The management of health & safety in the work place, in the context of the organisation itself and also the impact it may have on others, can be a major concern. BS OHSAS 18001 assists an organisation in managing health and safety risks and complying with relevant legislation and regulations by setting out the requirements for establishing a recognised and effective occupational health & safety management system, based on best practice.
BS OHSAS 18001 supports and guides an organisation in creating the processes needed, focusing on the following key aspects of health and safety management:
- Planning how to deal with potential hazards in the workplace.
- Assessing and controlling health and safety risks.
- Defining objectives for a health and safety management programme.
- Defining management and operational responsibilities.
- Delivering awareness training.
- Ensuring that in-house people are competent in the relevant processes.
- Consulting and communicating with the workforce on health and safety management issues.
- Preparing for and responding to emergency incidents at work.
- Monitoring, reviewing and assessing effective performance with the aim of continuous improvement.
The Benefits of BS OHSAS 18001
Most organisations have certain procedures in place to reduce risk and deal with health and safety concerns, both within and outside the business, affecting employees, customers, suppliers and members of the public. By implementing a management system and achieving certification to BS OHSAS 18001, an organisation can be sure that it has taken account of its essential responsibilities.
BS OHSAS 18001 enables an organisation to manage health and safety issues effectively while achieving its aims and safe-guarding its future by:
Reducing risk and complying with legal requirements
An organisation can dramatically and effectively improve its internal processes and competent management of health and safety issues, enabling it to comply with legislation and regulations, reduce risk and the likelihood of damaging and costly incidents impacting on the business and others, including those that could lead to legal liability and adverse publicity.
A business with BS OHSAS 18001 certification will be more likely to be approached by potential customers and pass through the screening process of any tendering exercise.
Creating marketing opportunities
Certification makes a public statement, offering significant opportunities for marketing and publicity in announcing the organisation’s success and demonstrating its high level of awareness, responsibility and commitment.
Everyone involved in the organisation’s activities and those who come into contact with it will be assured that the organisation takes risks to health and safety matters very seriously, enhancing its reputation, standing and culture.
Offering peace of mind
With reduced risk and effective management systems in place, the organisation can better focus on its aims and future development.
Achieving certification to BS OHSAS 18001
An organisation can become certified to BS OHSAS 18001 by designing and implementing formal, documented procedures to meet the requirements of the standard which can then be audited by an independent, accredited assessment body, leading to certification.
The process of setting up a health & safety management system starts by reviewing the ways in which the organisation currently prepares for and responds to health and safety issues, measuring these against the requirements of BS OHSAS 18001 and carrying out a 'gap analysis'.
Every organisation is different and some will need to plan for potential risks that others are unlikely to encounter. Consideration has to be given to the chain of responsibility for health and safety management.
An organisation will wish to consider risks affecting not only its internal workforce but also anyone else likely to be affected by its existence and activities.
Revised and new procedures for health and safety management then have to be prepared, documented and embedded within the activities and responsibilities of the organisation, usually involving awareness and competence training for those involved.
Once a health & safety management system has been put in place and appears to be working, an audit can be carried out by an accredited, independent body, leading to formal certification to BS OHSAS 18001.
The system has to be maintained, updated and kept under regular review, with periodic independent audits for the re-certification process.
BS OHSAS 18001 has been amended to offer better alignment with the quality management standard ISO 9001 and the environmental management standard ISO 14001.
Organisations can therefore put integrated management systems in place to accommodate two or three standards, as far as possible, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and avoiding duplication – or triplication – of work and effort.
BS OHSAS 18001 is due to be replaced in two or three years by a new international standard, ISO 45001. However, there is no need for concern or to delay any proposals to implement BS OHSAS 18001 as it will remain valid for some time yet and there will be plenty of opportunity to follow a transition process. ISO 45001 will draw significantly on BS OHSAS 18001 and focus on the key health and safety areas of responsibility.
How Touchstone Renard can support an organisation with BS OHSAS 18001
Since the early 1990s, Touchstone Renard has successfully supported a vast range of client organisations with the design, implementation and maintenance of management systems, including BS OHSAS 18001. We offer clients a flexible service to meet the needs of their organisation and its budget.
We have a strong team of qualified, experienced, professional consultants who seek to involve and capture the support and interests of an organisation’s people in implementing a management system to suit their circumstances. Tangible benefits are soon identified that can quickly be realised from the improved ways of working that quickly become part of the day to day activities.
In working with any organisation, we aim to avoid disruption to daily activities, while developing a management system that flows around the relevant processes and captures the requirements of the standard.
We design a system to match the needs of the organisation while ensuring that the processes are in place to achieve independent certification to BS OHSAS 18001.
We also a offer highly flexible service, following certification, to help a client organisation to maintain an existing management system by keeping it updated and operating effectively to enable re-certification to be achieved.
Please Contact Touchstone Renard
If you would welcome a discussion or further information about BS OHSAS 18001 or the proposed new standard, ISO 45001, or the idea of an integrated management system, please contact Phil Austin, Managing Director, without any obligation:
- T: +44 (0)207 101 0788.
- M: +44(0)7768 366744.