The ISO 45001 standard has proved very popular with organisations seeking to manage their occupational health and safety management systems. Organisations can use their existing frameworks that meet OHSAS 18001 and upgrade them, as well as introduce the requirements from scratch. Critically, ISO 45001 provides:
ISO 45001 uses the Annex SL framework, which makes it simple to integrate Occupational health and safety requirements with those of the ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental ) management systems.
The ISO 45001 standard forces senior leadership (known as “Top Management”) to be actively involved in your OH&S management system. They will no longer be able to put all responsibility on the safety representative. This reflects legislation in many countries that puts key onus on directors for occupational health and safety.
What's in the ISO 45001 Standard?
Reference to ‘Workers’ throughout the ISO 45001 standard promotes the benefits from staff engagement when decision making and sharing information on OH&S. Workers, whether they are employed or contracted are required to be involved in the ongoing running of the management system and related controls such as Safe Systems of Work.
ISO 45001 has, in common with other updated Standards, adopted a “Risk Based Approach”, hence a preventative approach rather than the reactive one of OHSAS 18001 which looks at 'