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AS/NZS 4801 Safety Management Systems
AS/NZS 4801 is the Australian Standard and New Zealand Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. It is a Standard that requires five main components of OH&S Management that are implemented into businesses activities to ensure all OH&S issues are effectively managed.
This Standard specifies requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Certification, to enable an organisation to formulate a policy and objectives taking into account legislative requirements and information about hazards or risks. It applies to those hazards or risks over which the organisation may exert control and over which it can be expected to have an influence. It does not state specific OH&S performance outcomes.
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AS/NZS 4801 helps organisations to:
- Implement, maintain and improve an OHSMS;
- Assure itself of its conformance with its stated OHS policy;
- Demonstrate such conformance to others;
- Seek certification/registration of its OHSMS by an external organisation; or
- Make a self-determination and declaration of conformance with the Standard.
All the requirements in the Standard are intended to be incorporated into any OH&S Certification. The extent of the application will depend on such factors as:
- The OH&S policy of the organisation
- The nature of its activities and
- The conditions in which it operates
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Effective implementation of an OH&S Management System should seek to ensure the organisation complies with relevant OH&S legislation, standards and codes of practice. However, the implementation of any of the requirements of this Standard, whether or not the organisation has gained certification from a third-party certification body or is otherwise recognised, does not in any way assure compliance with legal requirements, or other obligations placed upon the organisation by a statutory body. Hence, the implementation, either actual or intended, of this Standard, or parts thereof, would not preclude any action by a statutory body.
Safety Certification is recognition from an accredited, independent third party, that your organisation complies with a recognised standard detailing good safety management system principles. Certification is a public demonstration of the organisation’s commitment to reduce and ultimately eliminate workplace injury.
Why have Certification to a Safety Management System such as AS/NZS 4801?
Providing a safe working environment is fundamental to not only employees, customers and the industry, but it also aids in an organisation's overall performance and productivity. Downtime due to injuries can have a major financial and human cost on an organisation. There can be both direct costs and intangible costs both of which can have a major impact on the financial viability of an organisation. These intangible costs in many circumstances can have a long term effect on an organisation's productivity, including:
- Loss of reputation
- Reduced chance of acquiring tenders
- Reduced investment
- Increased turnover
- Reduced employee morale
Using AS/NZS 4801 to promote productivity
A fully integrated safety management system lays out processes and work instructions that assist staff in working more efficiently. This in turn assists in the productivity of an organisation as staff are following well oiled processes which are embedded in the organisations functions.
Organisations seek certification for many different reasons:
- Contracts which the organisation is pursuing may require certification to a particular Standard as a tender condition.
- Certification can provide customers confidence in the services provided by the certified organisation and can therefore be used as a marketing tool.
- Certification provides a verified demonstrated commitment by the organisation to continual improvement and effective customer focus.
- Certified Management Systems have been demonstrated to improve business outcomes and to assist in managing risks within the organisation.
- Certified Management Systems can increase the efficiency of business processes, and thereby reduce waste and rework.
- Certification to a particular standard can be a requirement for international trade.
- Certification of management systems can help to increase sales, reduce staff turnover, improve morale and improve profitability.
- Safety Certification can also result in reduced insurance premiums.
View and download the
Safety Management Certification Brochure.
- AS 4801 can also help meet requirements for pre-qualification for the NSW Department of Commerce. Click here to view the Information on these requirements.
Note: While AS 4801 in itself is not enough to comply with NSW Department of Commerce requirements (they have a mandatory document review that their staff must complete), being certified will almost certainly ensure your system is at the required standard to satisfy their requirement
- AS 4801 is also often the precursor to Office of Federal Safety Commissioner Certification (FSC). More information on this can be found the FSC website
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