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OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety System std.)

OHSAS 18001 is a voluntary document and is an assessment specification for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. This document establishes the requirements for an effective OH&S management system. The document is related to management of risk to public health, life & property associated with activities of an organization. This document was developed to help organizations identify the risk and to mitigate / reduce the same to an acceotable level and improve their overall OH&S performance. It was developed in response to the need for companies to meet their health and safety obligations in an efficient manner.

OHSAS 18001 is based on the original British Standard - BS 8800 std. and specifies a process of achieving continuously improved OHS performance and complying with legislation. It requires that the organization identifies activities of its business that impact on health and safety and gain access to the applicable legislation. The top management of the organization is required to establish an OH&S policy and establish objectives for improvement and a management program to achieve them, with regular reviews for continual improvement of the OH&S system.

OHSAS 18001 applies to companies of any size, but is especially relevant to companies with a large workforce, manual and heavy work tasks, and/or high risk work environments. It is designed to be compatible with other management systems standards such as ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 seamlessly as they share many common principles. It provides a framework for managing OH&S responsibilities so they become more efficient and more integrated into overall business operations.

Many organizations world over, are implementing OH&S Management System as part of their strategy towards management of risk and compliance of applicable legislation related to OH&S and to protect their workforce. An OH&S system promotes a safe and healthy working environment in the organization.
An organization’s firm commitment to protect the health and safety of its employees is a distinguishing factor in a global competitive market. A certified OH&S Management System demonstrates an organization’s determination to safeguard its employees and the environment from harmful incidents. OHSAS 18001 Certification is statement to your employees, customers, suppliers, stakeholders and community that your company has done everything in its power to mitigate / reduce health and safety risks. CVI will periodically assess your system and, if it meets the requirements, register your company or site to OHSAS 18001.

Elements of OHSAS 18001:1999

4       OH&S Management System Elements
4.1    General requirements
4.2    OH&S policy
4.3    Planning
4.3.1 Planning for Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment & Risk Control
4.3.2 Legal and Other Requirements
4.3.3 Objectives
4.3.4 OH&S Management Programme(s)
4.4    Implementation and Operation
4.4.1 Structure and Responsibility
4.4.2 Training Awareness and Competence
4.4.3 Consultation and communication
4.4.4 Documentation
4.4.5 Document and Data Control
4.4.6 Operational Control
4.4.7 Emergency Preparedness and Response
4.5    Checking and Corrective Action
4.5.1 Performance Measurement and Monitoring
4.5.2 Accidents, incidents, Non-conformances and Corrective & Preventive Action
4.5.3 Records and Records Management
4.5.4 Audit
4.6    Management Review

Eliminate or minimize risk to employees and other interested parties who may be exposed to OH&S risks.
Reduce downtime due to accidents and associated costs.
You will get all critical processes under control.
Demonstrates an innovative and forward thinking approach.
Increase access to new customers and business partners.
Manage health and safety risks effectively, now and in the future.
Provides international recognition
Give competitive advantages,
Help companies stay in compliance with legal requirements,
Improve overall performance

The Future:

There have been a number of significant changes to the standard since first published in 1999 which reflects its widespread and growing use. The changes include much greater emphasis on "health" rather than just "safety", with a significantly improved alignment to ISO 14001:2004 to allow businesses to more easily develop integrated management systems. U.K. has already come out with BS OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, which will replace OHSAS 18001:1999 in due course.

There will be a two year transition period (which commenced 1 July 2007 with the publication of OHSAS 18001:2007) for those organisations that have already achieved certification to the existing 1999 specification, or are in the final stages of achieving it. It is not anticipated this will cause any significant problems for businesses.

Summary of the key changes between BS OHSAS 18001:2007 and OHSAS 18001:1999:

The importance of "health" has now been given greater emphasis.

BS OHSAS 18001 now refers to itself as a standard, not a specification, or document, as in the earlier edition. This reflects the increasing adoption of OHSAS 18001 as the basis for national standards on occupational health and safety management systems.

The "Plan-Do-Check-Act" model diagram is only shown in full in the Introduction.
Reference publications in Clause 2 have been limited to purely international documents.
New definitions have been added, and existing definitions revised.
Significant improvement in alignment with ISO 14001:2015 throughout the standard, and improved compatibility with ISO 9001:2015.
The term "tolerable risk" has been replaced by the term "acceptable risk"
The term "accident" is now included in the term "incident"
The definition of the term "hazard" no longer refers to "damage to property or damage to the workplace environment"
It is now considered that such "damage" is not directly related to occupational health and safety management, which is the purpose of this OHSAS Standard, and that it is included in the field of asset management. Instead, the risk of such "damage" having an effect on occupational health and safety should be identified through the organization's risk assessment process, and be controlled through the application of appropriate risk controls.
Sub-clauses 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 have been merged, into a single clause 4.3.3 "Objectives and Programme(s)" in line with ISO 14001:2015.
A new requirement has been introduced for the consideration of the hierarchy of controls as part of OH&S planning.
Management of change is now more explicitly addressed.
A new clause on the "Evaluation of compliance" has been introduced, as per ISO 14001:2015
New requirements have been introduced for participation and consultation.
New requirements have been introduced for the investigation of incidents.

Integrated Mgmt System Standard:

The next 10 years or so will be taken up with the development of a framework for an Integrated Management System. It is quite likely that OHSAS and ISO 14001 will become closely integrated, with other companies linking together their QMS system to create the BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM of the future. All management requirements would then be auditable and included within one system to streamline and utilise efficiencies that are not available to 3 different management systems.

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