Occupational Health and Safety System | OHSAS 18001
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OHSAS 18001 Occupational, Health and Safety Management System

The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) standard gives requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, to enable an organization to control its OH&S risks and improve its performance. It does not state specific ohsas performance criteria, nor does it give detailed specifications for the design of a management system. The Occupational health and safety management system that facilitates the management of the OHSAS risks associated with the business of the organization. This includes the organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the organization's OH&S policy.

With the OHSAS 18001, Organizations of all kinds are increasingly concerned with achieving and demonstrating sound occupational health and safety (OH&S) performance by controlling their OH&S risks, consistent with their OHSAS 18001 policy and objectives. They do so in the context of increasingly stringent legislation, the development of economic policies and other measures that foster good OHSAS 18001 practices, and increased concern expressed by interested parties about OHSAS 18000 issues.

The implementing Occupation, Health and Safety management system (OHSMS) and OHSAS 18001 certification are one such opportunity that can enable the companies acquires the label of sound enterprises and improves their economic performance at the same time. The Organisations implements OHSAS systems would achieve significant competitive edge over Organisations engaged in similar operations (activities, products and services). It reflects the proactiveness of Organisation to protect the OHSAS through preventive mechanisms rather than corrective one.

Evidently, OHSAS Management System is not a Hi- Tech mechanism to address occupation, health and Safety issues of an organisation. Basically OHSMS is a management system consisting of three components namely:

I. Design or development of elements of OHSMS
II. Documentation and
III Implementation

Why Occupational Health and safety management system?

  • Improved communication
  • Market credibility / image
  • Systematic approach
  • Improved compliance
  • Improved emergency preparedness
  • Improved profitability
  • Reduction in liability and risk
  • Improved internal management
  • Confidence with stakeholders
  • Improved employee confidence / faith

Developing an Occupational Health and Safety Management system: -

Any organisation may develop its own Occupational Health and safety management system to address OHSMS issues arising out of its activities, product or services. The elements of such a system may be decided by the organisation itself depending upon the need.

Such a system may be functioning well to enhance the OHSMS performance; still it will lack credibility and conviction. In these circumstances third party certification of OHSMS is required. For this purpose the organisation’s OHSMS has to be designed, developed and implemented as per specification of recognised standards like OHSAS 18001.

Thus Occupational Health and Safety Management System scope is as below.

  • Must be based on control of causes, not hazards and risks reactive
  • Must address all management elements of control
  • Must address Normal / Abnormal / Emergency conditions
  • Must have measurable parameters
  • Must be goal driven
  • Must be relevant to risks
  • Must involve all
  • Must promote continual improvement
  • Management and not control / eradication
  • OHSMS is managing risks and hazards