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OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health & Safety Management system

What is an Occupational Health and Safety Management System?

An Occupational Health and Safety Management System provide a framework for managing OHS responsibilities. The framework is designed to allow companies to become more efficient and operate in a more integrated manner. Specifically, OHS management systems specify a process of achieving continuously improved OHS performance and complying with legislation.


What is OHSAS 18001?

OHSAS 18001 - ‘Occupational Health and Safety Management Requirements’ is an international occupational health and safety management system requirements embracing BS8800, AS/NZ 4801, NSAI SR 320 and other publications. It was developed in response to the need for organisations to meet their health and safety obligations effectively and to remove the confusion caused by the proliferation of certifiable OH&S Requirements. OHSAS 18001 has been developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environmental) management systems standards. Therefore it facilitates the integration of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems, for organisations wishing to do so.

OHSAS 18001 does not state specific OH&S performance criteria, nor does it give detailed specifications for the design of a management system. OHSAS 18001 is not a legislative requirement or a guide to implementation.

Who is it for?

The OHSAS specification is applicable to any organisation that wishes to:

- Establish an OH&S management system to eliminate or minimise risk to employees and other interested parties who may be exposed to OH&S risks associated with its activities

- Gain competitive advantage

- Implement, maintain, and continually improve an OH&S management system

- Assure compliance with its stated OH&S policy

- Demonstrate such compliance to third parties, suppliers, stakeholders etc

- Seek certification/registration of its OH&S management system by an external organisation


Features & Benefits

The following points are the key areas that need to be addressed when using an OHSAS 18001 system.

How close are you to already having a world class OHSMS in place? (Please check the points relating to the tasks you already do):

Planning for hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control – Do you identify hazards, assess risks and implement the necessary risk control measures?

OH&S management program(s) – Do you measure and monitor achievement of your performance objectives?

Structure and responsibility – Do you establish clear roles, responsibilities and authorities for personnel who manage, perform and verify activities having an effect on the OH&S risks of the organization’s activities, facilities and processes?

Training, awareness and competence – Do you ensure that personnel are competent to perform tasks that may impact OH&S in the workplace?

Consultation and communication – Do you ensure that OH&S information is communicated to and from employees and other interested parties effectively?

Operational control – Do you ensure the necessary measures and specified conditions are in place to control identified risks?

Emergency preparedness and response – Do you have plans and procedures in place to identify the potential for, and subsequent response times to emergency situations?

Performance measuring and monitoring – Do you monitor and measure OH&S performance on a regular basis? So how did you do?

If this exercise highlighted areas where you think you need to improve, contact Nucleus Consultants.

Implementing a Occupational Health & Safety  Management System

There are key steps that every company implementing a OH&SMS will need to consider:

Purchase the Standard
Before you can begin preparing for your application, you will require a copy of the standard. You should read this and make yourself familiar with it.

Review support literature and software
There are a wide range of OH&S publications and software tools designed to help you understand, implement and become registered to a OH&S management system.

Assemble a team and agree on your strategy
You should begin the entire implementation process by preparing your organizational strategy with top management. Responsibility for a OH&S lies with Senior Management, therefore it is vital that Senior Management is involved from the beginning of the process.

Consider Training
Whether you are the environmental officer seeking to implement a environmental management system or a Senior Manager who would like to increase your general awareness of OH&S, there are a range of workshops, seminars and training courses available.

Review Consultancy Options
The consultancy is the 3rd party like NUCLEUS, You can receive advice from independent consultants on how best to implement your environmental management system. They will have the experience in implementing a OH&S Management System and can ensure you avoid costly mistakes.

Choose a registrar
The registrar is the 3rd party, who come and assess the effectiveness of your environmental management system, and issue a certificate if it meets the requirements of the standard. Choosing a registrar can be a complex issue as there are so many operating in the market. Factors to consider include industry experience, geographic coverage, price and service level offered. The key is to find the registrar who can best meet your requirements. A great place to start is by contacting us.

Develop a Occupational Health & Safety Management System manual
A Occupational Health & Safety Management System manual is a high level document that outlines your intention to operate in a clean manner. It outlines why you are in business, what your intentions are, how you are applying the standard and how your business operates.

Develop support documentation
This is typically a procedures manual that supports the Occupational Health & Safety Management System manual. Quite simply, it outlines what you do to complete a task. It describes who does what, in what order and to what standard.

Implement your Occupational Health & Safety Management System
The key to implementation is communication and training. During the implementation phase everyone operates to the procedures and collects records that demonstrate you are doing what you say you are doing.

Consider a pre-assessment
A pre-assessment by your registrar normally takes place about 6 weeks into the implementation of the Occupational Health & Safety Management System. The purpose of the pre-assessment is to identify areas where you may not be operating to the standard. This allows you to correct any areas of concern you may have before the initial assessment.

Gain registration
You should arrange your initial assessment with your registrar. At this point the registrar will review your Occupational Health & Safety Management System and determine whether you should be recommended for registration.

Continual assessment
Once you have received registration and been awarded your certificate, you can begin to advertise your success and promote your business. To maintain your registration, all you need to do is continue to use your Occupational Health & Safety Management System. This will be periodically checked by your registrar to ensure that your Occupational Health & Safety Management System continues to meet the requirements of the standard.


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