Identifying Applicable Legal Requirements

| June 7, 2011

Last week, I received the following question from a reader about the OHSAS 18001 requirements related to the identification of applicable legal and other requirements  –

We are an OHSAS 18001 certified company…. Our Hazard Identification and Risk assessment (HIRA) first page tells about the legal requirement clause and the legal statements for complying with the HIRA.  Our external auditor (certifying body) insists we insert a column in the HIRA chart to identify what legal requirement clause comes against the control of each identified risk.

1.     Is my auditor correct?

2.     Does the OHSAS 18001 Standards say that?

 My answer –

That is NOT an OHSAS 18001 requirement. I believe your external auditor is confusing the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 requirements. 

Section 4.3.2 of ISO 14001 requires that an organization determine how its applicable environmental legal and other requirements apply to its environmental aspects.  This is often done as your external auditor suggests, although it does NOT have to be done that way.  You can use whatever method is appropriate for your organization.

Section 4.3.2 of OHSAS 18001 does NOT have the same requirement as ISO 14001. It requires that an organization “take into account” its applicable legal other requirements in its OHSMS.  No column, chart, matrix is required.  Nor does it require identifying requirements by individual risk.  This requirement was specifically rejected when OHSAS 18001 was revised in 2007.

© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2011)

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Category: FAQ, OHS Laws & Legal Compliance, OHSAS 18001:2007 Revisions, OHSMS Implementation

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