Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: “OHSAS 18001:2007

OHSAS standard determines the requirements of the OSH management system for helping an organization in order to develop the policy and goals that take the information on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risks into consideration. It is aimed to be applied in organizations of all types and sizes and meets different geographical, cultural and social requirements. The success of the system depends on getting commitment from all the levels and functions of the organization and especially from the senior management.

Organizations of all kinds are increasingly concerned with achieving and demonstrating sound occupational health and safety (OH&S) performance by controlling their OH&S risks, consistent with their OH&S policy and objectives. 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 increased concern expressed by interested parties about OH&S issues.

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.
The OHSAS Standards covering OH&S management are intended to provide organizations with the elements of an effective OH&S management system that can be integrated with other management requirements and help organizations achieve OH&S and economic objectives. These standards, like other International Standards, are not intended to be used to create non-tariff trade barriers or to increase or change an organization’s legal obligations.

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. It is intended to apply to all types and sizes of organizations and to accommodate diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions. The basis of the approach is shown in Figure 1. The success of the system depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organization, and especially from top management. A system of this kind enables an organization to develop an OH&S policy, establish objectives and processes to achieve the policy commitments, take action as needed to improve its performance and demonstrate the conformity of the system to the requirements of this OHSAS Standard. The overall aim of this OHSAS Standard is to support and promote good OH&S practices, in balance with socio-economic needs. It should be noted that many of the requirements can be addressed concurrently or revisited at any time.

The second edition of this OHSAS Standard is focused on clarification of the first edition, and has taken due consideration of the provisions of ISO 9001, ISO14001, ILO-OSH, and other OH&S management system standards or publications to enhance the compatibility of these standards for the benefit of the user community.

There is an important distinction between this OHSAS Standard, which describes the requirements for an organization’s OH&S management system and can be used for certification/registration and/or self-declaration of an organization’s OH&S management system, and a non-certifiable guideline intended to provide generic assistance to an organization for establishing, implementing or improving an OH&S management system. OH&S management encompasses a full range of issues, including those with strategic and competitive implications. Demonstration of successful implementation of this OHSAS Standard can be used by an organization to assure interested parties that an appropriate OH&S management system is in place.

Those organizations requiring more general guidance on a broad range of OH&S management system issues are referred to OHSAS 18002. Any reference to other International Standards is for information only.
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. Since PDCA can be applied to all processes, the two methodologies are considered to be compatible.

This OHSAS Standard contains requirements that can be objectively audited; however it does not establish absolute requirements for OH&S performance beyond the commitments, in the OH&S policy, to comply with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes, to the prevention of injury and ill health and to continual improvement. Thus, two organizations carrying out similar operations but having different OH&S performance can both conform to its requirements.

This OH&S Standard does not include requirements specific to other management systems, such as those for quality, environmental, security, or financial management, though its elements can be aligned or integrated with those of other management systems. It is possible for an organization to adapt its existing management system(s) in order to establish an OH&S management system that conforms to the requirements of this OHSAS Standard. It is pointed out, however, that the application of various elements of the management system might differ depending on the intended purpose and the interested parties involved.

The level of detail and complexity of the OH&S management system, the extent of documentation and the resources devoted to it depend on a number of factors, such as the scope of the system, the size of an organization and the nature of its activities, products and services, and the organizational culture. This may be the case in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.
OH&S MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
REQUIREMENTS
1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
The organization shall establish, document, implement, maintain and continually improve an OH&S management system in accordance with the requirements of this OHSAS Standard and determine how it will fulfil these requirements.

The organization shall define and document the scope of its OH&S management system.

2. OH&S POLICY
Top management shall define and authorize the organization’s OH&S policy and ensure that within the defined scope of its OH&S management system it:
a) is appropriate to the nature and scale of the organization’s OH&S risks;
b) includes a commitment to prevention of injury and ill health and continual improvement in OH&S management and OH&S performance;
c) includes a commitment to at least comply with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes that relate to its OH&S hazards;
d) provides the framework for setting and reviewing OH&S objectives;
e) is documented, implemented and maintained;
f) is communicated to all persons working under the control of the organization with the intent that they are made aware of their individual OH&S obligations;
g) is available to interested parties; and
h) is reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate to the organization.

3. PLANNING
3.1 Hazard identification, risk assessment and determining controls
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for the ongoing hazard identification, risk assessment, and determination of necessary controls.

