WHAT IS OHSAS 18001 HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT STANDARD (HSMS)?
OHSAS 18001 is a British Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. It exists to provide a framework to help all kinds of organisations put in place demonstrably sound occupational health and safety performance to enable companies control health and safety risks, while at the same time promoting employee well-being and a safe work environment.
Implementing the standard will send a clear signal to your stakeholders that you demonstrate commitment to the Health and Safety welfare of your employee’s and external parties.
The standard looks at the best ways to improve and maintain occupational health and safety systems, while performing in line with the company’s policy.
By implementing OHSAS 18001 standard, organisations improve management of health and safety risk, get competitive advantages via demonstration of a commitment to health and safety, improve performance and reduce cost. It is essential that occupational safety and health issues are involved within an organization’s day-to-day activities and that they are an integral part of their overall management system.
An ignorance of the importance of this aspect can result in major problems such as leading to accidents, or ill-health problems and loss of valuable employees, loss of contracts and also production and services disruption. It requires a careful identification of hazards, risk assessments and determined controls that are current in line with updates in company processes and policies.
What are the benefits of Implementing OHSAS 18001?
“More than a certificate on the wall”
OHSAS 18001 is suitable for all types of organisation wanting to become more efficient in managing and reducing accidents in the workplace. By setting up systems that are assessed by a third party certification body, organisations will prove to their staff, suppliers and customers that they take health and safety seriously.
OHSAS 18001 is developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 standard. Health is now having an increasing importance within the standard. This standard functions on “Plan-Do-Check-Act” principle.
A formal H&S management system will provide the following benefits:
- COMPLIANCE FRAMEWORK
A system for continually identifying legal and other requirements
- MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
A clear management structure delegating authority and responsibility
- CLEAR OBJECTIVES AND MONITORING
A clear set of objectives for improvement, with measurable results
- STRUCTURED RISK ASSESSMENT
A structured approach to risk assessment within the organization
- DOCUMENTED PROCEDURES
A planned and documented approach to health and safety
- PROACTIVE MONITORING
The monitoring of health and safety management issues, auditing of performance and review of policies and objectives
- OPENS DOORS TO BUSINESS
OHSAS 18001 fulfills core requirements for ‘doing business’ with many Public and Private sector customers.
- PROMOTES TRUST
Demonstrates sound occupational health and safety performance
- IMPROVED H & S Management
Better management of health and safety risks, now and in the future.
- STAKEHOLDER TRUST
Demonstrates your health and safety commitment to stakeholders
- BRAND ENHANCEMENT
OHSAS 18001 certification enhances the confidence and perception of your potential and existing clients, stakeholders and partners
- PROACTIVE APPROACH
Demonstrates an innovative and forward thinking approach to customers and prospective employees
- CAPTURES NEW REGULATIONS EARLY
OHSAS18001 provides a solid foundation for further development of management systems to embrace other industry standards that are likely to become important in the future
- IMPROVES OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Healthier and safer working environment and the avoidance of a high proportion of accidents and occupational health problems – this should help reduce lost time through employee illness and injury.
What's involved with implementing OHSAS 18001?
In order for your organisation to gain OHSAS 18001 there are 5 main areas that must be examined:
Occupational health and safety policies >
- What policies are in place?
- Are the policies correct and up-to-date?
- How are the policies communicated?
- Are the policies reviewed regularly?
How your Organisation Plans in Terms of >
- Hazard identifications
- Risk assessments
- Legal and other requirements
- Objectives and programmes
Implementation and Operation >
- Resources, roles, responsibility, accountability & authority
- Competence, training and awareness
- Communication, participation and consultation
- Control of documents
- Operational control
- Emergency preparedness and response
Checking, Monitoring and Measuring >
- Performance measurement and monitoring
- Evaluation of compliance
- Incident investigation, non-conformity, corrective & preventive action
- Control of records
- Internal audit
Management Review >
- Results from internal audits
- Plans for corrective action
- Proactive management of risk
5 HASSLE FREE STEPS TO BECOMING CERTIFIED
Undertake a review of the existing operational and management processes with directors and key staff which will give a clear understanding where you stand versus the conformity to the standard as well as the identification of the company’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
Development of the HSMS
Develop and document the Quality Policy, Quality Objectives, Quality Procedures and Associated Documentation in relation to the Company’s Business Objectives, Legal Requirements and the requirements of OHSAS 18001. Our consultants will liaise very closely with directors and staff throughout this stage so that they have the opportunity to review draft documents and make suggestions for revision if required. This will ensure that everyone takes ownership of the system.
The system development includes the following modules:
- Leadership education
- Planning including Change Management
- Process Development
- Documentation Management
- Resource Management
Training & Implementation
During this phase of the project we work alongside senior management and staff implementing and monitoring the performance of the relevant sections of the standard by gathering documentary evidence in readiness for the assessment.
Internal Audit & Management Review
During this phase a complete cycle of internal audits of the various business processes shall be performed and the results covered subsequently in a formal management review in order to determine the effectiveness of the implementation of the HSMS. Further actions if required will be agreed and implemented in readiness for the external assessment.
Assessment by Certification Body
The Auditor will initially undertake a desk study of the documented system to make sure that it complies with the requirements of the Standard and then will gather further evidence to verify that the HSMS has been fully implemented and is effective, by carrying out a series of audits of processes against the documented procedures.
Normally, even when certification is recommended, the auditor will raise a number of Corrective Action Requests and/or Observations and ‘Opportunities for Improvement’.
Certification for most organisations is the initial goal, This is the beginning and not the end of the journey toward building excellence in management systems. Post certification, QualityCERT consultants assist in several ways:
- Help the organisation document its success, review the maturity level of the organisation’s management system
- Review and where necessary re-define the new roadmap to excellence
- Identify the most appropriate excellence models and tools to implement the new roadmap
- Help identify the resources they may need to maintain what they have achieved
- Build the new vision for the organisation in relation to management system performance