The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Labor that provides training and management certifications to ensure a standardized framework of control across industries.
The OSHA guidelines help assure the provision of safe and healthy working conditions. Outreach programs, training courses, and education and assistance resources are just some of the ways it enforces safety regulations.
Apart from OSHA, the International Organization of Standards (ISO) also creates, oversees, and promotes a set of internationally accepted standards for a range of industries in order to guarantee quality, improve safety, maintain compliance, and facilitate trade worldwide.
Organizations across the world use ISO standards in combination with OSHA guidelines to maintain the highest standard of workplace safety.
The three most common and crucial ISO and OSHA standards include ISO 14001, ISO 9001, and OHSAS 18001.
All three of these standards are documents of standardization, which contain valuable information for the implementation of various management systems. ISO 14001 is related to the implementation of the Environmental Management System, while ISO 9001 is for the Quality Management System. OHSAS 18001 comprises of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
All three systems have the following standardization elements in common:
- Training, awareness and competence
- Structure and responsibility
- Records maintenance
- Document control
- Internal audits
- Corrective and preventative actions
- Management reviews
While ISO 14001 is quite similar in terms of standardization elements to OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 is significantly different.
Outlined below are the individual aspects of ISO 14001, ISO 9001, and OHSAS 18001 respectively.
ISO 14001 is a set of documents that outlines standards to help with the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).
The EMS helps determine an organization’s impact on nature by evaluating the environmental performance and position of various business operations. For example, business quality, safety, environmental policy, regulatory requirements, etc., are all necessary components of an EMS.
It also entails a continuous process of improvement that organizations use to develop the environmentally beneficial working policy, implement it, and then continually monitor, review, and revise it as needed.
ISO 14001 contains four different clauses with six elements along with a few unique sets of requirements as well.
Organizations can use the ISO 14001 guidelines to manage the company’s environmental footprint by analyzing their work practices, and improving them as needed in order to protect the overall global atmosphere. Furthermore, this also helps institutions achieve stable environmental performance within the industry.
ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for a Quality Management System (QMS) to be implemented within any organization. The document outlines a number of different requirements an organization within any industry must fulfil and maintain in order to manage the quality system in place.
A QMS generally includes five clauses with 23 elements, each of which represents a set of procedures, policies, and processes necessary for adequate planning and subsequent implementation purposes in order to standardize an organizations ability to manage consumer requirements.
A QMS not only provides an outline for different internal processes necessary for quality assurance purposes, but also a systemic approach for effective execution of projects. Organizations can use the ISO 9001 to effectively identify, monitor, control, analyze, and improve the various business procedures, which help boost organizational performance.
OHSAS 18001 is the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) that provides a framework for thorough monitoring of the workplace standards in any given industry or organization in an effort to standardize work environments all over the world.
The OHSMS helps measure, monitor, and analyze the organization’s safety and health impact, evaluating the workforce practices and their risks to health and safety hazards.
OHSAS 18001, much like ISO 14001, contains four different clauses with six elements.
Organizations use the OHSAS 18001 standard to identify, measure, control, and minimize the safety and health risks, which may exist in an organization. This ensures that the employers comply with a strict health and safety policy in order to safeguards the work environment and the interests of all the employees.
Organizations interested in learning more about the international standards for ISO compliance are recommended to enroll and attend ISO compliance courses available online.