QHSE – which stands for quality, health, safety and environment – has taken a more prominent role in companies over the years. Its goal is not just to improve workplace environment and safety, It also results in more sustainable production processes.
QHSE: What is it and why is it so important?
QHSE improves a number of aspects within companies. It has an impact on their efficiency, effectiveness and productivity, all of which are vital to their proper operation. By boosting these facets, you are laying the foundation for ensuring client satisfaction. It also offers additional long-term benefits, especially if you follow certain good practices.
Definition of QHSE
It may be complicated to understand exactly what QHSE is. One way of looking at it is as a set of procedures and techniques that a company can implement to optimise its processes and ensure compliance with international standards.
It provides businesses with a suitable framework which allows them to upgrade the way in which they manage and perform in a number of key areas. This is vital for ensuring long-term company success and workforce well-being.
The four pillars of QHSE: quality, health, safety and environment
QHSE is comprised of four cornerstones:
- Quality. This means fulfilling your clients’ requirements and expectations. This can be achieved by establishing management systems that are focused on this ultimate goal. It also requires setting up a series of controls and standards to make sure you stay on the right track.
- Health. It is of utmost importance to promote health in the workplace to guarantee the well-being of your company’s employees and prevent accidents in the workplace. Identifying risks and outlining measures to mitigate them will ensure progress in this regard.
- Safety. This goes hand in hand with the previous point when managing problems that arise within the organisation. Here, a preventive approach is the key to success.
- Environment. This aspect includes measures to reduce the organisation’s negative impact on its surroundings. In addition, by implementing environmental management systems it also promotes sustainable practices.
By considering these four aspects, you can help your organisation work better for its employees and society as a whole.
What’s the difference between QHSE and HSE?
The two concepts are similar, although there are a few differences. The major one is that QHSE also includes quality. This affects the company’s processes and the products or services it offers. In addition, HSE usually only applies to industries such as construction and mining.
Why is it important to implement a QHSE system in your company?
The most important feature of a QHSE system is that it impacts all key business areas. It enables companies to provide more effective protection to their employees, while also positively influencing the community that they form part of thanks to the safety measures they introduce.
It’s impossible to understate the importance of improving in terms of quality and efficiency. Both characteristics enhance the way in which the company operates and boost client satisfaction. This results in an excellent reputation and increased trust in the company.
The role of a QHSE manager in a company
Now that we know what QHSE means and entails, the time has come to meet the person who is responsible for managing and planning it. Thanks to the work of this person, companies can develop a system that is tailored to their needs and that offers future flexibility.
Responsibilities of a QHSE manager
The main duties of a QHSE manager include:
- Developing and maintaining the QHSE system.
- Identifying and assessing the main risks.
- Managing compliance with the different regulations and laws.
- Training and raising the awareness of the workforce.
- Analysing and continuously improving the system.
- Coordinating and communicating with management and other departments.
- Evaluating suppliers and contractors.
Key skills and competencies of a QHSE manager
In order to enjoy a successful career as a QHSE manager, the following skills and competencies are a must:
- Profound technical knowledge of issues relating to quality, health, safety and the environment. A firm grasp of the rules that govern these areas is also vital.
- Leadership ability, as they are required to spearhead the management of these aspects of the company.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving ability.
- Organisation, time management, prioritising and setting targets.
- Ability to work in a team and communicate effectively.
- Attention to detail.
Developing these skills will help a QHSE manager perform their job as effectively as possible.
QHSE in companies: how to implement an effective QHSE system
In order to implement the system and ensure that it is effective, we need to guarantee maximum quality while developing it, delegate responsibilities and set clear objectives. One of the ways we can do this is by:
Analysing risks and opportunities
This begins with studying the risks that the company is exposed to. This must be exhaustively done for each of the four pillars. In addition, you have to be aware of the improvement opportunities that may arise during this process.
Setting QHSE objectives and policies
These objectives and policies will be based on the data that you collected during the previous step. They must be clear and aligned with the company’s values. Once they are ready, share them with every employee so that they can start doing their part to fulfil them.
Developing and maintaining procedures
The system needs to be applied in a procedural manner. What this means is that the required tasks must be fully developed in order to execute it. This will involve all aspects of the company, from operations to finance. As such, it will cover all aspects of the company’s business.
Training and communicating with employees
In order for the company’s employees to fulfil their duties, they need to be properly trained. The goal is to provide them with the knowledge they need to perform their job as best they can. Meanwhile, it is important to communicate with them to keep them up to date with any changes to the system.
Monitoring, measuring and continuously improving QHSE performance
Once the system is up and running, you’ll need to monitor it in order to check that the objectives you’ve set are being achieved. This will help prevent major deviations and allow you to introduce the necessary improvements.
Conclusions are perspectives
QHSE enables companies to bolster their business activity. Implementing a solid QHSE system leads them to become more stable and ensures long-term growth, which in turn gives them a competitive edge. What’s more, this system will not cease to be relevant in just a few years. A number of regulations and standards cover this issue and even the European Union is driving forward the matter.
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