What is OHSAS 18001: A Comprehensive Overview

This article will address the current understanding of what OHSAS 18001 is and how to apply it to your operations.

OHSAS 18001 in practice

What is OHSAS 18001?

OHSAS 18001 is an internationally recognized occupational health and safety (OHS) management system standard. It provides a framework that organizations can use to control and improve their health and safety performance. The standard is designed to help companies to identify and manage health and safety risks and enhance workplace health and safety.

The OHSAS 18001 standard is based on the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle and is aligned with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. The standard is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, type, or sector.

Recently, the standard has been replaced by ISO 45001:2018, a standard issued to provide employees and visitors protection from work-related diseases and accidents. With that said, the OSHAS 18001 certification can no longer be issued.

Though it’s no longer in force, it is still essential that we know more about this standard. If you’re looking to improve workplace safety at your business, OSHAS 18001 is a great place to start.

Why is it Important?

Workplace safety is of the utmost importance for any business. A safe and healthy workplace not only benefits employees but can also help a business to avoid costly accidents and injuries. That’s why OSHAS 18001 is so important.

There are many benefits of implementing an OSHAS 18001 management system, including:

  • Reducing accidents and injuries
  • Improving morale
  • Reducing workers’ compensation costs 

OHSAS 18001 vs. ISO 45001

OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 are two of the most widely used occupational health and safety management systems in the world. Both standards provide guidance on how to manage risks and create a safe working environment for employees.

OHSAS 18001 was first published in 1999 and has been currently replaced by ISO 45001. The latter was published in 2018 and is the most recent international standard for occupational health and safety management systems.

Both standards share a common structure and core concepts, but there are some key differences between them. For example, ISO 45001 is aligned with other ISO management system standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This makes it easier for organizations to implement multiple management systems within their organization.

Moreover, the scope of ISO 45001 is also broader than OHSAS 18001. It includes requirements for leadership and worker participation, which were not included in OHSAS 18001. It also has a stronger focus on preventing accidents and ill health rather than just identifying and controlling risks.

Overall, ISO 45001 is a more comprehensive standard than OHSAS 18001. It provides a more holistic approach to occupational health and safety and is better aligned with other ISO management system standards.

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Will OHSAS 18001 Still be Valid after 2021?

Unfortunately, OHSAS 18001 has become obsolete since September of 2021 and is no longer issued or valid. Instead, ISO 45001 is now being used due to its more updated and broader scope.

What were the Requirements for OHSAS 18001?

Some of the key requirements of the OHSAS 18001 standard include:

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How to Get Certified

OHSAS 18001 certification can be used to show potential clients and customers that a business is committed to protecting the safety of its employees. It can also help a business qualify for government contracts that require certification. So, how can you get certified before it was replaced?

To achieve OHSAS 18001 certification, businesses must develop and implement a health and safety management system that meets the requirements set forth in the standard. Once the system is in place, businesses must then undergo an independent assessment to ensure that the system is effective and compliant with the standard.

FAQs for OHSAS 18001

The standard is voluntary, but many organizations choose to adopt it to demonstrate their commitment and implement effective occupational health and safety programs to improve employee safety.

The replacement of OHSAS 18001 with ISO 45001 was primarily due to the fact that OHSAS 18001 was not developed using the ISO standards process (based on the British Standard BS 8800). As a result, it was not well-aligned with other ISO management system standards.

ISO 14001 is an environmental management system standard, while OHSAS 18001 is a health and safety management system standard. Both standards help organizations develop and implement systems to manage environmental and health and safety risks, respectively. However, the two standards have different focus areas and requirements.

No. However, it is needed in order to tend to a contract with a customer who requires it and comply with any legal things that are needed for the business. 

SafetyCulture Content Team
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SafetyCulture Content Team
The SafetyCulture content team is dedicated to providing high-quality, easy-to-understand information to help readers understand complex topics and improve workplace safety and quality. Our team of writers have extensive experience at producing articles for different fields such as safety, quality, health, and compliance.