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OHSAS 18001: An Overview

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 228

With growing concern for occupational health and safety, companies are aware that their policies have to be tightened to make sure that there is no room for error in this area. OHSAS 18001 is an international standard for health and safety in the workplace which helps companies to build high quality procedures into their daily activities.

The OHSAS 18001 standard was developed by the British Standards Institution because there was a lack of international standard to guide the way for business when it came to health and safety management. A number of independent leading bodies gave advice and input to the development and the first version was adopted by the BSI in 1999 under the name of BS8800:1996. As regulations and industries have developed so has the certification and the latest version is OHSAS 18001:2007. Although OHSAS 18001 is not included in the ISO series of management certifications, it is perfectly compatible with the other certifications, such as ISO 9001 - a quality management standard, and they can be integrated together to form a complete management system.

To meet the standard, companies need to implement a certain amount of procedures to ensure that they have completely covered the health and safety risks within their organisation. These procedures include:

- Planning potential hazards, and ensuring that these risks have been assessed and taken care of - Outlining the implementation of the standard e.g. who is responsible for different actions, when will procedures take place, what resources or budget will be needed to successfully implement the OHSAS 18001 standard. - Ensuring that all members of staff are trained and understand the standard - Emergencies are considered within the standard and catered for - Monitoring the standard to ensure that it is performing at the highest level.

Due to its nature, the OHSAS 18001 certification not only lowers the chance of a company facing a lawsuit because the correct processes are in place but for obvious reasons it also reduces the risk of and accident taking place. There were some shocking statistics published by the UK Health and Safety Executive reflecting on 2009-2010 which really highlight why taking health and safety seriously is of utmost importance. For example, over the course of the year a total of 28.5 million working days were lost due to the lack of health and safety procedures in the workplace and 1.3 million employees stated that they were suffering from an illness caused by or made worse by their work. It is plain to see therefore that promoting a safe and healthy working environment really is important, and better still you can facilitate the creation of this environment with an OHSAS 18001 certification.

Mark Jones works for QMS International, a UK-based company who have now provided over 19,000 companies with high quality business management certifications in 60 countries. They aim to reduce the red tape for companies wishing to be certified meaning that both time and cost elements are cut. Along with OHSAS 18001 they specialise in ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and others. For more information about OHSAS 18001 or ISO certifications head to their website.

Source: EzineArticles
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