OHSAS 18001:2007 is an Occupational Health and Safety Management System developed to assist organisations to manage health and safety risks and facilitate legal compliance.
The minefield of Health and Safety legislation is the cause of much concern to all sectors of industry and commerce at all levels. With the advent of the ‘claims culture’ and corporate responsibility comes a need to ensure that all applicable means are taken to comply.
In the United Kingdom, as well as in other enlightened nations, more and more organisations are utilising OHSAS 18001:2007 to manage their corporate health and safety responsibilities.
The standard follows the Plan - Do - Check - Act continuous improvement cycle common to many British, European and International standards and is commended for its ease of use and implementation.
The planning stage consists of identifying health and safety hazards and risks, the associated legal requirements and developing a programme to reduce the risks by pro-active means.
The doing stage requires the organisation to put in place the expertise and controls to manage the most significant risks, by training, appropriate documentation, planning and management of activities and potential emergencies.
Checking requirements include monitoring of accidents, incidents, near misses, improvement programmes, evaluation of compliance with legal and other requirements, internal audit and handling non-conformities.
Finally, the organisation needs to act on the data it has gathered, by reviewing the results of audits and other monitoring mechanisms. Part of this requirement is a periodic Management Review.
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The standard is based upon eight management principles. These are:
- Customer focus
- Process approach
- System approach to management
- A factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
BENEFIT OF OHSAS 18001:2007
- Pro-active risk management
- Compliance with legal and other requirements
- Encourages two-way communication within the organisation
- Identification of negative trends in work related injury and ill health
- Creating marketing opportunities
- Improved pro-active community image
- Improved Management Focus
- Reduced costs/liabilities
- Provides clear guidance on company requirements