational health management certification
(2012-07-04) A more satisfied workforce, increased productivity and an improved corporate image are only a few of the benefits of occupational health management (OHM), a concept that requires investment not only in the health of each and every member of staff but in the organization as a whole. More and more companies are realising this while at the same time wondering which course of action they should take to optimize their activities. The new DIN SPEC 91020 "Occupational health management", presented by B•A•D Gesundheitsvorsorge und Sicherheitstechnik GmbH and DIN, the German Institute for Standardization in Berlin, provides the first generally recognized standard in the field. The specification sets out requirements relating to occupational health management systems, giving organizations of all types and all sizes in all sectors guidance on how to set up and implement an OHM system. It can also be used as a basis for accredited certification. The DIN SPEC was the initiative of B•A•D GmbH and was developed by a committee of experts. The project management and publication of the DIN SPEC, which can be purchased from Beuth Verlag (priced from 62.60 euros), was overseen by DIN's Coordination Office for Management System Standardization (KoSMaS). DIN also saw to it that operational health management systems already on the market were taken into account in the new DIN SPEC 91020 and that all stakeholders in the field were involved in the development process.
Specification defines requirements for an OHM system
"If a company wishes to implement an OHM it has to provide the right framework conditions, structures and processes if this is to be a success, and the new specification lays down the requirements an OHM system has to meet," explains Professor Bernd Siegemund, Chairman of the Board of B•A•D GmbH.
One of the aspects the specification addresses is the role played by the corporate environment, for an OHM can only be successful if it takes external influences and reference groups into consideration. Another important aspect is the corporate management culture within the company. The subject of health has to be firmly anchored in the management and core processes of the company, and occupational health must play an integral part in corporate policy. The specification also contains the requirement that the process be carried out in a strategic and systematic way. This needs a phase of planning and analysis in which health risks and opportunities are determined and concrete objectives set. In the implementation phase the company must not only make all necessary resources and competences available but must also provide the right internal communication structures and supply appropriate documentation. In addition, the organization must continually evaluate the OHM system in respect of its optimization potential, and must make improvements as appropriate. These are just a few of the conditions that need to be met.
Integrating BGM in existing management systems
In the fields of quality, OHS, environmental protection and risk management, established standards exist which are the basis for certification by accredited, independent conformity assessment organizations. The development of the DIN SPEC means that thanks to B•A•D GmbH there is now a certifiable OHM system . "The specification lays down health management requirements that are in line with existing managements systems such as DIN EN ISO 9001," says Dr. Andrea Fluthwedel, Manager of KoSMaS. This enables the occupational health management system to be integrated in existing management systems. "This was ensured by basing the structure of the specification on ISO Guide 83," continues Dr. Fluthwedel. There are obvious benefits: additional management requirements such as quality, OHS and environmental protection can be rapidly incorporated in existing systems, duplication of work is avoided, synergies are generated, optimum use is made of human and financial resources, and there is greater process transparency.
Specification is the first step towards accredited OHM certification
"The demand to establish OHM systems is growing fast," confirms Prof. Siegemund. "At the same time there is a great need for guidance. This is why we are committed to BGM certification as this sets out certain standards that companies are required to meet". The new specification is the first step in the right direction. Its advantage is that the management finds out from an independent company where it stands and receive an impetus to improve the system. Involvement in certification also means that the management commits the company to a process of continual improvement.
Parallel to developing the DIN SPEC, B•A•D GmbH began the process of applying for accreditation by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS), the national accreditation body for the Federal Republic of Germany. The accreditation application and the management manual were modified to ensure their conformity with ISO Guide 83 and the requirements in the DIN SPEC. In March the Accreditation Committee agreed to begin the accreditation procedure. In a further step, proceedings will begin to develop a European or International Standard with the concomitant internationalization of the accreditation process.
B•A•D Gesundheitsvorsorge und Sicherheitstechnik GmbH
The B•A•D Group and its more than 2,800 experts in Germany and other European countries provide services in a wide range of prevention areas to 250,000 enterprises with four million employees. B•A•D GmbH with its European TeamPrevent subsidiaries is one of the largest European providers of prevention services (OHS, security, human resources). B•A•D GmbH provides companies with support in the setting up and long-term management of an OHM system. They can rely on a network of leading experts for occupational health and safety across Germany that pursue a holistic management approach, offering consultancy services to companies and giving them practical guidance in the planning, introduction, implementation and evaluation of OHM measures.
For further information on OHM services by B•A•D GmbH go to www.bgm.info.
DIN German Institute for Standardization
DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, offers stakeholders a platform for the development of standards as a service to industry, the state and society as a whole. Some 28,000 experts contribute their skills and experience to the standardization process. DIN is a registered private non-profit organization. In addition to the formal and consensus based standardization, DIN also offers the opportunity to establish specifications. In times of ever shortening innovation cycles, technology convergence and global competition, the specification procedure offers a fast way of getting a (cooperative) standard published. Because it is not absolutely necessary to reach a consensus, DIN SPECs can be tried out and applied on the market more quickly, thus enhancing the efficiency of knowledge transfer.