Oct 23, 2017

Implementing OHSAS 18001 in 12 Steps

Implementing your Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OH&SMS) and ultimately gaining certification can be difficult, and it is easy to become stunned by the numerous requirements of OHSAS 18001. To make the process easier to follow, the 12 steps below contain important information about the elements essential to your system.

  • Management support

Getting management support is critical and you need to decide whether to talk to them individually, or hold a meeting.

  • Legal requirements

You need to know which health and safety laws apply your industry. To obtain this knowledge, look at regional, national and international legislation. An outline for the requirements for your compliance is described in OHSAS 18001 Section 4.3.2. Make sure you’re fully conversant with this to ensure that your implementation is successful.

  • OH&SMS scope

Your OH&SMS might be applicable to the whole company, or possibly just one or a few locations of a company with multiple locations. When you write the OH&S Policy, objectives and targets, this knowledge will be critical.

  • Processes and procedures

To manage the OH&S threats for your company, you need to define processes and procedures. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How could you recognize all the hazards, as well as the risks that go with these, so that you are able to put the controls in place that will mitigate these risks?
  • What type of risk assessments are required?
  • What are the operational controls?
  • What will your emergency procedures look like?
  • What needs to be written, and what should be controlled by conducting training and awareness sessions?

5) Implementation

Once you have defined all the processes and procedures in Step 4, you need to put them into place. To do this, you’ll need to establish a hierarchy of procedures and controls. To achieve the success you’re looking for, it might be advisable to work with various individuals in the organization. You also need to consider how the added responsibilities that employees now have will be rolled out.

  • Training and awareness

Your employees need to know what OHSAS 18001 does, and why it was decided to implement it. This is achieved through training and awareness sessions. Establish how the training will be done – training sessions could be held during departmental meetings, or managers might train their own employees. When you make changes to the processes, always determine who has to be trained regarding these changes, and where and how they’ll be trained. Everyone should be fully aware of how they relate to OH&SMS and what their responsibilities are.

  • Certification

Once your system has been designed and implemented, you need to select a certification body to certify your system. Look for auditors that know the industry you’re in and are conversant with the associated risks and hazards. To do this, you might want to look at other organizations the company has certified, and check how satisfied they were. You could also ask the certification body how they propose to provide benefits to you. If you check all these things, and ask the questions, you should be able to find the certification body that’s right for you.

  • Maintaining and keeping records

When you move forward, check your records to see what they say about the processes. You should know if they work well, or if you have to change anything by using the corrective action process. Also make sure your employees know what they have to do as described in your records, and identify if further training is needed in specific areas. If you notice opportunities to improve the processes, determine how you can profit from these. Ask the certification body how long this period should be before the management system is deemed ready for audit. 9) Internal audits Internal audits are tools used to check the processes, so notice what they are telling you. You’ll quickly be able to see if your records are good enough to determine if a process is working, or if there are problems that need to be fixed through corrective action. Some areas might need audits more frequently than others. 10) Management reviews When management reviews the output of your management system, they’ll quickly see if the OH&SMS is functioning as per the original plan and if it is correctly implemented and running effectively. A management review will also highlight if improvements are made, and if adequate resources are made available for the effort. 11) Corrective actions If there are problems with the OH&SMS system, these will have to be fixed. Problems are typically identified through internal audits, process measurements, and management reviews. The OH&S incident investigation procedure should also be an input into your corrective actions. The corrective action process will help you identify root causes of any problem. Once you know the cause, address it with corrective actions. 12) Certification audits Once you feel you are ready, the certification body you have chosen will arrange for auditors to audit your system. This means that they’ll compare your processes, procedures and plans to the requirements of the standard. If any gaps are found, these will be highlighted in the audit report. Any gaps found will have to be corrected and evidence gathered to show that they have been addressed. When the system is deemed mature enough, the certification body will do another audit. This time they will compare records to plans and make sure the requirements are all implemented. Auditors typically look at how any nonconformances found in your internal audits, process data, or a management review were addressed. The auditors will issue an audit report on completion of the audit. The report will include corrective actions required, if any. Once they are sure that the system meets the standard’s requirements, they will issue a certification recommendation. Meet your goals by planning properly Take time to plan properly to implement your OH&SMS and make sure that you have adequate resources available from the beginning. Having a plan will ensure that your implementation runs smoothly, and prevent wasting time and resources that are not required. ISO 9001 quality management systems (QMS) are implemented using MyEasyISO software in Perth (Australia), while ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 Health Safety Management Systems (HSE) are implemented with MyEasyISO in Shanghai (China).

Sree vidhya

You may also like...

Most Popular

Digitize Your Calibration Management with Effivity Pro

Unlock efficiency in your calibration processes with Effivity's calibration management software.

Why Industry Leaders Choose Effivity for their EHS Software

Learn how Effivity's Environment Management Systems software offers innovative, user-friendly solutions.


Talked About

Effivity is Proud to Be A Part of Idea Pattarai

Effivity, with its user-friendly and scalable software solutions, is glad to be a part of Idea Pattarai.

Global Giants of Chemical Industry joins with Effivity Pro to enhance QHSE Compliance

Discover how Global Giants of Chemical Industry partnered with Effivity PRO to revolutionise QHSE.


Effivity is a leading QMS software for Quality Management System automation as per ISO 9001 standard, HSE software for Health – Safety - Environment Management System as per ISO 14001 & ISO 45001 standards and FSMS – HACCP software for food safety management system automation as per ISO 22000 / FSSC 22000 standards.