OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements

Control risk and improve performance with QSR

The OHSAS 18001:2007 standard specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system that allows organizations to control OH&S risks and improve performance.

It does not state specific OH&S performance criteria, nor does it give detailed specifications for the design of a management system.

There have been a number of significant changes to the document since the first edition was published in 1999. The changes reflect the widespread use and experience of the standard in more than 80 countries and by approximately 16,000 certified organizations, according to drafters.

There is now a much greater emphasis on "health" rather than just "safety," and significantly improved alignment with the ISO 14001:2004 standard on environmental management systems to promote the concept of integrated management systems.

Key changes in the 2007 edition include:

  • The importance of "health" has been emphasized.

  • OHSAS 18001:2007 is now referred to as a standard rather than simply a specification, or document, as in the earlier edition. This reflects the increasing adoption of OHSAS 18001:2007 as the basis for national standards on occupational health and safety management systems.

  • The "Plan-Do-Check-Act" model diagram is only presented in its entirety in the Introduction. The previous edition had also presented it in sectional diagrams at the start of each major clause.

  • Reference publications in Clause 2 have been limited to purely international documents.

  • New definitions have been added and existing definitions revised.

  • Significant improvement in alignment with ISO 14001:2004 has been made throughout the standard; as well as improved compatibility with ISO 9001:2000.

  • A new requirement has been introduced for the consideration of the hierarchy of controls as part of OH&S planning.

  • Management of change is now addressed more explicitly.

  • A new clause on the "Evaluation of compliance" has been introduced, consistent with ISO 14001:2004.

  • New requirements have been introduced for participation and consultation.

  • New requirements have been introduced for the investigation of incidents.

For guidance on the standard see OHSAS 18002:2008 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems — Guidelines for the Implementation of OHSAS 18001:2007  it contains helpful advice on what organizations need to do to achieve conformance.

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