QHSE Management System explained

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QHSE Management System: this article provides a practical explanation of QHSE Management System. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding about this quality management proces how you can judge your current situation and where you want it to be in the next three years. The article contains the definition of QHSE, advantages and practical tips. Enjoy reading!

What is the QHSE Management System?

QHSE is an acronym of Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment. A QHSE Management System is a management system aimed at quality, occupational health and safety, and the environment. It’s a tool for management to direct, manage, and develop the organisation. Thanks to this system, you are always alert of possible changes in legislation and regulations so you never risk a fine, occupational accident, or other issues.

The goal of the QHSE Management System is to ensure that the organisation complies with the relevant legislation and regulations in the field of occupational health and safety and the environment. Additionally, demands and wishes concerning quality, occupational health and safety, and environment must be managed for the stakeholders. Think of society, the employees, and customers.

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If the system is used to enable certification in the field of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, or ISO 45001, all standards must be applied. These ISO standards are important as these lead to the creation of a functional management system where constant improvement is supported.

Why QHSE Management System?

QHSE also stands for integration of Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environment Management Systems. Quality management system, Occupational Health and Safety management system, and Environment management system are all management systems.

Despite the specific goals and application areas, they have an identical structure and more or less rest on the same principle. When one management system is already present, this system can most likely serve as the basis for aspects of other management systems.

There are various advantages to implementing a QHSE Management System:

  • Meeting the legal requirements
    Within each organisations, it is important to meet the legal requirements. Although it requires time, money, and effort, it is of vital importance. You will receive an annual notification, allowing you to always meet the legal requirements.
  • Extra assurance for Quality, Occupational Health and Safety, and Environment

Quality Management

Quality Management refers to the relationship between the purchaser and supplier. In this way, the QHSE system can contribute to optimising the quality of your product or service to optimally assist the purchaser.

Occupational Health and Safety Management

With Occupational Health and Safety Management, you contribute to the wellbeing of your employees.

Environment Management

  • Environment management contributes to a better living environment. It also contributes to a better society and a better continuity of the organisation.
  • Overview of Requirements and Guidelines
    A QHSE system offers an overview of all requirements and guidelines that are important to the organisation.

QHSE Management System Coordinator

The QHSE coordinator has the role of initiator, stimulator, controller, and coordinator concerning the QHSE subjects and developments within the company. This makes him responsible for bringing quality, occupational health and safety, and environment to the attention and creating support for these.

In doing so, the QHSE coordinator functions as a bridge between employees and management. The position demands that the official is able to communicate well with both management and the employees as well as other interested parties.

Getting Started With a QHSE Management System

To properly carry out the QHSE Management System, an employee’s tasks are expanded. In larger organisations, a position is filled in the form of QHSE manager or coordinator. QHSE managers or coordinators can work in any type of organisation, but in practice, particularly medium-sized and large companies have a specific QHSE department and/or employee(s). The QHSE manager collaborates with quality employees, internal auditors, and environmental coordinators.

Several examples of components that are arranged for in a QHSE system include:

  • Policy and objectives
  • Relevant legislation and regulations and environmental permit
  • Processes within the organisation (primary and secondary)
  • Responsibilities, authorities, and training
  • Internal and external communication
  • Measuring and analysing processes
  • Constant improvement

Additionally, legally required components, such as a Risk Inventory & Evaluation and a company emergency response plan, are arranged for in the QHSE system.

Standards in Setting Up a QHSE System

ISO 9001 (Quality Management)

  • The basis of QHSE starts with ISO 9001 certification.
    ISO 9001 can be seen as a way to improve the business operations and the return through integral quality management.

The ISO 9001 criteria can be used by every type of organisation, irrespective of its size. The goal is to ensure that the customers consistently receive high-quality products and services. This is achieved through:

  • a strong customer orientation
  • the leadership of the top management
  • the process approach (processes managed as a system)
  • constant improvement
  • audits that check whether the management system works

The quality policy is a formal explanation of the management, closely connected to the operational and marketing plan and the customer’s needs. All employees in the organisation must understand and adhere to the quality policy. Each employee needs measurable objectives to work towards.

