Occupational health and safety management system 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 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.
For any organization the degree of change necessary will be dependent upon the maturity and effectiveness of the existing management systems, organizational structure and practices, therefore an impact analysis/gap assessment is strongly recommended in order to identify realistic resource and time implications.
Organizations pursuing the certification of OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System are recommended to take the following actions:
a) Identify organizational gaps which need to be addressed to meet new requirements.
b) Develop an implementation plan.
c) Provide appropriate training and awareness for all parties that have an impact on the effectiveness of the organization.
d) Update the existing management systems to meet the common requirements of the implementation strategy.
e) Where applicable, liaise with their Certification Body for integration arrangements.