The aim of OHSAS 18001 is to create a system for constantly checking and improving your company's health and safety.
The OHSAS Project Group developed OHSAS 18001. This group is an association of 43 organisations from 28 countries. This association includes national standards bodies, registrars (certification bodies), consultants and occupational health and safety institutes.
This means implementing OHSAS 18001 in your company helps you reach an international standard of health and safety.
But before you achieve your OHSAS 18001 accreditation, you have to complete your audit.
One of the most important areas of your health and safety to include in this audit is your health and safety policy.
Here are ten points you need to check to do this...
Here's why it's so important to include your health and safety policy in your OHSAS 18001 audit
Your health and safety policy forms the basis of your health and safety management system. It governs and outlines the rules of your health and safety programme. Without it, you can't enforce your system in your workplace.
If it's not effective or well constructed, you'll end up with holes in your health and safety programme.
Your policy should include your health and safety goals, responsibilities of employees and management and samples of your health and safety rules.
You should also include the consequences of violating these rules.
To ensure your policy works effectively, you need to assess it thoroughly in your audit. When you do so, inspect these ten points.
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Are you complying with the OHSAS 18001?
Are you 100% compliant? How can you be sure?
Audit your health and safety policy using these ten check points
1. Do you have a published health and safety policy that you communicate to all your employee?
2. Does your company recognise health and safety as an integral part of your business performance?
3. Does your company recognise the need to:
- Achieve a high health and safety performance level with compliance to legal requirements as a minimum goal; and
- Press for continual cost-effective improvement in its performance?
4. Is your company committed to providing adequate and appropriate resources to implement your policy?
5. Is your company committed to setting and publishing its health and safety objectives?
6. Is your company committed to placing the management of health and safety as a prime responsibility with line managers, from the most senior executive down to first-line supervisors?
7. Is your company committed to ensuring all employees understand the policy and to implement and maintain it at all levels in the organisation?
8. Does your company recognise the need to gain employees' commitment to your policy by encouraging their active participation?
9. Is your company committed to regularly reviewing the policy and management system and carry out audits to verify compliance with the policy?
10. Is your company committed to ensuring your employees receive appropriate training and are competent to carry out their duties and responsibilities?
If your health and safety policy passes these ten check points, you have a strong base for your health and safety management system.