ISO 14001 (Environmental Management)

  • ISO 14001 provides a tool for organisations to manage their environmental policy and do more than simply meet legislation and regulations. Increasingly more attention is paid to the environmental achievements, where ISO 14001 offers a helping hand.
  • Companies view environmental management in the long term as their purpose. Additionally, stakeholders and clients set increasingly more demands regarding environmental policy.

ISO 14001 does not set requirements for environmental achievements. Instead, it creates a framework for setting up an effective environmental management system. It offers the certainty that the impact on the environment is monitored, measured, and improved. Advantages include:

  • Protecting the quality of the environment
  • Reduced costs for waste management and removal
  • Reduced use of energy and raw materials
  • Reduced distribution costs
  • Improved company image

OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series)

  • OHSAS 18001 stands for ‘Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series’, which means managing the health and safety on the workfloor. With the OHSAS standard, you can show that the working conditions in the organisation are in order.

OHSAS 18001 uses the same approach as ISO 14001, but has the goal to identify health and safety risks, reduce the risk of accidents, and create a safe and healthy work environment. Moreover, it offers guidelines for integrating the management of health and safety into the entire company management system.

Just like the two ISO standards, OHSAS 18001 demands formal documentation of the health and safety policy and documented evidence that the policy works according to the standard’s requirements. There must not only be practices that safeguard safety, you must also be able to demonstrate that you meet the legislation and demonstrate that the policy limits, minimises or eliminates risks.

To Summarise

Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) generally refers to a management mode that integrates the joint elements of the ISO9001, OHSAS18001, and ISO14001 standards.

An effective QHSE Management System requires a strong strategy, tactical implementation, and consistent evaluation to ensure that the work environment remains diligent. Managers must upgrade the QHSE system with the changing times and trends to create a strong, flexible and updated work environment.

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Now It’s Your Turn

What do you think? Are you familiar with the explanation of a QHSE Management System or do you have anything to add? When do you think this system is effective? What do you believe are success factors that contribute to the practical application of this theory?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information

  1. Derossi, C. R. F., & Bruno, J. C. S. (2004, January). Building an Effective QHSE System. In SPE International Conference on Health, Safety, and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  2. LI, Y., GONG, J., LAN, Y., & LIU, Y. (2013). Research on and Implementation of the QHSE Domain-wide Data Management System. Electronic Science and Technology, 8.
  3. Narayanan, S. I. (2006, January). Integrated Management System—Implementing QHSE Into Projects From Beginning to End. In Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  4. Shulin, S., Ximing, L., & Guohui, W. (2003). Preliminary Exploration in Establishing and Implementing QHSE Integrated Management System [J]. Technology Supervision in Petroleum Industry, 4.
  5. Wand, P. A., Bible, M., & Silvester, I. (2006, January). Risk-Based Reliability Engineering Enables Improved Rotary-Steerable-System Performance and Defines New Industry Performance Metric. In IADC/SPE Drilling Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  6. WU, Y., ZHANG, B. Y., & WANG, B. (2011). QHSE Appraisal Index System of Urban Sewage Treatment Enterprise [J]. Urban Environment & Urban Ecology, 5.

How to cite this article:
Sari, J. (2019). QHSE Management System. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero: https://www.toolshero.com/quality-management/qhse-management-system/

Original publication date: 10/06/2019 | Last update: 09/04/2023

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Jessie Sari
Article by:

Jessie Sari

Jessie Sari is a content writer at ToolsHero. Jessie studies Trade Management in Asia at the Hogeschool van Rotterdam. As part of her education, she focuses on building fundamental skills, including marketing, importing and exporting products and services in Asia, economy, finance, management, consultancy and project management.


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