An Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System provides a framework for an organisation to identify and control its health and safety risks, reduce the potential for accidents, comply with legislation and improve operational performance.
OHSAS 18001 is the requirement standard for an OH&S Management Systems which was recently updated and adopted as OHSAS 18001:2007. The update reflects the learnings achieved from widespread use of the standard across the world and provides more emphasis on "Health" rather than just "Safety".
The specification has been designed to be compatible with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management system standards.
OHSAS 18001 requires an organisation to formally document the areas that are covered by their OH&S policy and to keep evidence that it is operating according to the requirements of the standard. It is relevant to any organisation that wants to conform to legislation and demonstrate to staff and stakeholders that it has systems in place to minimise and eliminate risks.
Over 6300 people die each day from work-related accidents or diseases - that's nearly 2.3million every year.
The burden of occupational injuries and diseases is significant, both for employers and the wider economy, resulting in losses from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance premiums.
To combat the problem, ISO is developing a new standard, ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements, that will help organizations reduce this burden by providing a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions, all over the world.
The standard is currently being developed by a committee of occupational health and safety experts, and will follow other generic management system approaches such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. It will take into account other International Standards in this area such as OHSAS 18001.
It ensures that an organisation has the measures and controls to manage the risks associated with their activities. It will also demonstrate its commitment to stakeholders, improve operational performance through better accident management and reduced downtime with a corresponding reduction in insurance premiums and penalties for breach of legislation.