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Ohsas 18001 Consultants

Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems


This OHSAS Standard specifies requirements for an OH&S management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and information about OH&S risks. They do so in the context of increasingly stringent legislation, the development of economic policies and other measures that foster good OH&S practices, and of increased concern expressed by interested parties about OH&S issues. It is intended to apply to all types and sizes of organizations in line with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and to accommodate diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions.


Many organizations have undertaken OH&S “reviews” or “audits” to assess their OH&S performance. On their own, however, these “reviews” and “audits” may not be sufficient to provide an organization with the assurance that its performance not only meets, but will continue to meet, its legal and policy requirements. To be effective, they need to be conducted within a structured management system that is integrated within the organization


Identification of Hazards:


In general any organization may knowingly or unknowingly possess Hazards such as Physical Hazard, Chemical Hazard, Biological Hazard, Psychological Hazard etc… prevailing in the work environment, which potentially harm in terms of human injury or ill health or a combination of these. Such Hazards needs to be identified and mitigated through Risk Assessment.


Risk Assessment:


Organization should evaluate the risk arising from a hazard(s), taking into account the adequacy of any existing controls, and deciding whether or not the risk(s) is acceptable. For every Risk identified new controls are to be determined if existing controls are not sufficient in the following hierarchy.


  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Engineering controls
  • signage/warnings and/or administrative controls
  • Personal protective equipment. (PPE)


Legal Requirements:


This standard calls for the Organization to comply with all applicable legal obligations up-to-date. Organization should first identify the legal requirement , comply with those requirements and communicate to the employees concerned and the interested parties about the compliance level.


Objectives and programmes:


Organization shall define realistic, measurable, practicable Objectives in line with OH&S Policy. Setting objectives is an integral part of the planning of an OH&S management system. The process of setting and reviewing objectives, and implementing programmes to achieve them, provides a mechanism for the organization to continually improve its OH&S management system and to improve its OH&S performance.


When setting OH&S objectives the organization needs to take into account the legal and other requirements and its OH&S risks that it has identified


Example objectives:


 Objectives to introduce controls or eliminate hazards (e.g. for noise reduction in a workshop),

 Objectives to introduce less hazardous materials in specific products.


Concept behind this standard:


This OHSAS Standard is based on the methodology known as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). PDCA can be briefly described as follows :


Plan : Establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the organization’s OH&S policy.
Do : Implement the processes.
Check : Monitor and measure processes against OH&S policy, objectives, legal and other requirements, and report the results.
Act : Take actions to continually improve OH&S performance.


Many organizations manage their operations via the application of a system of processes and their interactions, which can be referred to as the “process approach”. ISO 9001 promotes the use of the process approach.


Occupational Health Services (OHS) are essentially multidisciplinary in nature involving the services of physicians, hygienists, toxicologists, ergonomists, psychologists, educators, NGOs and paramedical staff to achieve a common goal of protecting and promoting workers’ health.


Today’s concept of occupational health has greatly changed from yesterday’s concept of industrial health and now it is fast changing to environmental health because of greater awareness of the ecological problems arising from rapid industrialization, the use of complex processes and hazardous chemicals in industries, and urbanization.


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