ISO 45001:2018 is an international standard which provides a framework, regardless of size, activity and geographical location, to manage and continuously improve Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) within the organisation.
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The risk-based approach standard introduces the common ‘Annex SL’ structure which provides compatibility with other ISO standards including ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environment and ISO 27001 Information Security management systems.
Context of the Organisation
Clause 4 requires that the organisation analyses and understands the context of its activities, both internally and externally, and to understand the needs or key stakeholders. This includes understanding legislation, employee, stakeholder and shareholder requirements.
The leadership clause encourages senior management commitment and involvement from employees. This gives the implied outcome that should be embedded in the organisation’s activities, as opposed to the concern for one nominated individual, as was possible under OHSAS 18001. What’s key is being able to demonstrate that there is a culture that reinforces the importance of OH&S.
Clause six focusses on planning to avoid undesired outcomes. For example, risk of injury to an employee or failures to meet legislation. Crucially, Clause 6 deals with objective setting for the OH&S for the management system.
Clause 7 covers support elements such as communication, competence and awareness as well as documented information and resources. These elements ensure that the OH&S management system is aligned with the activities of the business. It is also important to demonstrate that the leaders in the organisation are bought into the communication process
Clause 8 focusses on operational controls and emergency preparedness, which gets very specific on how procurement and outsourcing – so that the responsibility for risk is retained by management and not passed on to contractors.
Effective operational control is a critical factor in any health & safety management system, particularly in terms of managing contractors. Paying close attention to this clause will prove to be of benefit to most organisations.
Monitoring and measuring the OH&S management system performance, including compliance to legislation and internal audit results, is covered in Clause 9. Business leaders are required to play a leading role in ensuring effective performance, just as they would when setting and reviewing objectives in a business plan.
The last clause sets out how the organisation must ensure that continual improvement is derived from the management system. This can include, for example, dealing with non-conformance and demonstrating a sound corrective action process.
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