Workplace Safety Management Systems Australian Standards
As a business owner, it is important to understand the objective of the AS/NZ 4801:2001 – OHS Management Systems – Specifications with Guidelines for Use. This is one of the most relevant of the currently available Australian/New Zealand Standards in relation to the development and implementation of a workplace safety management system in a workplace.
The objective of the AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard, is to set auditable criteria for an Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) used to manage safety in workplaces.
Under the nationally harmonised workplace safety legislation, which has been adopted and implemented across most States of Australia, these systems are known as a Work Health & Safety Management System (WHSMS).
The AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard is a technical specification document that aims to encompass the best elements of an OHSMS and it includes detailed guidance on how those criteria may be achieved.
This standard has been written to be applicable to all types and sizes of organisations and to be generic enough to accommodate diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions, as well as the multiplicity of OHS legal jurisdictions.
The AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard should not be relied upon entirely to ensure compliance with all legal and other obligations within a business structure or operations.
It is important for business owners to know and understand that Australian Standards are not raised in the relevant Work Health & Safety (WHS) legislation in many States in Australia, therefore they are to be used as guidance materials only to assist with developing OHSMS/WHSMS.
Several Approved Codes Of Practice are included in the WHS legislative package, essentially making them mandatory for compliance. These Codes of Practice are important to consider when developing your OHS/WHS Management System for your business.
The AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard does not state specific OHS performance outcomes. The extent of the application of the standard will depend on such factors as the OHS/WHS policy of the organisation, the nature of its activities and the conditions in which it operates.
Therefore, due to the diverse organisational structures, internal operational functions and workplace activities of individual businesses, it would require a full audit against both the relevant State OHS / WHS legislation, and the AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard, to determine exactly what OHSMS / WHSMS systems and documentation an individual business requires to benchmark the business level of compliance.
The OHS / WHS Management Systems produced by SAFETY MAKERS, are designed to meet the requirements of the AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard, in so far as to provide sets of documents which can be implemented within a business to address to each of the key elements of the AS/NZS 4801:2001 Standard. Individual policies, procedures, tools and forms supplied within the SAFETY MAKERS WHS Toolkits can be identified against each of the key elements of the standard.
SAFETY MAKERS have developed a range of industry specific WHS Toolkits in consultation with industry experts and business owners.
The key requirements of the AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard are:
- General Requirements
- OHS Policy
- Measurement & Evaluation
- Management Review
SAFETY MAKERS has developed an audit tool specifically designed for conducting audits against the AS/NZS 4801:2001 standard to assist businesses assess their level of compliance with this important standard.
Remember – To assist with OHS/WHS legislation compliance, it is necessary for individual business to benchmark their OHS or WHS Management System against the relevant workplace safety legislation in their State.
Further information regarding compliance requirements can be obtained from your State Government’s workplace safety regulator or authority.
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