OHSAS 18001 is Soon Going to Be an ISO standard. So, Gear Up For the Change

Posted on June 23rd, 2015 by blogger

Home » Blog Post » OHSAS 18001 is Soon Going to Be an ISO standard. So, Gear Up For the Change

OHSAS 18001 is set to become an ISO standard around 2016. The new standard will fit into the same new unified framework as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.” – Charles Corrie, secretary, ISO PC 283 committee.

Thus had started, the concept of a standard for occupational health and safety management system. What the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) had developed, was a norm, which included all its management system standards under one common template.

This was the birth story of OHSAS 18001.

Since then, the standard has undergone two major revisions – one in the year 2007, and another in 2012. However, it has remained closely linked with ISO 14001 so as to encourage all organisations to merge their environment safety activities with health and safety functions.

OHSAS has been designed to follow suit:

When the standard was conjured up, many national bodies had joined hands. It was decided that the already established ISO 14001 would use the new Annex SL template and the new standard, too, would have to comply with this criteria unfailingly.

However, there are some major differences between the two standards:

For instance, if you have successfully completed an OHSAS 18001 certified auditor course in Dubai, you will have to conduct a risk analysis in your organisation to ascertain the appropriate controls.

You will have to worry about risk reduction using techniques like elimination, substitution, engineering controls and administrative controls. But, the ISO 14001 standard demands only an aspect or impact analysis.

Again, the two standards differ in their requirements for employee participation in an organisation, which has to be monitored by a professional who has undergone an OHSAS 18001 certified auditor training.

The new standard demands that employees actively participate in risk assessment and control processes, accident reporting and investigation, and development of the objectives, too. Occupational Health and Safety belongs to the workers, according to this standard.

The differences have eventually led to the revision of the standard:

Because of so many anomalies, the International Organisation for Standardisation has finally decided to convert OHSAS into an ISO standard. The project committee PC 283, was set up to survey this conversion.

What to expect from the revised standard:

  • # It will meet all the requirements of the framework set in Annex SL.
  • # Users of the present standard will be able to recognise most of the changes.
  • # The specifications will remain typical – setting a policy and relevant goals, preparing resources and professionals, surveying and monitoring, internal audits, reviewing management, and lastly, continual improvement.
  • # The new aspects will be ‘context of the organisation,’ ‘leadership,’ and ‘document information.’
  • # ‘Context of the organisation’ will be all about assessing the internal and external aspects that affect a business.
  • # ‘Preventive action’ will be omitted.
  • # ‘Leadership’ will have a vital role to play in health and safety management.
  • # ‘Document information’ will show how efficient the data storage system of an organisation is.
  • # The definition of ‘risk’ and ‘worker’ might undergo some changes.
  • # The standard will have to be adapted to outsourcing.
  • # The proposal for supporting whistleblowers might become established.

Wrap up:

Whatever be the revision, the standard will remain focused on attempting to make organisations risk free. The new standard is set to come up in 2016. However, certified organisations will be given time to convert.

And for those who are not prepared as of yet, it’s time to gear up! There is a lot to adjust to. So, take up a good OHSAS 18001 certified auditor course in Dubai and lead your business to greater heights.

Remember, your organisation needs to perform well in terms of health and safety. And, an accreditation would definitely benefit it. Here is your chance to improve relations and increase productivity. Go grab it!

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