What is OHSAS 18001?
The OHSAS 18001 standard (may also be mistakenly referred to as ISO 18001) is internationally accepted as a method of assessing and auditing occupational health and safety management systems. Developed by leading trade and international standards bodies, it provides a framework for organizations to instigate proper and effective management of health & safety in the workplace. By having a clearly defined management system in place to identify and control health and safety risks, organizations are able to minimize risks to their workforce and visitors or external contractors on their premises. The standard will enable organizations to put in place processes for continually reviewing and improving occupational health and safety.
Key areas that will be assessed by OHSAS certification
- Management systems in place
- Planning and risk assessment
- Staff training and awareness
- Communication of safety management systems
- Response to emergency situations
- Monitoring and continual improvement
- Health and safety management System
Achieving a structured health and safety management system throughout the organization will demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your staff and external parties. It will provide a framework to implement the OHSAS 18001 requirements and a process for continual improvement. The development of a robust and manageable system will provide benefits to the organization and its workforce. Cost savings and a reduction in accidents are just two of the many benefits. Click here to read about some of the other benefits of achieving certification.
Who is it for?
OHSAS 18001 is suitable for all types of organization wanting to become more efficient in managing and reducing accidents in the workplace. By setting up systems that are assessed by a third party certification body, organizations will prove to their staff, suppliers and customers that they take health and safety seriously. OHSAS 18001 accreditation provides a framework to help organizations meet their legal obligations to Health and Safety in the workplace.
Benefits of OHAS 18001
An effective health and safety management system can provide benefits to your customers and give you a competitive advantage by:
- Minimizing the risks of production delays
- Providing a safe environment to do business
- Demonstrating your commitment to maintain an effective health and safety policy
- Other benefits make your organization more efficient, able to meet its legal requirements and help to improve staff morale by making the workplace a safer environment to work in.
Benefits to the organization include:
- Improving your reputation and increasing your opportunities to gain new business
- Minimizing risks of downtime through accidents
- Demonstrating your commitment to meet legal obligations
- Possible cost savings from public liability insurance premiums
- Maintaining compliance to legal requirements
- Providing a robust system to maintain and continually improve health and safety
OHSAS 18001 Assessment Process
A good start will be to carry out an internal audit on all areas that will need to be part of an OHSAS audit by identifying hazards and carrying out risk assessments. You will need support from the entire management team to implement processes across all areas of the organization.
Some things you will need to consider:
- Planning and establishing a framework
- Establishing roles and responsibilities
- Processes for hazard identification and risk assessments
- Reporting and monitoring
- Emergency procedures
- Measure and constantly improve processes
- Performance reviews
- Understanding legal obligations
- Staff training requirements
- Establish OHSAS checklist
- OHSAS 18001 Regular Auditing Procedure
Regular audits will be carried out to check processes are being followed and documentation is kept up to date.
During the audit you will be assessed on:
- Documentation control
- Records being kept
- Staff and management conformance to the system
- How the system is working in each area of the organization
- Staff training necessary to meet the requirements