Management systems

The definition of what a management system is can vary, but they all have in common that they are a tool to lead, plan, check, follow up and evaluate the organisation.

It is about a long-term, goal-oriented and systematic working method with the aim of constant improvement, that is, to set goals, carry out tasks with high quality, follow up results and learn from them, and improve different processes.

There are several types of management system. Today there are standards within areas such as, for example, quality, security, energy, outer environment, information, competence support and work environment. Organisations can also choose to certify themselves according to several of these standards. The differences between how different management systems are built are not so great, and there are many advantages to coordinating and integrating several management systems into one. And integration makes it simpler to steer and follow up the activities effectively. Furthermore, the risk of duplicating work and goals colliding with each other is reduced.

Systematic work environment management and other management systems

That our provisions about systematic work environment management (AFS 2001:1) are a management system is clear in the provisions' opening paragraphs. AFS 2001:1 has in its structure many similarities with other standardised management systems. There is, however, an important difference - AFS 2001:1 is a legal requirement that all employers must fulfil, while other management systems are normally voluntary. Since the beginning of the 2000s it is possible for organisations to certify themselves according to AFS 2001:1, but it is more common that organisations certify themselves according to the work environment standard OHSAS 18001. This standard contains partly ’must demands’ which conform to the provision. Partly the standard also states that one must identify all legal demands in the work environment area and fulfil them. Among the legal demands is AFS 2001:1, which entails that the requirements therein must be fulfilled in order for one to be certified according to OHSAS 18001.

Systematic work environment management (AFS 2001:01 ENG), provision

An organisation that is certified according to the standards ISO 9001 or ISO 14001, and which has not included work environment questions in their management systems or has a parallel system for work environment does not fulfil the requirements in AFS 2001:1.

Advantages to management systems

A management system builds, to a great extent, upon an organisation being managed by objective and thereby creating a well-ordered operation. A management system is an effective tool that creates prerequisites for a structured way of working and gives the organisation a better overview and control of the activities when tasks and responsibility are allocated within the organisation.

Through documented procedures that steer and coordinate the company, the company reduces its vulnerability, for example when key staff members leave. A clear allocation ensures that important tasks are not forgotten or ’fall between two stools’, and the company has control over whether they fulfil the legal requirements.


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Last updated 2020-12-14