Introduction to OHSAS 18001 and 18002

With the evolution of multinational business interactions a need for a mutually recognizable standard of occupational health and safety arose in the 1990’s. After numerous negative incidents corporations wanted a way to assess a potential business partner’s commitment to the safety, health and welfare of their employees, and to maintain positive public regard.

construction-scaffoldingThe heightened importance worldwide of corporate social responsibility to its employees and the environment as well as the regulations governing the comprehensive presentation of information to investors created a strong demand for a formal method of verification by independent external third parties such as registrars.

OHSAS 18001:2007 is the globally accepted guideline document for companies that want to apply for certification. OHSAS 18002 provides the detailed information on how to put OHSAS 18001 into action. Both OHSAS 18001 and 18002 make up the internationally accepted requirements for occupational health and safety management systems today.

Brief Historical Development of the OSHA Standard and OHSAS 18001

A worldwide collection of prominent national standards boards, certification companies and industrial special consultants created the OHSAS 18001:1999 standard. The standard was based on many existing management system standards developed in the industrialized countries prior to 1999.

This original document gave registrars and the business community a set of requirements that could be audited to determine the soundness of a company’s integrity and overall operational practices in regard to occupational health and safety issues.

The OHSAS 18001:1999 standard was phased out of existence in July of 2009. All the companies that wished to keep their certification status were compelled to re-certify before that date.

electrical-workerOHSAS 18001:2007 is now the current version of the occupational health and safety system specification being utilized for compliance standards. It was written to be compatible and integrated with the ISO 14000 series environmental standards for the workplace.

Industry specific OHSAS training and quality improvement process documentation is a central part of the customary business methodologies involved with OHSAS 18001 preparations for certification. Many European and Pacific Rim countries are already quick to adopt the current version of the OHSAS 18001 management system and the interest is growing within the United States.

Understanding the benefits and value of OHSAS 18001:2007 certification helps to ensure that your organization has a clear set of expectations that are aligned with your organization’s pursuit of certification.

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