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23 March 2015

Why OHSAS 18001 Certification and why register with URS Certification Ireland?

URS Certification Ireland seeks to register/certify organisations to OHSAS that are committed to actively manage employee health and safety in the workplace.

Certification to OHSAS 18001 makes a strong statement about your organisation’s commitment to workplace health and safety. Without identifying workplace threats/hazards, it is likely you will seriously injure or kill one of your employees (electric shock, falls from heights, envelopment in excavations, oxygen deprivation, emphysema, ear damage from high noise, limb entrapment etc.

The 1/29/300 (Heinrich) rule applies : there is a significant chance of a fatality for every 300 near misses or 29 minor injuries. Where near misses and minor injuries are not recorded, the organisation is skating on thin ice.

What does ISO say?

“If you implement the system and structure suggested by ISO effectively, you can reduce the risk of causing harm to the people working for you. According to ILO statistics published in 2014, around 2.3 million died as a result of work-related accidents or diseases (ill health) in 2013. These are shocking statistics and a heavy burden for society. Implementing a strong occupational health and safety management system helps organizations reduce accidents and ill health, avoid costly prosecutions, perhaps even reduce insurance costs, as well as create a culture of positivity in the organization when its people see that their needs are being taken into account.”

Are you recording near-miss and minor injury data? If not, wake up and be proactive. Fill out the accident/near miss report and take PREVENTIVE action.

Where threats are not controlled you are relying on luck to protect your employees. Now luck is not a well-known control of workplace hazards. If you rely on luck you’ll injure your employees. Unplanned events or emergency situations are particularly threatening.

What kinds of injuries are there? Physical and mental and these can derive from workplace activities. We are loathe to draw attention to bullying, harassment and stress that can hurt your employees. But these threats must be dealt with.  Awareness of the potential here and implementation of adequate controls will ensure the workplace is safe and healthy. Often for cultural and macho reasons we find it difficult to be proactive in these areas of workplace health. OHSAS 18001 audited by URS Certification(Ireland) assessors will ask the hard questions in relation to controls of workplace physical and mental threats to employees.

Dr. Martin Knox

Dr. Martin Knox

Martin Knox is a PhD Chemist with significant experience in training and development, research, environmental management and water quality management. He is a lead assessor for the following international standards:

  1. ISO 9001
  2. OHSAS 18001
  3. ISO 13485
  4. ISO 14001

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