The procedure(s) for hazard identification and risk assessment shall take into account:
a) routine and non-routine activities;
b) activities of all persons having access to the workplace (including contractors and visitors);
c) human behavior, capabilities and other human factors;
d) identified hazards originating outside the workplace capable of adversely affecting the health and safety of persons under the control of the organization within the workplace;
e) hazards created in the vicinity of the workplace by work-related activities under the control of the organization;
f) infrastructure, equipment and materials at the workplace, whether provided by the organization or others;
g) changes or proposed changes in the organization, its activities, or materials;
h) modifications to the OH&S management system, including temporary changes, and their impacts on operations, processes, and activities;
i) any applicable legal obligations relating to risk assessment and implementation of necessary controls;
j) the design of work areas, processes, installations, machinery/equipment, operating procedures and work organization, including their adaptation to human capabilities.

The organization’s methodology for hazard identification and risk assessment shall:
• be defined with respect to its scope, nature and timing to ensure it is proactive rather than reactive; and
• provide for the identification, prioritization and documentation of risks, and the application of controls, as appropriate.

For the management of change, the organization shall identify the OH&S hazards and OH&S risks associated with changes in the organization, the OH&S management system, or its activities, prior to the introduction of such changes.

The organization shall ensure that the results of these assessments are considered when determining controls. When determining controls, or considering changes to existing controls, consideration shall be given to reducing the risks according to the following hierarchy:
a) elimination;
b) substitution;
c) engineering controls;
d) signage/warnings and/or administrative controls;
e) personal protective equipment.

The organization shall document and keep the results of identification of hazards, risk assessments and determined controls up-to-date.

The organization shall ensure that the OH&S risks and determined controls are taken into account when establishing, implementing and maintaining its OH&S management system.

3.2 Legal and other requirements
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for identifying and accessing the legal and other OH&S requirements that are applicable to it.

The organization shall ensure that these applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes are taken into account in establishing, implementing and maintaining its OH&S management system. The organization shall keep this information up-to-date.

The organization shall communicate relevant information on legal and other requirements to persons working under the control of the organization, and other relevant interested parties.

3.3 Objectives and program (s)
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain documented OH&S objectives, at relevant functions and levels within the organization. The objectives shall be measurable, where practicable, and consistent with the OH&S policy, including the commitments to the prevention of injury and ill health, to compliance with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and to continual improvement.

When establishing and reviewing its objectives, an organization shall take into account the legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and its OH&S risks. It shall also consider its technological options, its financial, operational and business requirements, and the views of relevant interested parties.

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a program(s) for achieving its objectives. Program (s) shall include as a minimum:
a) Designation of responsibility and authority for achieving objectives at relevant functions and levels of the organization; and
b) The means and time-frame by which the objectives are to be achieved.

The program(s) shall be reviewed at regular and planned intervals, and adjusted as necessary, to ensure that the objectives are achieved.

4. IMPLEMENTATION AND OPERATION
4.1 Resources, roles, responsibility, accountability and authority
Top management shall take ultimate responsibility for OH&S and the OH&S management system. Top management shall demonstrate its commitment by:
a) Ensuring the availability of resources essential to establish implement, maintain and improve the OH&S management system (Resources include human resources and specialized skills, organizational infrastructure, technology and financial resources);
b) Defining roles, allocating responsibilities and accountabilities, and delegating authorities, to facilitate effective OH&S management; roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and authorities shall be documented and communicated.

The organization shall appoint a member(s) of top management with specific responsibility for OH&S, irrespective of other responsibilities, and with defined roles and authority for:
a) Ensuring that the OH&S management system is established, implemented and maintained in accordance with this OHSAS Standard;
b) Ensuring that reports on the performance of the OH&S management system are presented to top management for review and used as a basis for improvement of the OH&S management system.

The identity of the top management appointee shall be made available to all persons working under the control of the organization. All those with management responsibility shall demonstrate their commitment to the continual improvement of OH&S performance.

The organization shall ensure that persons in the workplace take responsibility for aspects of OH&S over which they have control, including adherence to the organization’s applicable OH&S requirements.

4.2 Competence, training and awareness
The organization shall ensure that any person(s) under its control performing tasks that can impact on OH&S is (are) competent on the basis of appropriate education, training or experience, and shall retain associated records.

