Coming Soon – OHSAS 18001:2007

| June 25, 2007

A revision of OHSAS 18001, Occupational health and safety management system – Requirements, is scheduled to be published in early July 2007.

When OHSAS 18001 was initially drafted in 1999, it was specifically written to be consistent with ISO 14001:1996, the environmental management system standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  When ISO 14001 was revised in 2004, some of the alignment between the standards was lost.

In 2005, the OHSAS Working Group decided to revise the OHSAS 18001 standard to again align it with ISO 14001 and to improve it based on the experience of the standard’s users since it was first published in 1999.

This revision is the culmination of over a year of work.  An initial draft of the revised OHSAS 18001 standard was circulated in February 2006 for public comment.  Approximately 500 comments from 36 commentators were recieved and reviewed in an initial meeting of the OHSAS Working Group in Madrid, Spain in October 2006.  Because a number of significant changes were being proposed, a second draft of the revised standard was circulated for comment in November of 2006.  Again, many groups and individuals provided comments (approximately 540 comments from 46 commentators in 24 countries).  These comments were reviewed during a second meeting of the OHSAS Working Group in Shanghai, China in March 2007 and a final draft was agreed upon.  As a participant in these meetings, I can attest that they were exhausting!

In addition to alignment with ISO 14001, another major factor taken into consideration during the revision process was alignment with other occupational safety and health management system standards such as the ILO and the ANSI/AIHA Z10 standards.

Based on these inputs, a number of significant changes have been made to the OHSAS 18001:

  • Improved alignment with ISO 14001:2004
  • Changes in the areas covered by the standard
  • New requirements related to hazard identification, risk assessment and the selection of controls
  • New requirements for external consultation and worker participation
  • Clarification of the role of incident investigation

These changes will be discussed in more detail in future blogs.

© ENLAR Compliance Services (2007)

Category: Standards & Certification

Comments (3)

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  1. I am a certified OHSAS 18001 systems auditor for Dekra. I operate mainly in South Africa and on the African continent. I would appreciate some more insights (sneak previews) of the new system.

  2. Thea says:

    I will be posting more insights into the changes in the standard over the coming weeks once BSI officially publishes the standard.

  3. DEEPAK MATTA says:

    I am a ISO Consultant. Would love to have your write up on changes made in OHSAS.


    Deepak Matta