A reader recently posted the following question –
I am dealing with an organization that claims it is certified to OHSAS 18001… Does anyone know if there is an accreditation board or other governing body which administrates OHSAS 18001 who would be responsible for auditing conformance with these practices? Or does this system rely solely on internal audits only? (click here to read the entire comment)
There is no one OHSAS 18001 governing body or accreditation board.
As a voluntary international standard, OHSAS 18001 is utilized by organizations in several different ways.
Apparently the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) issued a position statement in March 2009 stating that although they support the integration of health and safety programs into existing management systems, they will not “specifically mandate OHSAS 18001 certification.” A recent blog post asked “Is it politics once again?”
According to the AIAG statement they firmly believe that “the use of formal management systems are necessary for effective management of health safety and environmental programs.”
AIAG’s concern appears to be that the OHSAS 18001 standard was developed by an independent group – the OHSAS Project Group chaired by BSI – rather than ISO.
This is where the “politics” comes in. Despite intensive lobbying by the OHSAS Project Group, ISO appears unwilling to develop an OHS management system standard.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has raised objections and several member countries – including the U.S. – have consistently voted against it. An OHSMS standard seems to be the exception to the rule that any proposed ISO standard-setting activity is guaranteed to be approved.
© ENLAR® Compliance Services, Inc. (2009)