For organizations operating in the UK
BS OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational health and safety management systems. Requirements specifies requirement for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, to enable an organization to control its OH&S risks and improve its performance.
It does not state specific OH&S performance criteria, nor does it give detailed specifications for the design of a management system, which is given in BS 8800:2004. BS OHSAS 18001:2007 is the UK implementation of OHSAS and has the status of a British Standard.
BS OHSAS 18001:2007 supersedes OHSAS 18001:1999, but remains current until 2009.
There have been a number of significant changes to the standard 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
Principal amongst the changes are much greater emphasis on "health" rather than just "safety", and significantly improved alignment to BS EN ISO 14001:2004 (to enable organizations to develop "integrated management systems").
Summary of key changes between BS OHSAS 18001:2007 and OHSAS 18001:1999
- The importance of "health" has now been given greater emphasis.
- BS OHSAS 18001 now refers to itself as a standard, not a specification, or document, as in the earlier edition. This reflects the increasing adoption of OHSAS 18001 as the basis for national standards on occupational health and safety management systems.
- The "Plan-Do-Check-Act" model diagram is only given in the Introduction, in its entirety, and not also as 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 BS EN ISO 14001:2004 throughout the standard; and improved compatibility with BS EN 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 more explicitly addressed
- A new clause on the "Evaluation of compliance" has been introduced, as per BS EN ISO 14001:2004
- New requirements have been introduced for participation and consultation
- New requirements have been introduced for the investigation of incidents
Other important information
For those organizations that have already achieved certification to OHSAS 18001:1999, or are in the final stages of achieving it, a two year "transition" period has been agreed, in order to allow them to make the change to using the new standard. The transition period will end on 1 July 2009. We do not believe that this will be a difficult process for such organizations.
For those organizations that are just starting down the path towards seeking certification to BS OHSAS 18001, and are looking for guidance to assist them, them we would recommend using the sister standard OHSAS 18002:2000 Occupational health and safety management systems - Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001. While this standard is aligned on a clause by clause basis against OHSAS 18001:1999, it does still contain valuable advice on what you need to do to achieve compliance. The OHSAS Project Group is about to start work to revise this standard, with a target of the end of the 3rd quarter of 2008 for publication of a revised edition.
Now available as a laminated pocketbook for better durability and portability
BS OHSAS 18002:2008 Occupational health and safety management systems. Guidelines for the implementation of BS OHSAS 18001:2007
BS 18004 Guide to occupational health and safety management