Many organisations might have a health and safety policy and manual but, often, they simply pay lip service to health and safety. Increasingly, prospective clients are demanding proof that health and safety controls are also effective.
OHSAS 18001 provides an approved 'best-practice' framework for delivering a practical workable solution to reduce risk across an organisation.
Those organisations that create, implement and comply with a health and safety management system compliant to OHSAS 18001 will have a structure in place that provides reassurance that all necessary policies, procedures and controls are in place to continuously , improve health and safety. Businesses that decide to achieve certification benefit from both an operational and commercial perspective. Operationally, a culture of health and safety will create a greater awareness of risks to the business, employees and stakeholders. As a result, a proactive approach to preventing incidents and reducing risk is embedded into day-to-day working life.
Commercially, organisations benefit not only by demonstrating a commitment to health and safety internally, therefore resulting in cost savings through less absenteeism and claims, but also by showing a commitment to other stakeholders, particularly clients and prospective customers. In many sectors, certification to OHSAS 18001 is so well regarded it has now become a pre-requisite to trade; Indeed, those companies not certified to OHSAS 18001 may, in certain sectors, struggle to even get on the first rung of the ladder in the tender process.
Some organisations choose OHSAS 18001 simply to get the 'badge; so it can be displayed an their company marketing literature and website. However, do not get caught out by buying a cheap certificate on the Internet, as it will be practically worthless. Certification should always be sought through a certification body approved by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
Certification by such a body can also provide other financial benefits, such as helping to reduce insurance costs. However, one of the biggest benefits from a commercial perspective is that OHSAS 18001 certification will demonstrate credibility and confidence to support the retention of existing clients and help win new business.
Source: SHP September 2011