OHSMS Principles

| April 19, 2011

Standards are based on principles. 

ISO 9001 is based on quality principles. ISO 19011 is based on auditing principles.  Last week, I participated in a conference call for ISO 14046 in which we discussed what principles are important to the development of a water footprint.  For this discussion we started with the sustainability principles set out in a publication entitled, Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation, which was recently developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Just as principles are important for many of the ISO standards, OHSAS 18001 is also based on several principles. 

Although they are not explicitly listed within the OHSAS 18001 standard, these include –

  • Leadership Involvement – The top management of the organization must be actively engaged in the management system;
  • Risk Management – Implementation of an OH&S management system is driven by the risk management needs of the organization – the hazards and risks identified and the controls that are determined to be necessary to prevent injuries and ill health;
  • Commitment to Compliance – Societal interests, as reflected in the laws and regulations promulgated, must be addressed;
  • Worker Participation – Workers, as the primary stakeholders of an occupational health and safety management system, have the right to be involved in management system processes; and
  • Performance Monitoring & Improvement – Continual improvement, a management system mantra, cannot be achieved unless processes are in place to measure performance. 
© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)

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Category: OHS Laws & Legal Compliance, OHS Metrics & Measurements, Risk Management, Standards & Certification

Comments (1)

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  1. Lee Johnston says:

    I believe that industry has missed an opportunity. ISO 9001 should not be taken as applicable to the production of an organisation’s ‘widgets’, it should be applied to all of their functions including health and safety and environmental management.

    Had this been the case from the onset of the application of standards there would have been no need to develop or implement separate standards. It’s too late to avoid this situation now but we can still improve our performance if we take a more holistic approach to managing all of the aspects of our undertakings.