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Building on its existing ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification, Toshiba Medical Systems Ltd. has recently gained OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System certification.

Building on its existing ISO 9001 quality management system and ISO 14001 environmental management system certification, Toshiba Medical Systems Ltd. has recently gained OHSAS 18001 occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system certification.

About Toshiba Medical Systems

Part of Toshiba Corporation of Japan, which employs around 200,000 people worldwide, Toshiba Medical Systems division is a leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and services. These include X-Ray, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computerised tomography) and ultrasound systems.

Crawley, West Sussex-based Toshiba Medical Systems Ltd. employs some 120 people. The company has held ISO 9001 certification since the mid-1990s and ISO 14001 certification since 2008.

Why OHSAS 18001?

Darryl Collin, Quality Assurance Manager for Toshiba Medical Systems, says: “We’ve grown rapidly over the past five years but did not have a formalised OH&S system in place. We recognised this needed to be addressed to keep employees safe.

“In addition we knew that hospitals are becoming more aware of their sub-contractors’ responsibilities and would expect to see formalised systems for all OH&S issues. It’s against this changing situation that we decided OHSAS 18001 would be the best way forward.”

Assessment

Toshiba Medical Systems selected SGS to undertake a pre-audit and gap analysis of its developing OH&S management system, both at its Crawley head office and a new CT installation at Nottingham City Hospital. This aimed to assess the company’s readiness for the certification audit.

Darryl Collin says: “We chose SGS because we had used the company for our ISO 14001 assessment and were very satisfied with the service provided. In the pre-audit and certification audit for OHSAS 18001, we found SGS’ assessor to be knowledgeable and practical. As before, this made the whole process run smoothly, with everyone involved understanding what was happening.”

SGS Systems & Services Certification Auditor Doreen Haddow carried out the ‘stage 1’ gap analysis and pre-audit, then the ‘stage 2’ certification audit several months later. “Toshiba Medical Systems didn’t rush into it,” she says. “The company took a good, steady, staged approach to addressing all the issues involved, particularly issues out in the field, and involved the entire management team and staff. They were keen to get their management system working well, ahead of the assessment.”

Darryl Collin says: “Around 80% of our operations are field based, which makes training and communication more challenging, so we did put ourselves under a lot of pressure. The staff pulled together though and we got everything implemented and audited on time.”

Certification

Toshiba Medical Systems’ OHSAS 18001 certification is valid for the three years to November 2013, subject to six-monthly on-site surveillance checks by an accredited assessor such as SGS.

“I think we’ve achieved a lot in a fairly short period of time but, at the moment, it’s like we’ve just passed our driving test,” says Darryl Collin. “Now we need to learn how to get the most out of our new OH&S system.”

Benefits of OHSAS 18001 Certification

Led by its management team and safety committee, Toshiba Medical Systems’ OHSAS 18001 OH&S management system is based on a target-plan-do-review cycle of continual improvement. Its features and benefits include:

  • A strong, formalised focus on OH&S performance
  • Clearer, thoroughly documented roles and responsibilities, helping to improve responses and accountability
  • The systematic identification, assessment, monitoring and minimisation of hazards and risks
  • Increased compliance with legislation such as COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health) and DSE (display screen equipment)
  • Better emergency preparedness, procedures and responses
  • Improved consultation and communication with staff, clients and suppliers
  • A healthier, better trained, more informed, more competent workforce
  • Improved accident and incident investigation and reporting
  • System-based preventative and corrective action

Darryl Collin says: “Through OHSAS 18001 we’ve raised health and safety awareness within our organisation, enhanced our legal compliance and made sure our clients are happy that we’re safe when we install or service equipment on their sites.

“In addition, certification to OHSAS 18001 has made it easier for us to respond to client tenders.”

Priorities

“Our biggest risk is our 82 company car drivers,” says Darryl Collin. “One of our priorities will be to work with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to raise our drivers’ awareness of risks.” In another initiative, all the company’s service engineers will undertake CCNSG (Client Contractor National Safety Group) Safety Passport courses to further strengthen workplace safety.

Toshiba Medical Systems is also improving the control of sub-contractors working on site. In addition, following a recent near-miss, the company has added speed bumps and pedestrian walkways to its head office car park.

Future Plans

Toshiba Medical Systems has already partly integrated its three management systems. The company may fully integrate its OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 management systems, enabling them to be assessed together. Long-term plans may include implementing the ISO 27001 information security management system standard.

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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 67,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.