2.5.1 Voluntary OHSMS initiatives The Dupont Corporation has long been regarded as a leader in occupational health and safety, which led to the development of a Dupont OHSMS and consultancy (Wokutch and VanSandt, 2000). Other well-known proprietary systems include the International Safety Rating System (ISRS), the Five Star system, the chemical industry’s Responsible Care system, the Oil Industry International Exploration and Production Forum (E & P Forum) system, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s OHSMS.
The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) considered developing an international management standard for OHS, similar to those already established for quality (ISO 9001) and the environment (ISO 14001). Support for this development among member organizations was insufficient, however, and the project was disbanded in 2001 (Bennett, 2002).
Companies have nevertheless sought certification to an ISO-compatible occupational health and safety standard. Indeed, the British Standards Institute developed OHSAS 18001 in response to this demand (Abad et al., 2002). This standard is internationally recognized and has been adopted by industry as a proxy for an ISO standard. In some industries, there are even pressures from trading partners to adopt the OHSAS 18001 standard, as there have been previously for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. In addition, some companies see potential efficiencies by adopting an OHSMS that can be integrated with their existing ISO-based management systems for quality and the environment (Winder, 1997; Wright, 2000).
The international OHS standard project was referred by ISO to the International Labour Organization, which was thought to be a more appropriate forum for it. Following this referral, ILO developed Guidelines on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in 2001 (ILO, 2001) through a consensus process that included equal representation from government, labour and employers. The ILO guidelines were envisioned as models for national standards.
Dalrymple et al. (1998) found that national voluntary standards for OHSMSs in draft or final form existed in Australia/New Zealand (AS/NZS 4804), Ireland, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The forerunner of the British Standards Institute’s OHSMSs (BS 8800, OHSAS 18001) was developed by the public sector Health and Safety Executive (HSG65; HSE 1997). The American National Standards Association (ANSI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are both in the process of developing a national standard. The Canadian organization has included the ILO Guidelines, OHSAS 18001, and the draft ANSI standard as reference documents.
Effectiveness of Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems: A Systematic Review