This standard prescribes requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems, to enable an organization to formulate a policy and objectives, taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant hazards and risks,
which the organization can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence, to protect its employees and others, whose health and safety may be affected by the activities of the organization. It does not itself state specific safety performance criteria. This standard is applicable to any organization that wishes to:
a) Implement, maintain and continually improve an OH&S management system;
b) Assure itself of its conformance with its stated OH&S policy;
c) Demonstrate such conformance to others;
d) Seek certification/registration of its OH&S management systems by an external organization; and
e) Make a self-determination and self declaration of conformance with this standard.
All the requirements in this standard are intended to be incorporated into any OH&S management system. The extent of application will depend on such factors as the OH&S policy of the organization, the nature of its activities and the conditions in which it operates.
Salient features of this standard are given below.
i) OH&S policy has been rationalized and focuses on Top management’s commitment
– to improve health and safety of the workers,
– to comply with the applicable OH&S legislations, and
– for continual improvement in its OH&S performance
ii) A major thrust has been given to the element of Continual improvement in the areas
of OH&S management system.
iii) Occupational health monitoring within the OH&S management system has been made more clear. This standard requires the organization to establish, implement and maintain procedures to monitor and measure OH&S performance on a regular basis to cover the following amongst other key parameters:
a) Proactive measures of performance that monitor compliance with the OH&S management programme, operational criteria and applicable legislation and regulatory requirements; and
b) Reactive measures of performance to monitor accidents, ill health including health surveillance, incidents (including near-misses) and other historical evidence of deficient OH&S performance
iv) Periodic evaluation of compliance with legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes is incorporated as a new element of the standard.
The unique feature of the standard is the stipulation of Initial OH&S review, Design and Engineering, Purchasing and Critical Incident Recovery Plan which are considered critical for the success of an OH&S Management system.
Amongst others IS 15656:2006 Hazard identification and risk analysis – Code of Practice is an important adjunct to IS 18001:2007.