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Preserve worker health with OHSAS 18001

Capture and manage occupational safety risks anytime, anywhere with a mobile app and an OHSAS 18001 checklist.

What is an OHSAS 18001 checklist?

An OHSAS 18001 checklist is a tool that safety managers use to confirm whether a company’s existing occupational health and safety (OHS) management system complies with the OHSAS 18001 standard. It is used to assess a company’s readiness for third-party SCC certification.

The OHSAS 18001 standard helps companies identify risks from accidents or overexposure in the workplace in a timely manner and implement effective measures to protect employees. In this way, breakdowns and disruptions in operations are minimized, which promotes a functioning value chain and thus customer satisfaction.

OHSAS 18001 is a worldwide recognized standard that is applied across all industries. It can be combined with the standards for quality management (ISO 9001) and environmental management (ISO 14001). In this way, existing management systems can be supplemented with the occupational health and safety requirements of OHSAS 18001.

Note: ISO 45001 replaces OHSAS 18001, however, the old standard remains valid until March 2021.

This article briefly discusses:

1. The benefits of the OHSAS 18001 checklist

2. The focus areas of an OHSAS 18001 checklist

3. The conversion from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 with checklist

4. Technology for OHSAS 18001 checklist

Advantages of an OHSAS 18001 checklist

A checklist is recommended for the application of the OHSAS 18001 standard in order to check all existing occupational health and safety measures against the standard and, if necessary, initiate new measures and track their implementation. A checklist is also useful for documenting OHSAS 18001 measures.

An OHSAS 18001 checklist must answer all questions about occupational health and safety and leave sufficient room for suggestions for improvement. It must also take into account that implementing the OHSAS 18001 standard requires time, effort and follow-up. However, the effort is worthwhile in that by using checklists, the following benefits are achieved:

  • The safety of workplaces in the company is systematically increased and the accident rates reduced.

  • The employees are additionally motivated and identify themselves more strongly with the company by being involved in occupational health and safety.

  • The staff develops a higher safety awareness.

  • The legal security increases by consistently complying with legal regulations.

  • To customers, business partners and the public, the commitment to health and safety at work can be credibly proven.

The 3 focal points of an OHSAS 18001 checklist

Any checklist for an occupational health and safety management system that follows the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard should cover the following points:

1. Occupational safety and health planning

An OHSAS 18001 checklist confirms that a company has conducted a hazard identification and risk assessment. This establishes safety controls that must be in place in the workplace. The checklist should also be used to define exactly the scope of the occupational health and safety management system and whether it complies with ISO 18001.

2. Occupational safety and health control

A checklist according to the OHSAS 18001 standard should confirm that the company feels responsible for implementing occupational health and safety measures. It is also evidence that the company is using monitoring tools, such as internal audits, to verify and document the effectiveness of the measures.

3. Continuous improvement of occupational health and safety

Finally, an OHSAS 18001 checklist should also provide evidence that responsible employees have evaluated the internal audits in order to use the results to continuously improve occupational safety.

Conversion from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 with checklist

In March 2018, the new ISO 45001 newly appeared, which is to replace OHSAS 18001. Companies are to switch to the new ISO standard by March 11, 2021. The requirements of both standards are similar, so existing OHSAS 18001 checklists are an excellent foundation for the transition.

In some areas, ISO 45001 contains additions to the previous standard. In addition, the new standard is closer to ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 standards, making it easier to integrate into existing management systems. The most serious difference is that, in addition to the company’s permanent employees, the focus is now also on protecting external employees at subcontractors and outside contractors.

Companies with a well-implemented occupational health and safety management system according to OHSAS 18001 hardly need to make any profound changes when converting to ISO 45001. Nevertheless, all processes and parties within the scope of occupational health and safety should be put to the test once again. This includes:

  1. Get the new standards text and familiarize yourself with content.
  2. Review technical and process knowledge in the company and close knowledge gaps if necessary.
  3. Conduct a GAP analysis to assess the need for action.
  4. Determine processes that affect suppliers, service providers and external employees.
  5. Establish an expert panel of internal occupational health and safety professionals, health experts, and management representatives.
  6. Review leadership roles and responsibilities.
  7. From the results, create an implementation plan.

Technology to implement the ISO 18001 checklist

Lumiform’s mobile app makes any type of quality and safety inspection easy to perform via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. The desktop software is used to create ISO 18001 checklists and later evaluate the collected data. This significantly reduces the risk of workplace accidents, documentation errors and reputational damage.

A company must demonstrate that the occupational health and safety measures it has implemented are effective. Maintaining an effective and documented occupational health and safety management system, which at the same time aligns with the OHSAS 18001 standard, is a challenge that can be met by switching from paper to digital.

With Lumiform, it is easier to meet the legal requirements for the documentation of processes by using the mobile app via smartphone or tablet to perform all checks and document processes. With transparent documentation, high fines are avoided.

Lumiform’s digital technology offers the following advantages for the implementation of the OHSAS 18001 standard:

  • The flexible form builder helps transform any paper list into a digital 18001 checklist within minutes.

  • Generate real-time data on internal processes. This makes safety measurable and optimizes measures based on the data.

  • Get an overview of everything on site.

  • All inspection results are automatically bundled into one report and can be sent immediately to stakeholders.

  • Easily analyze all data and more quickly identify areas that need action.

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