Improved Alignment with ISO 14001:2004

| July 12, 2007

As discussed in a previous Blog, one of the major drivers in the revision of OHSAS 18001 was alignment with ISO 14001:2004.  When OHSAS 18001 was originally developed in 1999, it was drafted to be consistent with ISO 14001:1996 in language and structure.  When ISO 14001 was revised in 2004, some of the alignment between the standards was lost.

OHSAS 18001:2007 has been aligned in overall structure and numbering with ISO 14001:2004.  In addition, many of the core management system elements (document control, record control, internal audit and management review) are aligned in language as well.

A significant change in OHSAS 18001 that is based on alignment with ISO 14001:2004 is the addition of new requirements related to identification and evaluation of compliance with OH&S legal and other requirements (Sections 4.3.2 and 4.5.2).  Section 4.3.2 now requires that organizations ensure that applicable legal and other requirements are taken into account in establishing, implementing and maintaining their OH&S management systems.  Section 4.5.2, Evaluation of Compliance, is new.  As in ISO 14001, organizations will need to establish a procedure to periodically evaluate their compliance with applicable OH&S legal and other requirements.  This new requirement is more expansive than the requirement in the 1999 standard that organizations provide proactive measures of performance to monitor applicable legislation and regulatory requirements.

Not all of the language in OHSAS 18001 is aligned with ISO 14001:2004.  There are four areas where there are significant differences between the two standards:

  • Identification and evaluation of OH&S hazards and risks (as opposed to the aspect/impact analysis provisions of ISO 14001)
  • Requirements related to worker participation and consultation with other parties such as contractors
  • Selection and implementation of operational controls
  • Specific requirements for incident investigation

© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2007)

Category: OHSAS 18001:2007 Revisions

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