What is OHSAS 18001?
The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS 18001), is a method for organizations to develop and maintain an occupational health and safety management system. As the standard is maintained by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) it is often (incorrectly referred to as ISO 18001. Developed by the British Standards Institute the standard fits neatly inline with the 14001 environmental management process - and broadly shares some of the compliance requirements.
Companies work towards certification for BS OHSAS 18001:2007, (the current version of the standard), and in doing so prove their commitment to meeting all Health and Safety guidelines both now and in the future, creating a safer working environment for employees and greater trust with customers.
The benefits of OHSAS 18001
Many of our own clients attest to the fact that their
business has achieved enhanced operational efficiencies after
the adoption of OHSAS 18001. On top of this, our clients are
in agreement that the trust and authority gained from the
standard can also have a positive effect on your market
In terms of Health and Safety considerations, achieving OHSAS 18001 certification will mean:/
- Continued compliance with Health and Safety legislation
- Increased awareness of Health and Safety amongst your staff
- Lower risk of accidents and injuries to employees
- Streamlining of your procedures and performance levels
- A reduced risk of penalties and fines for non-compliance
- The potential for more favourable insurance terms
- Enhanced trust with staff, customers and other stakeholders
Elements of the 18001 standard
Sharing a similar structure to the ISO 14001 certification structure, elements of the ISO 18001 differ in two important aspects. Rather than being based on an environmental policy framework, the standard follows Occupational Health and Safety protocols and planning procedures. Aside from this, the certification structure is broadly the same.
Therefore, the elements of the OHSAS 18001 standard are as follows:
- Occupational Health and Safety policy
- Occupational Health and Safety planning
- Implementation and operation
- Checking and corrective action
- Management review
The same commitment to continual improvement and compliance with relevant legislation applies to the 18001 certification, as also expected with ISO 14001.
Achieving OHSAS 18001 certification
To register for OHSAS 18001, an organization must have implemented and documented an independently audited management system. For the issued certificate to be of any value, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) must accredit the assessment body.
Only assessment bodies accredited by UKAS can include the "tick and crown" symbol in their logo. You may be offered unaccredited certification - or even OHSAS 18001 certification accredited by bodies other than UKAS. Often such services promise very attractive prices for 'fast track' certification, however it may not be acceptable to your customers.
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