Christel Fouche

Implement your SHE Management system from scratch with the help of BS8555

  • September 18th, 2007

How many of us know when and where to start with the implementation process of an Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental (SHE) Management System?

Many issues need to be addressed such as the cost of the implementation, what resources will be needed, the time it will take to implement and the cost involved.

A useful tool to consider when starting with the implementation process is the BS8555 Management System Implementation Plan.


This standard was introduced in 2003 to help SMEs to achieve ISO14001 by taking a phased approached to implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). The phased EMS implementation approach used by BS 8555 breaks down the process of installing a formal EMS into five levels. A sixth level allows organisations to develop systems, with the possibility of seeking recognition against the internationally accepted
EMS standard, ISO 14001.

After each phase of the scheme has been implemented, the organisation can either assess themselves through internal audits, allow major customers to assess them against the appropriate phase criteria or be assessed by a third party to ensure that the requirements of each phase have been met.

As part of Phase 6, the organisation can choose to have an additional audit to ensure that the organisation’s EMS meets all of the requirements of ISO 14001 and if successful the organisation would receive an ISO 14001 certificate.


With the new OHSAS18001 now even more closely aligned with ISO14001 than ever before, it just made sense to use and adapt this tool for Integrated management system implementation.

I have hereunder applied the BS8555 to the concept of SHE integration. What follows is a synopsis of this document (adapted).

This document consists of a six phase plan on implementing a system:

  1. Seven Stage Profile
    1. Gaining & Maintaining Managements Commitment
    2. Baseline Risk Assessments
    3. Developing a draft SHE Policy
    4. Developing SHE Indicators
    5. Develop an Initial SHE Implementation Plan
    6. Training, Awareness, Competence & the initiation of the Culture Change
    7. Initiation of continual improvement
  2. Four Stage Profile
    1. Identify relevant legal requirements
    2. Identify other requirements
    3. Check compliance with legal & other requirements
    4. Ensuring compliance
    5. Developing compliance indicators
  3. Seven Stage Profile
    1. Evaluation of aspects, impacts, hazards & risks
    2. Finalizing the SHE Policy
    3. Developing objectives and targets
    4. Establish indicators for SHE performance evaluation
    5. Develop the SHE management programme
    6. Develop operational control procedures
    7. Launch the policy, objectives, targets & indicators
  4. Six Stage Profile
    1. Finalize management structure and responsibilities
    2. Training, awareness & competence plans & records
    3. Establishing & maintaining formal communication
    4. Documentation & record keeping
    5. Reviewing and Testing Emergency Preparedness & Response
    6. Measuring features of the SHE Management System
  5. Five Stage Profile
    1. Establishing Audit programmes
    2. Correcting Non-conformances & Taking preventive action
    3. Management Review
    4. Improving SHE Performance
    5. Improving the SHE Management System
  6. Six Stage Profile
    1. Preparing for External Assessment & of the SHE Management System (ISO14001 & OHSAS1800)
    2. Review Baseline
    3. Review of Implementation
    4. Develop Reportable Information
    5. Auditing the System & Performance
    6. Preparing for verification & certification

Each of these sections/divisions is then further divided into a project start and finish date (divided further into quarters); a project leader is assigned; & budgeted and actual costs is identified.

An example of the format is:

BS5888 implementation form

If you would like to comment on this article or for further information regarding this wonderful tool, you are welcome to use the comment function hereunder.

5 responses to “Implement your SHE Management system from scratch with the help of BS8555”

  1. Margi Reid says:

    Hello Christel, I am the SHE Co-Ordinator for Duco Speciality Coatings (part of the Chemserve Group). Could you please email an example of the BS8555 implementation form – I am unable to access the link above.
    Thanks so much.
    Kind regards
    Margi Reid

  2. Hi Margi
    The BS5888 focusses on Environment only – I have however redesigned it to include H&S as well – I am forwarding this doc to you via your e-mail address. Regards Christel.

  3. Driekie Fourie says:

    I need assistance in implementing a SHE(Q) system for our company. Can you recommend a consultant in my area – Northriding (Johannesburg). This system needs to be implemented urgently.

  4. moses says:

    Hi Christel I’m a safety officer for the exploration drilling company, our company is in need of the she management system that must be in place at the end of this month from our client i.e. Anglo Platinum will be glad if you can send me the above doc on my e-mail I also studied Incident Inv @ your institution in Pta and met you once there must say I admired your success.

  5. Gulliver says:

    Hello Christel
    I am a safety officer and busy working on a SHEQ System for our company. I cant access the link, can you please email me the document, I have my own list I am following but this would help a lot
    Thank You
    Kind Regards

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