OHSAS is an acronym for “Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series”. Just like ISO, OHSAS has its own components, and is considered by organizations across the globe as a benchmark for assessing health and work place safety. OHSAS has two parts: 18001 & 18002, embracing number of other clauses as well. OHSAS was created owing to demand from companies to establish a measuring system for health and safety monitoring. Normally an organization applies for ISO 9001 for it quality audit and subsequently for ISO 14001 for environmental audit, and finally for OHSAS 180001 for occupational health and safety. These days’ companies are combining all three audits, in order to accrue the cost benefits of a combined process. As of 2009, globally OHSAS certificates were issued to 54000 companies.
Primary benefits of applying and being certified for OHSAS 18001:
- Establishing framework in an organization, to identify and eliminate occupational health and safety risk to employees or contractors
- Assuring the involved parties with the guidelines issued by OHSAS
- Spreading the compliance principle of the company to fellow institutions
- Creating a sustainable environment for continuation of OHSAS compliance
- Auditing OHSAS compliance through a third party certifier
OHSAS is viewed by organizations as a system, coupled with other managerial requirements promotes occupational health and safety amongst employees. Companies are viewing occupational hazards as a serious threat to the company’s bottom line, and a deterrent to employee morale. Hence they are leaving no stone unturned to ensure, compliance of health and safety policies. Moreover implementation of OHSAS 18001 clauses in an organization, consistently identify and control health risks, reduce potential accidents, aid legislative compliance, and improve overall performances.
OHSAS policies encourages organizations to develop and implement policies which consider the legal implications of occupational risks, and can widely be useful to organisations irrespective of their size or geographical diversity.
By 2013, OHSAS has started offering customized packages considering the fact that every organization has its own risks, and a generic framework might be cost intensive.