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What is OHSAS 18001:2007?


OHSAS 18001:2007 is the International Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard. It was published in July 2007, superseding OHSAS 18001:1999, and is intended to address occupational health and safety (OH&S) rather than product safety.

OHSAS 18001 provides a framework to the effective management of OH&S including compliance with the legislation that applies to your activities and identified hazards.

Who is OHSAS 18001 applicable to?

The standard is applicable to any organisation that wishes to eliminate or minimize risk to employees and other stakeholders who may be exposed to OH&S risks associated with its activities.

Many organizations will have elements required by OHSAS 18001 already in place which can be supplemented to provide a more cohesive management system to meet the requirements of the standard.

Organisations that implement OHSAS 18001 have a clear management structure with defined authority and responsibility, clear objectives for improvement, with measurable results and a structured approach to risk assessment. This includes the monitoring of health and safety management failures, auditing of performance and review of policies and objectives.

What are the benefits of OHSAS 18001 registration?

  • Customer satisfaction - through delivery of products that consistently meet customer requirements whilst safeguarding their health and property
  • Reduced operating costs - by decreasing down-time through incidents and ill health and reducing costs associated with legal fees and compensation
  • Improved stakeholder relationships - by safeguarding the health and property of staff, customers and suppliers
  • Legal compliance - by understanding how statutory and regulatory requirements impact the organization and its customers
  • Improved risk management - through clear identification of potential incidents and implementation of controls and measures
  • Proven business credentials - through independent verification against recognized standards
  • Ability to win more business - particularly where procurement specifications require certification as a condition to supply

How to gain registration?

The process of registration follows four simple steps:

  • Application for registration is made by completing the OHSMS questionnaire
  • Assessment to OHSAS 18001 is undertaken by NQA - this consists of two mandatory visits which form the Initial Certification Audit
  • Registration is granted by NQA and maintained by the organisation. Maintenance is confirmed through a programme of annual surveillance visits and a three yearly recertification audit

Initial Certification Audit

Stage 1 - the purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organisation for full assessment. The assessor will:

  • confirm that the OH&S management system conforms to the requirements of the standard
  • confirm its implementation status
  • confirm the scope of certification
  • check legislative compliance
  • produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree a corrective action plan if required
  • produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit

Stage 2 - the purpose of this visit is to confirm the quality management system fully conforms to the requirements of OHSAS 18001 in practice. The assessor will:

  • undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment
  • document how the system complies with the standard
  • report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance
  • produce a surveillance plan and confirm a date for the first surveillance visit

If the assessor identifies any major non-conformance, the organisation cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified.

NOTE: for further information on the Safety Scheme in Procurement (SSIP) click HERE.


All health and safety professionals should be aware that document: Annex SL will affect 30 – 40% of all ISO standards moving forwards, including OHSAS 18001, after it  becomes an ISO standard in 2016. A copy of Annex SL can be downloaded from the foot of this webpage.

Watch the Charles Corrie video presentation for more information about changes to OHSAS 18001 and OHS or READ the recent article explaining his update here: HSW online.


A Safe Systems of Work template is available to download at the foot of this web page.

The draft SSoW template may be used to promote organisations route to OHSAS 18001 certification, however it will not satisfy certification requirements in their entirety. It helps to address requirements stated within clause 4.4.6 Operational Control only.

The draft SSoW template promotes risk methodology only. For further information please contact Paul Reeve, Director of Business Services at the Electrical Contractors Association.

Paul is and advisor to the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group and former Chair of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSiP).

Contact us

For more information about this service, contact our friendly team today on 08000 522424. We will be pleased to help you.

For further information please download the information below.

  1. Safe System of Work Method Template
    Safe System of Work Method Template

    Download                         information Download information

  2. ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1, Consolidated ISO Supplement, 2013
    ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1, Consolidated ISO Supplement, 2013

    Download                         information Download information

  3. OHSAS 18001 Online Quote Request Form
    Health and Safety Management Systems interactive quote form.

    Download                         information Download information

  4. BIFFA Case Study

    Download                         information Download information

  5. Jaguar Land Rover Case Study

    Download                         information Download information

  6. Veolia Water Case Study

    Download                         information Download information

  7. Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001) Factsheet
    OHSAS 18001:2007 is an internationally recognised occupational health and safety management system

    Download                         information Download information

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