The internationally recognized specification OHSAS 18001 was developed in response to market demand for a health and safety management system standard against which organizations may be assessed and certified. It has become increasingly apparent that companies want to manage health and safety in the same way as other core business activities.
The implementation of a management system that can be audited, which extends beyond compliance with minimum legal requirements enables organizations to take action to improve health and safety within the business environment. OHSAS is a means to control and mitigate risk and subsequently minimize harm to people linked with your business activities.
Assessment and certification to OHSAS 18001 demonstrates an organization’s commitment to continual improvement in health and safety performance and to compliance with legislation through maintenance of an Occupational Health and Management System (OHSMS).
The basic OHSMS elements are:
Formulating and maintaining an OH&S Policy
Planning for hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
Implementing and operating the system to achieve the policy aims
Checking the effectiveness of the system and correcting deviations
Reviewing the OHSMS with top management
(BS) OHSAS 18001:2007
The new United Kingdom and International Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standards were published in July 2007. All certified organizations must be registered to the new standard by 1st July 2009, after which the previous version ceases to be valid.
There have been a number of significant changes to the first edition of OHSAS 18001 that was published in 1999. One of the principal changes is greater emphasis on health rather than just safety and improved alignment to ISO 14001:2004 to enable organizations to develop integrated management systems. A PDF summary of the revisions is available for download.
OHSAS 18001 certification will help to develop and promote an effective health and safety culture within your organization and provide the credentials your organization needs.