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OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Law

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

The issue of Health and Safety is very current and something which is definitely on the radar of the majority of management teams out there. The occurrence of personal injury claims made after suffering an accident at work is on the rise and the only way to counteract this is to make sure you are abiding by the Health and Safety Laws and protecting the wellbeing of your staff while they are in the workplace.

The Health and Safety at Work Act outlines the legal requirements of a company in protecting its employees. It aims to secure the health, safety and welfare of all employees while at work alongside monitoring the use and emission of certain dangerous substances. If you do not live up to this responsibility you may well find yourself facing legal action and a hefty fine.

One way to ensure that you are acting responsibly when it comes to health and safety law is to achieve the OHSAS 18001 standard. By gaining the certification, you will install a carefully controlled Health and Safety Management System into your organisation which works well within the law and strengthens your current health and safety policies. OHSAS 18001 not only ensures you are operating well within the law but also streamlines the associated processes which makes them easier to follow and much more effective. The system works on a 'plan, do, check, act' methodology which means that it looks at the risks before deciding what processes need to be put in place to make sure this risk is taken care of. It also constantly reviews itself, making sure that any changes are accounted for.

Unfortunately having the processes in place is only one half of the battle, your staff also need to know how to use them. By simplifying the processes with OHSAS 18001 it makes them easier to follow and understand, meaning that staff members aren't left confused by a thousand different processes. On successful completion of the standard you are also issued with a handbook tailored to your business which can be used as an advice or training manual - so staff can remind themselves about different aspects of the system whenever they need to.

It is most likely that you already have a number of policies in place with regards to Health and Safety and adding the OHSAS 18001 standard into the mix may seem like a little bit of a daft idea - if you already have processes why do you need to change them? The great thing about the assessment process is that you won't need a complete overhaul of your systems, a gap analysis is carried out which means your assessor just advises you on how you build upon your existing processes in order to achieve the standard.

OHSAS 18001 is a fantastic addition to existing health and safety policies, helping you to avoid accidents and reduce the risk of a claim being brought against you.

Mark Jones works for QMS International, a UK-based company providing OHSAS 18001 certifications worldwide. For more information on OHSAS 18001 certification, follow the links.

Source: EzineArticles
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