The safety of workers is vital to an organization. This is why it is crucial to ensure that the safety and health of workers be at the core of any management system within an organization. The ISO 45001 standard provides a way for organizations to do this. This blog will provide you with more information on ISO 45001 and how to implement it.
About ISO 45001
The ISO 45001 standard is a worldwide occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) requirement, which every organization should meet as an initiative to create a safe working environment. The aim of this international standard is to place people’s health and safety at the heart of the planning for any business, no matter what its size or nature. ISO 45001 was created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and supersedes the OHSAS 18001 standard.
ISO 45001:2018 – What Does This Mean?
ISO 45001:2018 is the most recent version of the international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. This standard provides requirements for initiating, implementing, achieving, maintaining and improving an OH&S Management System in order to prevent injuries or illnesses that can occur in the workplace. Additionally, ISO 45001:2018 is applicable to all organizations regardless of their size or nature. It can be used in any industry, in service, manufacturing or other settings.
ISO 45001 Requirements
ISO 45001 requires organizations to identify the risks that workers face and provide ways for them to reduce those risks; this is not something you can do overnight. It involves an assessment of every aspect of the organization’s operation. Some organizations, especially larger ones, may benefit from using a risk assessment consultant or contractor at first.
To meet ISO 45001 requirements, your organization will need to develop a policy and objectives for health and safety, appoint a health and safety manager, implement risk management processes, and establish an incident reporting system.
ISO 45001:2018 specifies requirements for a documented and auditable occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) by which organizations will integrate occupational safety and health into their business operations, as described by the following principles:
(a) Leadership and commitment.
(b) Risk identification, evaluation and control.
(c) Provision of a safe and healthy workplace.
(d) Monitoring and evaluation of the system.
ISO 45001 – Why Should Your Organization Adopt It?
The benefits of ISO 45001 are numerous. This global standard has an important role in protecting workers’ health and safety by promoting a proactive approach to identifying workplace hazards and reducing risks. Not only does it minimize the costs associated with accidents and injuries, but it also provides a competitive advantage over organizations that have not adopted an ISO 45001 OHSMS.
Protecting workers’ safety is the most basic responsibility of any organization. By implementing this international standard, you can expect to see considerable improvements in your organization’s ability to prevent these incidents from occurring.
When organizations implement ISO 45001, it generally leads to:
- Improved worker safety and health protection processes
- Enhanced goal management and planning
- Better business performance and accountability
- Improved risk assessment and risk control methods
- Greater compliance with legislative requirements such as OHSA (Occupational Health & Safety Act)
- Attracting and retaining skilled workers
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Better business recovery from incidents, accidents and disasters
What is ISO 45001 Certification?
ISO 45001 certification is the external verification of an organization’s compliance with the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard. Organizations seeking to implement the ISO 45001 standard will do so through a certification process. For organizations that already hold other certifications such as ISO 9001 or 14001, this is an obvious choice. If your organization is just beginning its journey toward implementing better OH&S management practices, you can also take advantage of ISO 45001 certification.
To achieve certification, your organization will need to undergo a rigorous assessment by an accredited third-party certification body. Once certified, your organization will be able to display the coveted ISO 45001 logo and use the certification mark on all marketing materials. This will demonstrate to your customers, employees and partners that you are a responsible organization that takes the safety of its workers seriously.
The certification process can take time, but it’s worth the effort. The benefits of achieving ISO 45001 certification are many, and they include:
- A globally recognized standard
- Demonstrable commitment to OH&S management
- Enhanced employee motivation to do the right thing
- A competitive advantage over noncertified organizations
How to Prepare for ISO 45001 Certification
There are many steps for an organization to take before successfully achieving ISO 45001 certification. For example, first assess the maturity of your system by conducting a gap analysis. Then, begin training employees on new safety procedures and protocols. Once you have completed these tasks, you can focus on documenting your system. The final step – after making sure that your organization is ready – is to register your system with a certification body for an independent assessment of its conformance with ISO 45001 requirements.
ISO 45001 Certification Process
The certification body will perform a series of audits to help your organization achieve ISO 45001 certification. The audits will cover the following areas:
- Policy and planning
- Implementation and operation
- Measurement, analysis and improvement
Throughout the certification process, the certification body will provide feedback to your organization on how to improve its system. Upon successful completion of the audits, the certification body will award your organization with ISO 45001 certification.
The final step in the certification process is to maintain your system. The audits are not a one-time event; they are an ongoing process that helps your organization maintain its compliance with the ISO 45001 standard. The certification body will conduct surveillance audits throughout the validity period of ISO 45001 certification to make sure your organization continues to adhere to the requirements of the standard. Likewise, a recertification audit will be conducted to extend the validity period of ISO 45001 certification.
Tips to Pass the ISO 45001 Certification Audit
Many organizations are concerned about the time and money it takes to achieve ISO 45001 certification. However, there are many things your organization can do before the audits to help make them more efficient and less costly.
For example, prepare a self-assessment question (SAQ) for each of the key OH&S management requirements listed in ISO 45001. This will help your organization track its progress and identify any gaps that need to be addressed. You can also use the SAQs to develop a gap analysis report.
Another way to prepare for the audits is to create an audit checklist. This will help your organization ensure that all the required documents and evidence are ready for inspection.
Finally, training is essential for both the certification body auditors and your organization’s employees. Employees must be familiar with the ISO 45001 standard and the processes and procedures of your organization. This will help ensure a successful audit.
ISO 45001 – Conclusion
Achieving ISO 45001 certification is a significant accomplishment for any organization. It demonstrates a commitment to safety and demonstrates that you are a responsible organization that takes the safety of its workers seriously. The benefits of certification are many, including enhanced employee motivation, increased productivity, reduced costs and increased marketability.
If you would like to learn more about ISO 45001 certification or how to implement an OH&S Management System in your organization, please contact us. We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have.