The organization shall identify training needs associated with its OH&S risks and its OH&S management system. It shall provide training or take other action to meet these needs, evaluate the effectiveness of the training or action taken, and retain associated records.

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to make persons working under its control aware of:
a) The OH&S consequences, actual or potential, of their work activities, their behavior, and the OH&S benefits of improved personal performance;
b) Their roles and responsibilities and importance in achieving conformity to the OH&S policy and procedures and to the requirements of the OH&S management system, including emergency preparedness and response requirements;
c) The potential consequences of departure from specified procedures.

Training procedures shall take into account differing levels of:
• responsibility, ability, language skills and literacy; and
• risk.
4.3 Communication, participation and consultation
Communication: With regard to its OH&S hazards and OH&S management system, the organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for:
a) Internal communication among the various levels and functions of the organization;
b) Communication with contractors and other visitors to the workplace;
c) Receiving, documenting and responding to relevant communications from external interested parties.

Participation and consultation: The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for:
a) the participation of workers by their:
• Appropriate involvement in hazard identification, risk assessments and determination of controls;
• Appropriate involvement in incident investigation;
• Involvement in the development and review of OH&S policies and objectives;
• Consultation where there are any changes that affect their OH&S;
• Representation on OH&S matters.
Workers shall be informed about their participation arrangements, including who is their representative(s) on OH&S matters.
b) Consultation with contractors where there are changes that affect their OH&S.
The organization shall ensure that, when appropriate, relevant external interested parties are consulted about pertinent OH&S matters.

4.4 Documentation
The OH&S management system documentation shall include:
a) The OH&S policy and objectives;
b) Description of the scope of the OH&S management system;
c) Description of the main elements of the OH&S management system and their interaction, and reference to related documents;
d) Documents, including records, required by this OHSAS Standard; and
e) Documents, including records, determined by the organization to be necessary to ensure the effective planning, operation and control of processes that relate to the management of its OH&S risks.

4.5 Control of documents
Documents required by the OH&S management system and by this OHSAS Standard shall be controlled. The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to:
a) Approve documents for adequacy prior to issue;
b) Review and update as necessary and re-approve documents;
c) Ensure that changes and the current revision status of documents are identified;
d) Ensure that relevant versions of applicable documents are available at points of use;
e) Ensure that documents remain legible and readily identifiable;
f) Ensure that documents of external origin determined by the organization to be necessary for the planning and operation of the OH&S management system are identified and their distribution controlled; and
g) Prevent the unintended use of obsolete documents and apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose.

4.6 Operational control
The organization shall determine those operations and activities that are associated with the identified hazard(s) where the implementation of controls is necessary to manage the OH&S risk(s). This shall include the management of change. For those operations and activities, the organization shall implement and maintain:
a) Operational controls, as applicable to the organization and its activities; the organization shall integrate those operational controls into its overall OH&S management system;
b) Controls related to purchased goods, equipment and services;
c) Controls related to contractors and other visitors to the workplace;
d) Documented procedures, to cover situations where their absence could lead to deviations from the OH&S policy and the objectives;
e) Stipulated operating criteria where their absence could lead to deviations from the OH&S policy and objectives.

4.7 Emergency preparedness and response
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s):
a) To identify the potential for emergency situations;
b) To respond to such emergency situations.
The organization shall respond to actual emergency situations and prevent or mitigate associated adverse OH&S consequences.

In planning its emergency response the organization shall take account of the needs of relevant interested parties, e.g. emergency services and neighbors.

The organization shall also periodically test its procedure(s) to respond to emergency situations, where practicable, involving relevant interested parties as appropriate.

The organization shall periodically review and, where necessary, revise its emergency preparedness and response procedure(s), in particular, after periodical testing and after the occurrence of emergency situations.

5. Checking
5.1 Performance measurement and monitoring
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to monitor and measure OH&S performance on a regular basis. This procedure(s) shall provide for:
a) Both qualitative and quantitative measures, appropriate to the needs of the organization;
b) Monitoring of the extent to which the organization’s OH&S objectives are met;
c) Monitoring the effectiveness of controls (for health as well as for safety);
d) Proactive measures of performance that monitor conformance with the OH&S program(s), controls and operational criteria;
e) Reactive measures of performance that monitor ill health, incidents (including accidents, near-misses, etc.), and other historical evidence of deficient OH&S performance;
f) Recording of data and results of monitoring and measurement sufficient to facilitate subsequent corrective action and preventive action analysis.

