First implemented in 1999, IBM's Well-being Management System (WBMS) is a global, centralized system that links the company's occupational medicine, safety, industrial hygiene, wellness and health benefits strategic initiatives and programs to our business unit strategies worldwide, including manufacturing, research and development, sales and services.

Our corporate policy on Responsibility for Employee Well-Being and Product Safety is the cornerstone of IBM's WBMS, which follows the "plan-do-check-act" principles that are common in ISO consensus standards. This systematic approach involves a "planning, implementation, evaluation and review" cycle that monitors and audits well-being requirements and improvement objectives. It also provides a process for corrective or preventive health and safety actions.

The WBMS ensures that performance improvement is linked to business priorities. At the same time, the system offers the flexibility to accommodate unique well-being and safety priorities to meet specific local needs. The management system is implemented throughout all of our business units worldwide, and changes are executed through a tiered structure that translates global objectives into locally relevant initiatives. The WBMS is regularly reviewed for efficacy and consistency, with input from management, employees, and other external reviewers.

IBM uses a tiered structure to implement the WBMS. The top tier consists of global activities linked to a second tier organized by business unit, geography or location. Each year, a targeting process considers new global objectives (top tier) and local well-being objectives (second tier).

Some examples of our global WBMS objectives and programs include:

  • The enhanced use of information technology (e-Learning suite) to deliver health and safety programs globally, including to remote and mobile employees
  • Emergency preparedness that improves our capabilities to respond to emerging health-related issues

Recognition of Excellence: OHSAS 18001 Certification

"IBM's Well-being Management System has enabled the company to adapt to the evolving global marketplace, to manage and continually improve their control of potential occupational health and safety risks, which can impact business operations. IBM's management system and results are impressive—it is one of the largest organizations to have obtained OHAS 18001 certification."Dave Church, Vice President Bureau Veritas Certification, NA

In 2007, IBM received a single worldwide certificate of conformance to OHSAS 18001:2007. The driving factor behind the initiative to gain this certification was marketplace demand — the desire to improve business opportunities and our competitive position. As a result, IBM clients and potential customers are now able to easily grasp IBM's standardized approach to managing employee well-being. Certification also aligns with IBM's priority to accelerate global integration via recognized management systems.

Another significant benefit of external certification is the improved quality and consistent global implementation of the WBMS, achieved through independent third-party conformance audits that uniformly measure against the requirements of OHSAS 18001. This international standard defines requirements for health and safety management systems. OHSAS enables IBM to have knowledge of, and control over, all relevant occupational and business risks to improve performance.

Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc. certifies that IBM's Well-being Management System (WBMS) has been audited and is in conformance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series — Standard (OHSAS) 18001:2007.

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