The position of AIAG on OHSAS 18001 – Is it politics once again?

In a recent official position statement from the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), there appears to be a rather unenthusiastic regard for the implementation of OHSAS 18001 throughout the automotive supply chain. The statement, dated February 2009, presents the AIAG position quite clearly:

“The Automotive Industry Action Group Health, Safety, and Environmental Steering Committee believes firmly believes that the use of formal management systems are necessary for the effective management of health safety and environmental programs, and thus fully endorse ANSI Z10 and International Organization of Standardization (ISO) programs such as ISO’s 14001 environmental management standard.

We believe that management of safety and health as part of an existing management system is necessary to achieve overall HSE excellence. We believe that the management of health & safety under the BSI OHSAS 18001 program is good practice, but less efficient in terms of both cost and time, as compared to managing health & safety as part of an existing management system. This is fundamental to making safety and health integrated within existing management systems and part of the day-to-day business activities.

In conclusion, AIAG:
• believes that the International Labor Organization (ILO); OHSMS Guidelines of 2001 provide a sound basis for any nation or organization to develop an effective safety and health management system
• is concerned when entities such as BSI issue ’standards’ utilizing a numbering sequence that at the very least confuses many into believing the standard was issued by ISO, and
• will work to integrate health & safety programs within a comprehensive and effective management system, but will not specifically mandate OHSAS 18001 certification.”

Yet again, when it comes to having a so-called “standard”, politics has raised its ugly head one more time. What do you think? Log in and let us know!

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2 Responses to “The position of AIAG on OHSAS 18001 – Is it politics once again?”

  1. Thea Says:

    An interesting blog post – I had not seen this AIAG statement on OHSAS 18001.

    As to your question – “Is it politics?” Of course. There is always a component of politics in any standard-setting activity.

    I agree with AIAG that ANSI Z10 provides helpful guidance for implementing an OHS management system. So does the ILO standard. So do the many other national standards and industry-specific guidance documents setting out guidance about OHS management systems.

    That is not the point.

    OHSAS 18001 is NOT a guidance document. It is – and is explicitly intended to be – a specification to be used for 3rd party certification of an occupational health and safety management system.

    ISO 14001 is not. An OHS hazard is not the same as an EMS aspect. As we found as we were drafting the 2007 revision of OHSAS 18001, an OHS management system can’t be adequately defined by simply doing a “search and replace” with the ISO 14001 standard.

    OHSAS 18001 is being used for 3rd party certification, whereas, the ILO document and Z10 are not. The ILO document is not a specification document and “Z10 certification” – although offered by ANAB – is almost non-existent.

    Thea Dunmire

  2. AIAG and OHSAS 18001 | OHSAS 18001 EXPERT Says:

    [...] Apparently the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) issued a position statement in March 2009 stating that although they support the integration of health and safety programs into existing management systems, they will not “specifically mandate OHSAS 18001 certification.”  A recent blog post asked “Is it politics once again?” [...]

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