What is the ‘OHSAS 18001’?
The OHSAS 18001:2007 Health and
Safety Management Systems (HSMS) Standard is primarily concerned with ‘Health
and Safety Management’ issues. It is a generic standard, and as such can be
applied to any size or type of organisation, whatever its product or service,
in any sector of activity, and whether it is a business enterprise, a public
agency or government department.
18001 Standard includes the following main sections:
and Safety Management System (HSMS) Requirements
- Health and safety Policy
- HSMS Planning
- Implementation and Operation
- Checking and Corrective Action
- Management Review
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Who is ‘OHSAS 18001’ relevant to?
OHSAS 18001 can be adopted by any
organisation wishing to implement a formal framework for reducing Health and
Safety risks in the working environment for employees, customers and the
In almost all countries,
organisations are required to adhere to Health and Safety legislation. The
formal adoption of OHSAS 18001 makes abundant sense as it enables employers to
reduce their legal liability, insurance risks and the possibility of
enforcement action or fines from Government Health and Safety agencies.
What are the benefits ‘OHSAS 18001’?
OHSAS 18001:1999 certification is
not a legal requirement, however, the number of companies facing litigation
costs due to Health and Safety related negligence cases from employees is
soaring due to the proliferation of ‘no-win-no-fee’ legal services.
Directors and officers of
companies can also prevent cases of criminal negligence by ensuring an
externally audited management system covering Health and Safety is in place.
In most cases, insurance
companies will not cover Health and Safety related legal costs where the
company has been negligent in not adequately maintaining a Health and Safety
Management System. Usually, the onus is on the company to prove that to its
insurers that it has an externally audited HSMS in place.
companies opt to achieve certification for key reasons including:
organisations efficiency and effectiveness
requirements for employers
Reduced insurance costs
‘invitations to tender’