If equipment is required to monitor or measure performance, the organization shall establish and maintain procedures for the calibration and maintenance of such equipment, as appropriate. Records of calibration and maintenance activities and results shall be retained.

5.2 Evaluation of compliance
• Consistent with its commitment to compliance, the organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for periodically evaluating compliance with applicable legal requirements
• The organization shall evaluate compliance with other requirements to which it subscribes. The organization may wish to combine this evaluation with the evaluation of legal compliance.

The organization shall keep records of the results of the periodic evaluations.

5.3 Incident investigation, nonconformity, corrective action and preventive action
Incident investigation: The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to record, investigate and analyze incidents in order to:
a) Determine underlying OH&S deficiencies and other factors that might be causing or contributing to the occurrence of incidents;
b) Identify the need for corrective action;
c) Identify opportunities for preventive action;
d) Identify opportunities for continual improvement;
e) Communicate the results of such investigations.

The investigations shall be performed in a timely manner. Any identified need for corrective action or opportunities for preventive action shall be dealt. The results of incident investigations shall be documented and maintained.
Nonconformity, corrective action and preventive action: The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for dealing with actual and potential nonconformity(ies) and for taking corrective action and preventive action. The procedure(s) shall define requirements for:
a) Identifying and correcting nonconformity(ies) and taking action(s) to mitigate their OH&S consequences;
b) Investigating nonconformity(ies), determining their cause(s) and taking actions in order to avoid their recurrence;
c) Evaluating the need for action(s) to prevent nonconformity(ies) and implementing appropriate actions designed to avoid their occurrence;
d) Recording and communicating the results of corrective action(s) and preventive action(s) taken; and
e) reviewing the effectiveness of corrective action(s) and preventive action(s) taken.

Where the corrective action and preventive action identifies new or changed hazards or the need for new or changed controls, the procedure shall require that the proposed actions shall be taken through a risk assessment prior to implementation. Any corrective action or preventive action taken to eliminate the causes of actual and potential nonconformity(ies) shall be appropriate to the magnitude of problems and commensurate with the OH&S risk(s) encountered.

The organization shall ensure that any necessary changes arising from corrective action and preventive action are made to the OH&S management system documentation.

5.4 Control of records
The organization shall establish and maintain records as necessary to demonstrate conformity to the requirements of its OH&S management system and of this OHSAS Standard, and the results achieved.

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for the identification, storage, protection, retrieval, retention and disposal of records. Records shall be and remain legible, identifiable and traceable.

5.5 Internal audit
The organization shall ensure that internal audits of the OH&S management system are conducted at planned intervals to:
a) Determine whether the OH&S management system:
1. Conforms to planned arrangements for OH&S management, including the requirements of this OHSAS Standard; and
2) Has been properly implemented and is maintained; and
3) Is effective in meeting the organization’s policy and objectives;
b) provide information on the results of audits to management.
Audit program (s) shall be planned, established, implemented and maintained by the organization, based on the results of risk assessments of the organization’s activities, and the results of previous audits. Audit procedure(s) shall be established, implemented and maintained that address:
a) The responsibilities, competencies, and requirements for planning and conducting audits, reporting results and retaining associated records; and
b) The determination of audit criteria, scope, frequency and methods. Selection of auditors and conduct of audits shall ensure objectivity and the impartiality of the audit process.

6. MANAGEMENT REVIEW
Top management shall review the organization’s OH&S management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. Reviews shall include assessing opportunities for improvement and the need for changes to the OH&S management system, including the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives. Records of the management reviews shall be retained.

Input to management reviews shall include:
a) Results of internal audits and evaluations of compliance with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes;
b) The results of participation and consultation (see 4.4.3);
c) Relevant communication(s) from external interested parties, including complaints;
d) The OH&S performance of the organization;
e) The extent to which objectives have been met;
f) Status of incident investigations, corrective actions and preventive actions;
g) Follow-up actions from previous management reviews;
h) Changing circumstances, including developments in legal and other requirements related to OH&S; and
i) Recommendations for improvement.

The outputs from management reviews shall be consistent with the organization’s commitment to continual improvement and shall include any decisions and actions related to possible changes to:
a) OH&S performance;
b) OH&S policy and objectives;
c) Resources; and
d) Other elements of the OH&S management system.

Relevant outputs from management review shall be made available for communication and consultation.

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