No one can deny that we are rapidly moving towards an increasingly globalized community for trade and commerce. In fact, many Australian enterprises are getting confused over AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001. Both of these two standards are able to be integrated with other management standards easily, such as Quality Management Standard (ISO 900:2015) and Environmental Management Standard (ISO 14001). However, there are certain subtle differences between AS NZS 4801 Standard and OHSAS 18001 standard. In this blog, we are going to help you understand the differences between these two apparently similar standards so that you can determine which one your business needs.
Before entering the main discussion, let’s look into a brief introduction of these two standards
AS NZS 4801 was designed by Australian and New Zealand standard association while OHSAS 18001 was introduced by a group of reputed certification bodies, the latter originates its root from an existing British standard. These two standards share many similarities. Both of these two standards can help an organisation develop a framework that is proactive as well as reactive. Such a framework enables a business to meet the regulatory requirements and business objectives. Moreover, this framework protects an organisation against complacency and legislation. These are the similar benefits of AS NZS 4801 Safety Management Systems Standard and OHSAS 18001 Systems Standard.
Now, let’s head towards the differences between the two standards
Conceptually, the main difference between these two standards is that AS/NZS 48001 is concerned about the elimination or the minimization of work-related injury while OHSAS 18001 is all about the prevention of workplace health and injury. AS NZS 48001 insists on the elimination of workplace injury while OHSAS 18001 focuses primarily on health.
However, both of these two standards intend to create a work environment free of injury and illness. Though the goal is more or less similar, the requirements for achieving the goal are different. An organisation should learn the requirements and consider which set of requirement can add value to their business management system. As it is important for an organisation to know which ISO certification can add value to their business, it is also vital to identify which occupational health and injury standard can be advantageous for the overall structure of the business.
OHSAS has clearly stated the roles of evaluation and regulations, incident, investigation, nonconformity, and corrective and preventive action, along with management review while these requirements are not clearly stated in AS NZS 48001. It has insisted on reporting, health assessment, and the evaluation of HIRAC (hazard identification, Risk Assessment, and Control) while OHSAS 18001has attached less importance to these areas. AS NZS 4801 Safety Management Systems do not emphasize on legal requirements while OHSAS 18001 systems have a strong demand on these legal regulations.
Still, many requirements stated in OHSAS 18001 are included in AS/NZS 4800. Hence, an organisation should be well aware of both of two standards no matter which one is most preferable for the business.
A Final Takeaway
Generally, companies, which are limited to the periphery of Australia and New Zealand, are able to achieve AS NZS 48001. On the other hand, companies, which have access to the international market, are able to opt for OHSAS 18001 accreditation. The choice between AS/NZS 48001 and OHSAS 18001 depends solely on the organization that is looking for the certification. Both of these two standards assume equal importance in Australia. Even, some organisations opt for both of these two standards.
Before making a choice, you should have a look at your business to understand the requirements of your business. Don’t hesitate to take time considering every single aspect before drawing the conclusion.