Occupational Health and Safety and Social Responsibility
Occupational Health and Safety Management System
Occupational Health and Safety as an Integral Part of an Organization’s Operation
Employees are the most important element of any organization, and it is therefore important how employees feel while doing their work. Work can affect health in a positive or negative way. If employees enjoy their work, perceive it as their true calling, and are not exposed to harmful factors at work, their health remains good. The main factors motivating organizations to pay appropriate attention to health and safety at work are legislation, ethical and economic reasons, employee satisfaction, and the organization’s goodwill.
The Importance of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System
The occupational safety and health management system defined in the OHSAS 18001 standard supplements, mutatis mutandis, occupational health and safety legislation. It adds some new legal requirements to existing ones, most of which reflect an organization’s desire to improve the effectiveness of its performance. It emphasizes preventive action and defines a number of regular activities that enable an overall view of occupational health and safety. The occupational health and safety management system can be regarded as a compilation of the experiences of the most successful, leading organizations in the world striving to efficiently and effectively improve the safety and health of their own employees. It should be regarded as part of an overall integrated management system. The advantage of such an arrangement of occupational health and safety in comparison to systems known so far is that it is based on organizations’ commitment to continually improving their business performance.
Certification is a procedure carried out by an independent institution to assess the compliance of an organization’s occupational health and safety management system with the OHSAS 18001 standard. A certificate is issued as proof that the requirements of the standard have been met. The certification procedure consists of a documentation audit and a certification audit, which requires two on-site visits. After the certificate is awarded, the ongoing compliance of the occupational health and safety management system is checked annually. A reassessment audit is conducted once every three years. The certificate is valid for three years.
Integration of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System with Other Management Systems
Because the same management principles are often used for various aspects of an organization’s operations, it is becoming increasingly common to talk about unified or integrated management systems. The OHSAS 18001 standard, for example, which is the most widely established standard for occupational health and safety management systems, has an identical structure to the ISO 14001 standard. Because they are also similar in content, it is quite reasonable to treat them as uniformly as possible. Once they are joined and treated within an integrated management system, it is no longer necessary to think about where the “environment” ends and where “safety and health” begin. Including occupational safety and health aspects within a uniform management system supplements the content of this system and improves it.