Occupational Health and the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3)

This page explains how the Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) can be used to measure risk management of occupational health. We have also produced guidance on how bow tie analysis pdf icon PDF, 721 Kb can be used together with RM3 to ensure that health risks are effectively assessed and managed.

RM3 can be used to assess the maturity of health risk management and the effectiveness of the underlying management systems. We explain below how this can be achieved and give guidance on how this should be done.

We have made it clear throughout the RM3 that the criteria apply to health and safety management systems and that occupational health issues should be considered alongside safety issues when looking for excellence in risk management.

Some of our Inspectors have used the RM3 format to successfully explore the maturity of dutyholders' management of health risks eg manual handling within Merseyrail.

However, we have considered that the RM3 maturity model could be supplemented with an additional Planning and Implementing Section risk control system (RCS) focussing on health risk control.

Unlike the other elements which will form parts of a systematic approach to management, the risk control systems elements focus on managing a specific risk to establish the effectiveness of the underlying system.

For example a risk control system for emergency preparedness (RCS5 in RM3) will require leadership, policy, consultation, competence, targets, risk assessment, monitoring, audit and review, so an inspection of RCS5 should also provide evidence against several other RM3 criteria. The same is true for managing occupational health.

Including the RCS6 criterion raises the profile of occupational health and provides a framework for using it as a way to assess overall health and safety management system maturity using RM3.

RM3 guidance

Guidance, (in the form of key issues agendas) is provided for common occupational health topics to underpin the use of RCS6. Demonstrating excellence in occupational ill-health management will also require high performance in other RM3 criteria pdf icon PDF, 413 Kb eg:

  • SP1, SP2 – leaders should clearly recognise the importance of occupational health and develop policies to control occupational health risks
  • SP3 – occupational health performance should be reported as part of the governance arrangements
  • OP1 – workers should be involved in deciding on control measures such as PPE and systems of work
  • OP2 – all involved in the RCS should be competent to carry out their roles and when specialist help is needed care should be taken to ensure that the right competencies are brought in
  • OC1, OC2 – responsibilities within the RCS should be clear, allocated and accepted and those with responsibilities held accountable
  • OC4, OC5 – the specialist nature of some occupational health issues means that clear communication is needed inside and between organisations to ensure that the risks are managed
  • OC7 –some health records are legally required to be kept for long periods, the arrangements should take this into account
  • PI1 – risk assessments should explicitly include occupational ill-health risks
  • PI2 – specific targets should be set to ensure that risk from occupational ill-health is being controlled
  • MRA1, MRA2, MRA4, MRA5 – the RCS for management of occupational health should include appropriate monitoring arrangements, audit, review and if necessary corrective action to ensure it is delivering management of risks from occupational ill-health

Further information