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Released in July 2007, OHSAS 18001:2007 is an updated edition of OHSAS 18001:1999.
For those familiar with the earlier version, the changes place greater emphasis on health rather than focusing primarily on safety. OHSAS 18001 is also more closely aligned with the international environmental management system standard, ISO 14001.
In the past, Occupational Health and Safety Management tended to focus on the question of how to react to work-related incidents. In contrast, OHSAS 18001 sets out a preventative and proactive approach which involves identifying workplace hazards and assessing and controlling risk.
Key elements of the Standard
- Developing OH&S policy
- Implementing policy and plans
- Checking for problems and taking corrective action
- Reviewing management processes
- Sustaining continual improvement.
Challenges for employers
Employers today confront bigger challenges than ever before, not least in the field of Occupational Health and Safety where they face:
- More rigorous health and safety regulations
- Greater penalties for negligence
- Rising compensation costs
- Costly medical claims
- Increasing rates of illness and injury
- Pressure to retain workers and ensure employee satisfaction.
The benefits of OHSAS 18001
Organisations certified to the Standard report a range of benefits, including:
- A reduction in lost working days
- Fewer workplace accidents
- Fewer medical claims
- Recognition by insurers and regulators
- A more disciplined approach to safety
- Improved employee motivation, retention and satisfaction
- Reduced legal costs
- Less time and money spent on accident-related investigation and paperwork.
Employers who have adopted OHSAS 18001 report that it promotes greater employee awareness and understanding of health and safety at work.
Organisations who have attained registration through NSAI maintain that it leads to improved internal and external communications and a more disciplined attitude among employees to health and safety matters.
Relevancy to an Organisation and Staff
The requirements specified in OHSAS 18001 are intended for incorporation into any OH&S management system. The Standard is relevant to all employers, whatever the size or nature of the business.
The Standard is complemented by OHSAS 18002:2000, the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001.
Contact us today to get further information regarding the benefits this ISO standard can bring to your organisation
Health & Safety
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