The Occupational Health and Safety Management System
Originally introduced in 1999, this did not carry the status of a British Standard, but it followed the example of ISO 9001, adopting the new, process-
based approach to management systems. This specification maintains compatibility with other management standards,
including ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environmental) and ISO 27001 (information security).
Many companies have found that, whether or not they eventually get themselves assessed and certified, the introduction of this standard
has provided a focussed agenda to control their health and safety policies. In this way it has become easier to adopt responsible,
hazard-managed activities and develop a good reputation. Safety is recognised as being an economically significant factor, as the costs of
even minor accidents can have serious effects on productivity as well as in losses due to compensation and sickness absence.
"Health and Safety" has earned a bad reputation for mindless aversion to manageable risk, leading to poor outcomes; and yet there
are still serious accidents that could have been avoided. Contrary to these publicised difficulties, a carefully considered OHSAS 18001
system can at the same time allow a company to conduct necessary activities, reduce costs and risks, and increase motivation for responsible behaviour.
In July 2007 the specification was officially adopted as a British Standard, and incorporated some revisions. Most of the changes were concerned with clarification, but there were two
changes considered major. One major change introduces the need to specify the legal/regulatory requirements, and the
other requires the system to be evaluated against those requirements. A company properly embracing the principles presented in the 1999 version
should have no difficulty complying with the revised standard.
Although it is process-based, the standard defines specific requirements for no fewer that 13 procedures.
OHSAS 18001 basic principles
Some of the important principles of OHSAS 18001 are:
Clearly defined health and safety issues.
This requires a systematic identification of risks, assessing them and controlling them.
Related to the risk assessment, ensuring that key issues are regularly discussed and efficently resolved.
Every opportunity is explored to identify and reduce risks and costs.
The process-based approach is compatible with ISO9001 (Quality Management), so the provisions of theis standard can be smoothly
and economically integrated into a single management system.
Anything that really matters is properly recorded and visible to management and any authorised external agency.
Support and training
Our support and training programmes cover the following:
Training and coaching.
We provide training and coaching at all levels, from top management overview to the design and preparation of process and other documents. We
can also train your internal auditors. All our training courses lead to personal certification which is recorded as qualifications required by the standard.
If your company does not have the means or experience to produce process documents, forms or other management documents, we can provide training,
on-job coaching or a document design service. We can provide as much or as little help as you need on an as-required basis for economy.
System reviews and audits.
We can help you to audit your system and offer constructive comment on how it could be improved. This is a particularly useful service for you to call
on before a formal assessment leading to certification. Our audits are recorded according to the requirements of the standard, and contribute towards the
evidence of achievement required during an assessment.
Assessment and certification.
For companies not requiring a UKAS-accredited assessor we can assess your system according to the provisions of ISO19011 (guidelines for management systems auditing) and provide you with our own
report and certificate of compliance.
Our guarantee: subject to your having been recently certified by us, and not having significantly changed your system or failed to operate
in accordance with it, we will provide whatever help you need without charge, to achieve a successful certification with a UKAS-accredited assessor.
To find out more about our support programmes, please go to our
free downloads page
For further details of training programmes, please go to our
Many of our SME customers get up to 50% grant support through several regional development agencies.
The money comes to you, not to us, but we can help you find out where to look for support.
Ring us on: 01633 430166
or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org