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OHSAS 18001


Standard OHSAS 18001

The OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management standard was developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI), is compatible with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, and is recognized globally. It is suitable for businesses wishing to set up an occupational health and safety management system, and it provides a structured approach for identifying and managing health and safety risks, to create healthy and safe work environments. It deals with numerous elements, including operations management, emergency preparedness and planning for hazard identification. The steps for setting up an OHSAS 18001 system are as follows:

  • Purchase the standard.
  • Study the documentation.
  • Determine training requirements.
  • Analyze guidance options.
  • Design the management system (using the Deming cycle, or “Plan-Do-Check-Act” [PDCA])

Download standard

  • This standards is available on the BSI website.


Certification Offer

Businesses wishing to have their occupational health and safety management system recognized under the OHSAS 18001 standard may submit an application to the BNQ. To become certified, businesses must demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the standard, which are divided into five categories:

  • occupational health and safety policy;
  • planning (hazards, risks, controls, legal and other requirements, objectives and program);
  • implementation and operation (resources, responsibilities, human resources, communication, participation, documentation, control and prevention);
  • audit and corrective action (measurement, monitoring, evaluation of legal compliance, non-conformities, corrective action and preventative action, registration and internal audit);
  • management review.

Through OHSAS 18001 certification, a business can improve its reputation in terms of occupational health and safety, and improve the planning of preventative action, emergency response and performance monitoring, while engaging the entire company.

This certification program is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.

This standard will be replaced gradually, by 2021, with the 2018 edition of standard ISO 45001.

Notice of amendment (French only)



Transition vers la norme ISO 45001:2018

Certification steps

BNQ, the process of certification of health and safety management system meets the latest national and international accreditation requirements apply.

A certification cycle generally spans a period of three years during which the maintenance audits must be held at intervals of 12 months.

The process begins with an initial certification request using the form available to the previous topic which must be returned by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Once the service contract between the BNQ and the customer signed, and documentation of the customer's system transmitted to the BNQ, the proposed auditor's name is communicated to the customer.

Before the certification audit on site, a preliminary assessment of the customer's readiness is achieved, including through the review of the documentation forwarded by the latter. The resulting from this preliminary assessment is communicated to the customer through a written report that presents a first judgment on the system complies with the documentation requirements of the standard, as well as the level of understanding and implementation of requirements of the same standard by the customer. Should a favorable judgment, the lead auditor prepares an audit plan and sends it to the client.

The certification audit was then held, and the auditor obtains relevant information concerning the requirements of the standard, and then verify them. This information is collected through interviews, through observation of activities and the work environment, as well as the review of documents consulted on site. The customer is informed of the auditor's findings as and when the corresponding activities of the audit findings which will also be reflected in the written report summarizing the findings of the auditor.

The differences observed during the audit may be the subject of corrective action requests (CAR) minor or major, depending on the importance of the effect of the gap on the goals of the standard. The CAR should normally be closed within 30 days of the audit.

The decision to certify or not the system is based on the recommendation of the lead auditor, combined with the review of the case by the BNQ to ensure that all certification requirements are met.

Following a favorable decision, the certificate is sent to the customer, who then agrees to submit to a first maintenance audit within a maximum period of 12 months from the first day of the initial certification audit.

Download document required for certification

Why the BNQ?

  • For our accreditation by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) which endows us with a credible recognition of international concern
  • For our transparent and impartial approach
  • For our willingness to contribute to the economic development of Quebec
  • To our expertise and achievements in various fields

Failure to certify your health management system and safety at work allows:

  • Demonstrate your good management practices
  • Give confidence to your customers, your suppliers, your shareholders and other partners
  • Strengthen your market position


Francine Girard
Internal Sales Technician
Bureau de normalisation du Québec
Tel.: 418-652-2296 / 1-800-386-5114, ext. 2296
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.