ISO 45001 was developed so that OHS Management can be more easily aligned with the management system approaches adopted by other ISO management system standards.
The ISO 45001 standard enjoyed input from a number of safety practitioner including the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
What is an Occupational Health & Safety Management System?
An Occupational Health & Safety Management System, often called an OH&SMS, defines the framework in which the organization cares for the occupational health and safety of its employees. It represents a set of rules, policies, processes, plans and practices for preventing occupational health and safety hazards and minimizes risks in the workplace.
OH&SMS is unique for every organization and it must be adequate to the legal requirements, occupational health and safety hazards and business processes applied in the organization. ISO 45001 represents the best practices in establishing, implementing and maintaining the OH&SMS.
Its requirements and guidelines help an organization to establish effective OH&SMS and to avoid missing important elements along this way.
- Improved risk and hazard management by the identification of potential incidents and the implementation of controls and pro-active measures.
- Compliance with health and safety legislation by understanding how statutory and regulatory requirements impact the organization, its employees, interested parties and others.
- Improving an organizations ability to win more business, particularly where procurement specifications require certification as a condition to supply and PQQ requirements.
- Improved relationships by safeguarding the health and safety of staff, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders and interested parties
- Cost savings by decreasing down-time through incidents, ill health and reducing costs associated with legal fees and compensation
- Improving an organisation’s efficiency by reducing the risk of accidents and incidents leading to increased profitability.
- Minimising the risk of regulatory and liability fines and reducing the risk of non-compliance with legislation and subsequent costs/prosecution.
The ISO 45001 consist of eleven sections. The first three sections represent an introduction to the standard, its scope and normative references, and the other seven sections contain the requirements for the Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
Here is what the seven main sections are about:
Section 4: Context of the organization. This section requires the organization to determine its context in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, including interested parties and their needs and expectations. It also defines requirements for determining the scope of the OH&SMS, as well as general OH&SMS requirements.
Section 5: Leadership. This clause of the standard requires top management to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the OH&SMS, along with defining the occupational health & safety policy. The top management must also assign process owners with other roles and responsibilities.
Section 6: Planning. The planning section defines requirements for addressing risks and opportunities, and the requirements for occupational risk analysis. This clause also includes requirements for hazard identification and assessment, determining legal and other requirements, OH&S objectives and plans for achieving them.
Section 7: Support. This clause defines requirements for supporting processes and provisions of resources necessary for effective operation of the OH&SMS. It defines requirements for people, infrastructure, work environment, monitoring and measuring resources, competence, awareness, communication and documented information.
Section 8: Operation. This clause is focused on establishing operational controls to eliminate the occupational health and safety hazards, management of changes and emergency preparedness and response.
Section 9: Performance evaluation. The purpose of the requirements placed in this clause is to provide the organization with mechanisms to determine the effectiveness of the QMS. It contains requirements for necessary monitoring and measuring, including performance evaluation, compliance obligation, internal audit and management review.
Section 10: Improvement. The last section of the standard defines requirements for continual improvement of the OH&SMS, including requirements for managing nonconformities, incidents and corrective actions.
These sections are based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, which uses these elements to implement change within the processes of the organization in order to drive and maintain improvements within the processes.