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ISO 45001:2018 the new International standard for Health and Safety (OH&S) Management system

ISO 45001 is the standard that provides a framework for an organization to manage risks and opportunities to help prevent work-related injuries and ill health to workers. The intended outcome is to improve and provide a safe and healthy workplace.   ISO 45001 is intended to help organizations, regardless of the organisation’s size or type of industry they operate in, in designing unique (OH&S) systems.  The ISO 45001 requirements were formulated to effectively integrate into an organization’s existing management and business processes and not be a standalone system.

What is ISO 45001?

  • It’s the first-ever international standard for Health and Safety Management.
  • It forms part of the ISO management systems series, e.g.
    • ISO 9001 (Quality),
    • ISO 14001 (Environment) and
    • ISO 27001 (Information Security).
  • It replaces OHSAS 18001 (Occupational health and safety assessment series).
  • It specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system.
  • It provides guidance for its interpretation and implementation to enable an organization to proactively improve its OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill-health.
  • It is intended to be applicable to any organization regardless of its size, type and nature.
  • All of the ISO 45001 requirements are intended to be integrated directly into an organization’s own management processes.
  • It enables an organization to also integrate additional aspects of health and safety, such as employee wellness or fatigue management in its OH&S management system.

What ISO 45001 is not?

  • It does not state specific criteria for OHS performance. The organization itself defines the requirements.
  • It does not specify requirements related to the design of the OHS system.
    • The design should meet the organization’s own needs.
    • The sophistication of the system will be proportional to the risk level of the organization.
  • Is not a legally binding document. It is a management tool used voluntary by organizations to improve their OHS performance and to minimize risk.

Why is ISO 45001 needed?

  • An organization is responsible for ensuring that it minimizes the risk of harm to the people that may be affected by its activities (workers, managers, contractors, visitors),
  • ISO 45001 is needed to help ensure occupational safety and health receives the strategic attention and resources required to manage this risk is effectively.
  • Companies already addressing all the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety act will now have the added assurance that their management system also complies with International standards, which is verified by an external certification body.

OHSAS 18001 vs. ISO 45001

  • OHSAS 18001 formed the basis from which ISO 45001 was developed.
  • ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 share many common features including risk based thinking and the Plan-Do-Check-Act model
  • A well implemented OHSAS 18001 systems will cover a lot of ground towards compliance to the ISO 45001 standard.
  • The main difference lies in the approach – Top management involvement is required for effective employee participation and in promoting a positive culture.
  • Greater attention to the context of the organization is needed.
  • Stakeholder expectations must now be considered.
  • Organizations can now use and include other forms of documented information to reduce the paper burden.
  • Follows the structure of Annex SL to make integration with other standards easier.

How can ISO 45001 help your organization?

ISO 45001 provides an internationally-agreed framework for managing occupational health and safety risk in a way that is:

  • proportionate to the risk level of the organization
  • implementable and applicable to any organization, regardless of size, complexity, sector, industry or country of operation.
  • helping organizations to develop and implement the right policies and processes through a systematic plan-do-check-act and risk-based approach.
  • assisting organizations meet their OH&S legal and regulatory obligations

How can Spec Safety help your organization in the ISO 45001 journey?

  • ISO 45001 system development and implementation
  • Assistance in transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001
  • Conducting ISO 45001 readiness assessments
  • ISO 45001 gap analyses