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The Essentials of OHSAS 18001 Internal Auditing & Implementation Training

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OHSAS 18001 internal auditing & implementation training is recommended for all companies in South Africa that want to become OHSAS 18001-compliant. Any company with employees has the responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their workers and of people visiting their premises. It is a basic right of employees to work in a safe environment. OHSAS 18001 is relevant to any organisation regardless of its size, industry or work environment.

The overall aim of OHSAS 18001 internal auditing & implementation training is to help company employees gain the necessary skills to do assessments (called audits) of the company policies, procedures, documents, and implementation to determine any shortcomings in compliance with the standard. The implementation training is aimed at giving employees the necessary skills to implement the standard throughout the enterprise. The training should be attended by the top, middle and lower management in addition to supervisors, safety officers, people appointed to implement the safety measures, and safety representatives.

Armed with the necessary knowledge, employees at all levels are able to control the safety risks and potential hazards in their work environment, minimise risk of injury, report on the incidents, recommend and implement steps to prevent repeat incidents, review corrective steps and ensure on-going improvement.

Occupational Health & Safety Internal Auditing

The internal auditing training provides attendees with insight regarding OHSAS, the various types of audits, setting up and conducting audits, doing the management reviews, reporting and following up on closing meetings.

Topics covered in the three-day course include, but are not limited to:

  • Overview of OHSAS 18001 and its relevancy to South Africa.
  • Overview of the OHSAS 18001 Management System.
  • Introduction to the Health & Occupational Safety Act.
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act approach.
  • Understanding employee attitudes towards health and safety.
  • Conducting the induction.
  • Identification and installation of health & safety warnings.
  • Regulations of health & safety signs.
  • Health & safety in the workplace.
  • Representative role in health & safety.
  • ISO 19011 and principles of auditing.
  • Methods for questioning.
  • Auditing steps.
  • Auditing templates usage.
  • Opening and closing meetings.
  • Reporting and recommendations.

Case studies are used to give attendees practical examples of risks, auditing processes and the outcomes.

Implementation Training

The employees need to be thoroughly aware of the regulations related to health & safety in the workplace. Unless they have been trained to ensure implementation and maintenance of OHSAS management systems in compliance with the requirements of the standard, they will not have a coherent approach to addressing such risks and inconsistencies will arise. These inconsistencies pose a risk to employees and people visiting the workplace. They must have an in-depth understanding of the requirements of OHSAS 18001, implementation steps, risk assessments, and reporting.

The implementation training provides attendees with the necessary knowledge about OHSAS 18001, legal requirements, and similarities between OHSAS 18001 and other standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Upon completion of the course, they understand the requirements and intent of the standard and have insight regarding the procedures for identifying health & safety risks and how to perform risk assessments. They can also formulate the implementation plan. Attendees learn how the certification process works and the basics of the auditing process.

The course runs over three days and should be attended by employees appointed as safety representatives, the safety officers, the implementation team, supervisors, risk managers, team leaders, system coordinators and the occupational health and safety practitioners, as well as any person involved or to be involved in the auditing processes. Topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Act.
  • Various acts such as the SA Mine Health & Safety Act.
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
  • National Road Traffic Act.
  • Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
  • Tobacco Products Control Act.
  • Contractor Management.
  • OHSAS 18001 risks and requirements.

Following the above course, it is essential that employees appointed as health & safety representatives and officers attend further training to enable them to investigate and report on incidents.

Basics of Incident and Accident Investigation

The two-day training is also essential for internal auditors and any persons involved in incident investigations. Attendees gain the necessary skills to implement OHSAS 18001-compliant controls to prevent further incidents, minimise risks, keep record, and report in a standardised matter on incidents after having followed the correct investigation steps. It is an essential course if the company wants to become OHSAS 18001-compliant, as the standard requires the implementation of documenting procedures, reporting policies and investigation protocol. The three main knowledge areas covered are that of basics of incident investigation, the process and reporting.

Attendees learn how to identify the root causes of incidents, how to prevent future incidents, report on the incidents, and what the legal requirements are related to incident investigation. They furthermore gain the necessary skills to conduct investigations, report on these according to the various incident types, analyse the factors that have contributed to incidents, and make recommendations.

Health and Safety Lead Auditor Training

Following the internal auditing & implementation training in addition to incident investigation training, employees who are expected to lead auditing teams should also attend the Health & Safety Lead Auditor course. Other people that will benefit from attending include those who require to become certified as senior or as SAATCA auditors and people who will audit organisations to determine compliance with OHSAS 18001 requirements. It is an intensive training programme only to be attended by people who have already attended both an implementation course and an internal auditing and incident investigations reporting course.

Topics covered include how to lead the auditing team and detailed aspects of OHSAS 18001, the auditing process (including the opening and closing meetings), the scope of the audit and principles of auditing. It also covers legislation, reporting, management review, audit approaches, and objectivity in investigation and reporting. The main difference between the internal and external audit is that the external audit focuses on determining compliance with OHSAS 18001 for certification purposes, while the internal audit is aimed at identifying problem areas that need to be addressed as part of the on-going improvement process.

WWISE offers the entire range of OHSAS 18001 Internal Auditing, Lead Auditing, Implementation and Incident Investigation courses.