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Why Do Companies Need OHSAS 18001?

James Palinsad May 17, 2013 0
Why Do Companies Need OHSAS 18001?

Suppose you’re a company that needs to demonstrate that you adhere to sound occupational health and safety practices, as well as conformance to applicable government regulations. How do you do it?

Well, you can’t in any practical, expedient way—and not being able to do it could ultimately end in your losing a prospective client, a business partnership, or a business contract. You simply can’t readily demonstrate occupational health and safety performance if you don’t have the certification attesting to your being up to snuff with a universally accepted standard for occupational health and safety.

That standard happens to be the international standard OHSAS 18001.

OHSAS 18001 is a British-developed standard for occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS). It was developed to help organizations establish good occupational health and safety practices, the performance of which can be systematically documented and later shown for review. OHSAS 18001 is considered the world’s gold standard for OHSMS.

An OHSMS provides a framework that enables a company to consistently identify and control threats to health and safety, to mitigate the chances of accidents happening, manage risks to health and safety, and, ultimately, contribute to the company’s performance.

A company that uses an OHSMS inevitably develops a culture of health and safety-conscious employees, as well as policies, resulting in a cascade of benefits for the company—fewer accidents, less downtime, lower insurance costs, and a better edge in the marketplace. It’s also a useful tool for encouraging a company’s constant improvement of occupational health and safety performance.

Having OHSAS 18001, as with having other OHSAS 1800 standards, makes important components of an OHSMS available for use in lockstep with other management requirements for a more effective health and safety performance.

The OHSAS 18001 certification process is no different from those of other international standards. The entire process usually runs anywhere from six to 12 months, depending on the size of the company and the complexity of its operations.

The certification process involves both internal and external audits, the latter conducted only by an accredited third party. The internal audit, an integral element of the certification process, is conducted by an individual who has undergone an OHSAS 18001 Certified Auditor course, such as the program offered by ISOtraining.com. Audits are carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of a company’s OHSMS. A company that’s certified to OHSAS 18001 has a well-designed OHSMS and can compete on the market from a position of strength.

In addition to the OHSAS 18001 Certified Auditor course, ISOtraining.com offers Introduction to OHSAS 18001 and OHSAS 18001-2007, both knowledge courses developed to enhance the qualifications of OHSAS 18001 auditors as well as the knowledge base of designated company employees.

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