What is OHSAS 18001? An auditable Occupational Health & Safety System standard - BSi


Dean P.

Iso 18001???

I am trying to convince a couple of colleagues that ISO has not developed any standards for Safety Management Systems yet, namely, one called ISO 18001. I was looking through the ISO website and I couldn't even find a technical committee regarding this.

My understanding is that it is still a OSHAS document, however a coworker produced a document that was titled "ISO 18001 - draft". No date or reference to a technical committee or the publisher though(obviously not a controlled document).

Please clarify this for me, so I know I'm not missing something.



Quite Involved in Discussions
Hey Dean...did I meet you in Toronto a few months back?

OHSAS 18001 is not an ISO document. The ISO is not working on a safety system standard and may not do so for some time.

OHSAS 18001:1999 is an auditable occupational health & safety system standard developed by about a dozen registration and standards producing bodies to address a desire by many organizations on a global scale to have some type of standardized occupational health and safety standard to use and get registered or certified to. Among the organizations involved were BSI, DNV, the accreditation authorities for S. Africa and Spain as well as other well known and respected organizations in this field.

OHSAS 18001 was based on BS8800 which was developed by BSI in the 90's. OHSAS 18001 has a companion document, OHSAS 18002, and they have a relationship similiar to what ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 share.

That's it in a nutshell.

Dean P.

Thanks Randy, I appreciate the quick response.

No, we didn't meet in Toronto a few months back. It's only 90 minutes away, but I haven't been there in some time. Were you putting on another course for ISO14001?

Follow up question - do you provide any training on OHSAS 18001:1999? If so, are any planned for Toronto yet? The H&S Managers in our organization (9 facilities) have expressed interest in pursuing the Safety Management System, and we somehow got committment from top management for this (can't get much else, but we were approved to pursue the fictional "ISO-18000" - go figure!).

Anyway, let me know, we may have some business for you in this area, depending on the timing, etc.

Thanks again,

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Super Moderator
Hi Dean,

Like Randy said, at this time, there has been no consensus through the ISO TC's to make OHSAS 18000 an ISO family of documents, but in my estimation, is just a matter of time until we see an ISO 18000 set of standards and guidelines. The following was extracted from the ISO website:

ISO gives thumbs up to standards for personal financial planning advisers, thumbs down to OH&S work

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is to develop standards for the growing personal financial planning service sector.

The decision was among those taken by the organization's Technical Management Board (TMB) at its 2-3 June meeting in Geneva. In other moves, the TMB approved ISO links with the United Nations' climate change initiatives, but decided not to launch the development of management system standards for occupational health and safety, along the lines of its world famous ISO 9000 quality management system standards.

Following a positive reaction from ISO members to a proposal for a new committee on personal financial planning, the TMB decided to set up a new technical committee, ISO/TC 222, to undertake the work, with the secretariat being allocated to ISO's US member, ANSI (American National Standards Institute), which put forward the proposal.

"Personal financial planning" is the process of managing an individual's financial resources. With the trend for individuals needing to become more and more responsible for their own financial security, and with international markets and events having greater impact on that security, the need for qualified financial advisers has grown.

The standards, as envisaged by ANSI, would include the certification of personal finance advisers based upon elements of education, examination results, experience and ethical conduct, and standardization of the personal financial planning process.

In formulating the proposal, ANSI surveyed work in this area carried out at the international and national levels which will be considered by the new committee. This includes the work of the International Certified Financial Planner Council and national standards and other normative documents, such as professional codes of practice, from Australia, Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.

On climate change, the TMB has established the Ad Hoc Group on Climate Change (AHG CC) specifically to act as a focal point for ISO's interactions with the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the IEA (International Energy Agency)/OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Climate Technology Initiative (CTI).

As one of its first tasks, it will draw up an inventory of ISO standards relevant to climate change, identify the potential application of such standards to the implementation of the UNFCCC and any underlying legal and policy instrument, such as the Kyoto protocol, and also identify possible new areas in which ISO standards could contribute to the objectives of the UNFCCC.

On occupational health and safety (OH&S), the TMB received a report on the result of the vote by ISO members on a BSI (British Standards Institution) proposal that ISO establish a technical committee to transform BS 8800, the British OH&S management system guidelines into an ISO standard. Twenty-nine members had voted in favour of the proposal, but 20 others had voted negatively. Under ISO rules, acceptance of such a proposal requires approval by two-thirds of the members voting. The TMB decided, accordingly, that no such committee should be set up.

Following the ISO members' negative vote on the OHSMS proposal, TMB also decided that it would be not be appropriate to pursue an ILO (International Labour Office) offer for ISO to collaborate on the latter's own project to develop a standard on OHSMS.

This is the second time that ISO has decided not to launch OHSMS work, the previous occasion being three years ago, after a consultation of stakeholders through a major international workshop.
Hope Randy can help you with the training.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Oh yeah, I was in Toronto doing an implementation course for BSI (one of my dearest benefactors BTW).

There are courses for OHSAS 18001 on a regular basis in Canada that are conducted by BSI and other very good organizations. Call 800-862-6752 and ask for Rose Johnson.

There is an OHSAS Lead Auditor course 28 July-1 August in Toronto and others are scheduled. There are also 1 day Awareness and 2 day Internal Auditor courses that are regularly scheduled. You can also find out info from www.bsiamericas.com/training

I believe that DNV (Sid's organization, the training side anyway) also has a similar offering.

Karen R

... the auditors are gearing up...

I recently completed my ISO 14001 surveillance audit and was talking with my auditor who told me that she is dusting off her safety credentials and preparing to get certified to audit to the 18001 standard. Seems to me if the auditors are preparing, it's only a matter of time.

New question - in talking with my registrar today (ABS), the woman that I spoke with thought that there were tax credits available associated with 18001... anyone heard any rumors about that?


Quite Involved in Discussions
Tax credits? Maybe if the same criteria were applied for 18001 that can be applied to ISO 9001 implementation. Yes, it's possible.


Inactive Registered Visitor
I have a customer who is requiring us to get 14001 and 18001 certified. Can any registrar do the 18001 audit, or is it just BSI or DNV?


Quite Involved in Discussions
Quite a few others advertise both. Most of the UK or European based registrars seem to. I also believe QMI out of Canada does too, though I may be wrong.

Check the RAB database, though RAB doesn't accredite OHSAS 18001 the Registrars may advertise them on their website. Also check the IRCA list of Registrars ( www.irca.org ) I think.

Also BSI Management Systems is now offering OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor training here in the USA starting Jan 2004.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Here you go....I've done a quick search of Registration bodies in the US that advertise OHSAS 18001 services...remember, the RAB does not have anything to do with this standard, these organizations are just listed as RAB accredited organizations that also provide OHSAS 18001 services...I may have missed 1 or 2. They are listed in the QMS and also the EMS directory.

PJR...yep PJ too

I didn't bother to list the other ones previously mentioned like BSI, Lloyds, DNV, etc
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