Saturday, April 23, 2011

OHSAS 18001:2007

OHSAS 18001:2007 is the International Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard.

The revised version was published in July 2007, superseding OHSAS 18001:1999, and is intended to address occupational health and safety (OH&S) rather than product safety in the organization.

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.
 
Who is OHSAS 18001 applicable to?
 
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 orf the employees, reporting of incidents / accidents, learning lessons for preventions in future, auditing of performance and review of policies and objectives.
 
What are the benefits of OHSAS 18001 registration?
  • Customer satisfaction - through delivery of products that consistently meet customer requirements whilst safeguarding their health and property.
  • Reduced operating costs - by decreasing down-time through incidents and ill health and reducing costs associated with legal fees and compensation.
  • Improved stakeholder relationships - by safeguarding the health and property of staff, customers and suppliers.
  • Legal compliance - by understanding how statutory and regulatory requirements impact the organization and its customers.
  • Improved risk management - through clear identification of potential incidents and implementation of controls and measures.
  • Proven business credentials - through independent verification against recognized standards.
  • Ability to win more business - particularly where procurement specifications require OH & S certification as a condition to supply.
How to gain registration?
 
The process of registration follows six steps similar to the ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System
:
  • Application for registration is made by completing the OHSMS questionnaire.
  • Documentation is prepared for approval  by the certifying body.
  • After documentation is approved, the people implement the same in the organization.
  • The implementation is evaluated by an internal audit and non-conformities are discussed in management review meeting to ensure timely corrective action.
  • Assessment to OHSAS 18001 is undertaken by certifying body. - this consists of two mandatory visits by the certification body.
  • Certification is granted by the certifying body after a successful on-site audit.
  •  Maintenance is confirmed through a programme of regular internal audits,  annual surveillance visits and a three yearly re-certification audit.
Initial Certification Audit by certifying body:

Stage 1 - 

the purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organisation for full assessment. The assessor will:
  • confirm that the documented OH&S management system conforms to the requirements of the standard
  • confirm its implementation status
  • confirm the scope of certification
  • check legislative compliance
  • produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree a corrective action plan if required
  • produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.
Stage 2 - 

the purpose of this visit is to confirm that the OH&S management system fully conforms to the requirements of OHSAS 18001 in practice. The assessor will:
  • undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment.
  • document how the system complies with the standard.
  • report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance.
  • produce a surveillance plan and confirm a date for the first surveillance visit. 

If the assessor identifies any major non-conformance, the organisation cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified.

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