ISO 45001: What does it mean for your company?
Every day, we all want to work in a safe workplace so that we can leave it in good health. Employers are required by law to identify the hazards associated with the activity, machinery, and equipment and to derive appropriate measures to ensure health protection. To this end, in every country and region worldwide, there is a whole range of statutory regulations, compliance which guarantees compliance with minimum standards for occupational health and safety.
ISO 45001 is the world’s first international standard for the efficient organization of occupational health and safety, also called as Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). The standard sets out a framework for minimizing risks to employees. ISO 45001 has replaced the previous BS-OHSAS 18001 and is the first ISO standard for HSE based on the new “High-Level Structure” framework, which is also used for other management standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
The objectives of ISO 45001:2018
- Improve and provide safe and healthy workplaces for employees and others within its jurisdiction.
- Demonstrate an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management system to employees and other interested parties.
- Continuous improvement of organizations concerning safety and health by means of the PDCA model (Plan – Do – Check – Act).
- General containment of occupational and health hazards.
- More efficient and effective occupational safety and optimal health protection.
- Occupational health and safety protection as a strategic and corporate responsibility aspect.
- Motivation of employees through consultation and participation.
- Offer proof of safe and reputable corporate behavior to customers, suppliers, authorities, and investors with a standard certification.
By implementing ISO 45001, companies can improve their occupational health and safety processes, reducing workplace accidents, sick leave, and absenteeism. In addition, companies can also achieve cost savings through the introduction of the standard.
Experience has shown that certification further promotes compliance with the requirements and can improve the company’s control over safety and health conditions.
Who should be concerned with ISO 45001:2018?
Companies that …
- … want to establish, maintain and continuously improve a safe and healthy working environment for their employees and all other persons under their responsibility.
- … want to build up or expand the trust of customers, partners, suppliers, and, above all, employees in your occupational health and safety protection services through a documented management system following the globally valid ISO 45001 standard.
- … who understand that the management system supports them in creating a process-oriented organization.
- … who knows that ISO 45001 can be ideally linked with already implemented management systems for quality (ISO 9001) and environment (ISO 14001) and thus use many synergies in a meaningful way.
- … who want to stand out from the competition by introducing this standard on time.
These fields of action are important
To be able to build a well-functioning HSE management system according to ISO 45001, it is necessary first to understand one’s organization and the environment, as well as to recognize and analyze the diverse requirements placed on the organization. To this end, the organization’s context is considered, and the internal and external issues that can influence the company’s HSE management system are to be determined.
In addition, a stakeholder analysis clarifies the parties interested in occupational health and health in the company and determines their expectations and requirements. The basics related to the implementation of ISO 45001 also include the identification of applicable legislation and, if relevant, other occupational health and safety requirements and defining the scope of application.
The first steps
- The company environment must be analyzed concerning occupational health and safety.
- Internal issues (such as employee demands, occupational health and safety culture, communication on ISO 45001) and external issues (such as legal requirements) must be identified and examined for risks and opportunities.
- Furthermore, the parties interested in or influencing the company’s occupational safety and health protection must be identified. Their requirements and expectations must be actively taken into account. Here, too, the associated risks and opportunities should be recorded qualitatively.
- The scope of application for ISO 45001 must be defined. All areas in which significant risks to occupational safety or health are known or expected must be included in the scope.
- All relevant legislation and all other requirements (contractual obligations, customer specifications, etc.) should be compiled in a directory.
A critical point: the leadership
A crucial point in establishing and operating ISO 45001 is the support of the project by top management. Therefore, it makes sense to hold a workshop with top management representatives while implementation to discuss the tasks and responsibilities of top management. In addition to the development of the HSE policy and the formulation of matching management system objectives, the main point is to clarify for members of top management that, although they can delegate tasks relating to occupational health and safety, they cannot absolve themselves of their overall responsibility for the success of the occupational health and safety management system.
When delegating tasks and assigning roles, responsibilities, and authorities for the HSE management system, it must be ensured that the individuals selected are suitable for their tasks, i.e., have the necessary competence and awareness and are granted appropriate resources. In addition, top management must also ensure that employees are intensively involved in the design and operation of the management system.
- Top management shall be intensively involved in establishing, operating, and improving the management system.
- Ensure that HSE objectives are consistent with HSE policy.
- Documented HSE objectives shall be established, implemented, and maintained for all major functions and levels of the organization.
- HSE management responsibilities are assigned and communicated by top management.
- Through a process, employee consultation and participation are regulated.
- Top management is responsible for providing all needed resources, e.g., time, finances, personnel, etc.
Companies that implement ISO 45001 benefit because they take their occupational safety management and health prevention and protection to a new level and enhance their attractiveness and reputation through excellent in-house standards. In any case, the implementation should be carried out as an in-house project; implementation based on a project plan makes sense to ensure the implementation of all measures and a systematic approach.
Do you require more legal domain knowledge in your organization that is sufficient and, in any way, near the standards’ requirement? Or are you a more mature organization member and have trouble grasping the above passage? Are you constantly falling behind, and do you discern that your Audits and Occupational Health Safety knowledge could improve?
Then save the date: On Feb.17, 2023, in our live webinar “Awareness on ISO 45001:2018” we will provide you with our thoughts and techniques you need to better your understanding of the standard.
Our TÜV Rheinland IRCA Master Trainer Mayank Mathur will share mature and feasible auditing methods and techniques to show you how the IRCA auditor training course can improve your auditing ability and provide a proven successful experience.
Who is this webinar perfect for?
- Who needs help understanding the intent and purpose behind ISO 45001 requirements.
- Who needs help telling which step should match which requirement in practice, which step the mismatch occurs, and for what reason.
- Auditors whose management complains that most audit findings are superficial, piecemeal, and lack refinement and that no significant performance improvements occur.
- Who have the impression to have only a little knowledge about the ISO 45001 standard itself and job-specific knowledge only.
- Who needs to understand the difference in the risks in all the 3 IMS standards and their better identification.
- Functional heads in the organization, including the HSE officers, for a better understanding of the standard.
In detail: Advantages of ISO 45001:2018 at a Glance
Implementing ISO 45001:2018 offers many potential benefits to companies. The following is a brief overview:
- Improved control over occupational health and safety care: The expected results in the company making constant efforts to create safe and healthy working conditions by systematically assessing how risks and hazards are dealt with on-site. This usually results in employee safety and protection being at a higher level than without the introduction of the standard.
- Increasing productivity and efficiency: By implementing the standard, the company can achieve greater efficiency, as all processes are optimized to minimize risks and meet occupational health and safety requirements. Furthermore, the standard can help to increase productivity, as experience shows that the number of interruptions due to illness or accidents decreases.
- Strengthening customer loyalty and corporate social responsibility: ISO 45001:2018 certification can help enhance customer trust in the company’s brand, as potential customers see that the company is fulfilling its responsibilities towards its employees. Ultimately, this can also help increase sales. Compliance with the standard is verified by independent certification bodies. An ISO 45001 certification allows companies to stand out from the competition and thus also attract new customers.
- Increasing compliance and reducing risk: The introduction of the standard also reduces legal risks for the company, as better protective measures are in place for the workforce. This reduces the risk of unjustified lawsuits and other legal disputes related to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
- Strengthening competitiveness in the long term: Implementing ISO 45001:2018 can be a strategic competitive advantage. With many industries now working or required to work to this standard, companies need to keep pace or even stay ahead of this development to maintain or further improve their competitiveness in the market.
- Employer marketing and attractiveness: Introducing the standard also has many advantages for employees. They can be confident that their employer is doing everything possible to ensure their safety and health at work.