OHSAS 18001:2007 is the International Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard. It was published in July 2007, superseding OHSAS 18001:1999, and is intended to address occupational health and safety (OH&S) rather than product safety.
OHSAS 18001 provides a framework to the effective management of OH&S including compliance with the legislation that applies to your activities and identified hazards. In layman’s terms, it provides a framework to identify, control and reduce the risks associated with health and safety in the organization’s workplace.
The standard is applicable to any organisation that wishes to eliminate or minimize risk to employees and other stakeholders who may be exposed to OH&S risks associated with its activities. Many organizations will have elements required by OHSAS 18001 already in place which can be supplemented to provide a more cohesive management system to meet the requirements of the standard.
Organisations that implement OHSAS 18001 have a clear management structure with defined authority and responsibility, clear objectives for improvement, with measurable results and a structured approach to risk assessment. This includes the monitoring of health and safety management failures, auditing of performance and review of policies and objectives.
How will OHSAS 18001 help my business?
A fit-for-purpose health and safety policy that is assessed as OHSAS 18001:2007 compliant demonstrates due diligence, good governance and a competent management committed to health and safety in the workplace, Other benefits of the standard include:
- Improved performance and morale of your employees;
- Improved efficiencies in health and safety budgeting for costs such as training, ensuring that money is well spent and related to real needs of the organisation;
- Greater reassurance of stakeholders that you are taking all reasonable steps to protect the business against damage to your reputation and breach of legislation;
- OHSAS 18001 is increasingly a pre-requisite for companies wishing to tender for contracts within certain industries;