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Monday, 30 June 2008

Integrated Management Systems

The old favorite ISO9001, quality Management Standard, is often combined with ISO14001, Environmental Management Standard and more and more a three way integration is being called for. The third element is BS OHSAS 18001, Occupational Health & Safety Standard. The advantage of having a truly integrated system is that there are elements of all three Standards that are similar or the same:

  • All three Standards have a document control requirement;

  • The control of records is specified in all three Standards;

  • Training, competence & awareness is seen in all three Standards;

  • All three Standards have a requirement for internal auditing;

  • Management review is seen as the lynch pin for all the Standards;

  • Monitoring and measuring devices are used in each Standard;

  • Continual Improvement is key to all three;

  • Corrective action and Preventive Action are prime requirements.

It is clear with this amount of synergy, the effort in putting the standards into place can be greatly reduced, as can the costs. The benefits to the organisation can be immense and the incorporation of an integrated management system says a great deal about you:

  • It says in clear and unequivocal terms that you care about the quality of your products and/or services.

  • You care about the degree to which your customers are satisfied.

  • You care about the environment and the effect your operation is having on the planet.

  • You care about the health, safety and welfare of your employees, contractors and visitors.

And finally that you are sufficiently confident to get these systems externally tested and certificated.

Many Companies looking to place contracts and purchase goods are looking for organisations that have ISO9001 and increasingly have green credentials as well and look after their staff and can demonstrate it.

An Integrated System is the answer.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Environmentally sound and safe as well

I drive many thousands of miles each year and to protect the environment I purchased a Honda Hybrid car in May 2007. This car uses a small petrol engine and an electric motor in an integrated propulsion unit.

The car returns some 45-50MPG and in addition is exempt from the London congestion charge. There is also a considerable saving in the car tax disc which is only £15 per year. All in all, I have been delighted with this car and recommended it to others.

Honda engineering also saved my life this week when I was involved in a crash which wrote off the car. The car was badly damaged but the driver's protection cell remained fully intact. My fear was that the car would catch fire, particularly with the high power batteries used within the car. My fears were unfounded. The Fire and Rescue Service cut the roof off the car so that they could slide me out on a spinal board. There was some concern that I may have had a whiplash injury. The Paramedics cut my suit off so that they could put a canula into my arm ready for any actions the hospital may need to carry out. The ambulance service took some Polaroid photographs of the scene and I was amazed that after being checked over at the hospital I was able to leave with no more that a bruise where the seat belt had been.
Had my car been an old one or one of a less robust nature then I doubt whether I would be writing this blog

Will I buy another Honda Hybrid?

I have already bought a new one to replace my one year old friend. I can drive it with confidence, knowing that in addition to doing my bit for the planet, Honda is doing all it can to ensure that I am safe in my car and even if the worst happens I have the best chance of surviving.

Thank you Honda

Monday, 2 June 2008

Security of Passwords ISO27001

Each year, just before the INFOSEC (Information Security Exhibition) a test is carried out to asses the level of security placed upon workplace passwords.

This year your password could be exchanged for a chocolate bar. It is still shocking that some 64% of people challenged outside Liverpool Street railway station in Central London, were prepared to give their passwords away for a paltry chocolate bar. The findings were further segmented when the split of sexes was added into the equation; more of those giving away their passwords were women.

Where the questions were extended to ask for telephone numbers, place of work and dates of birth in exchange for the chance to win a holiday then results were down but still more women than men gave their details but only just.

The only crumb of consolation is that the total numbers prepared to compromise their personal or work security is down on last year by about 20%.

Government and big business continues to exhibit a less than satisfactory level of care with our security; indeed another case where there had been a problem with email attachments resulted in a disc being sent by normal post. The disc contained important information but was only protected by a basic password, which the company admitted, could be broken in a matter of minutes. The disc did not arrive.

It is not known how many of the security details given away at Liverpool Street Station were genuine and how many were simply wrong, but working on the 70:30 principle a good number were genuine. It is fortunate that details obtained were not used for any unauthorised use.... but they could have been.

Vigilance is required to ensure security of all our systems

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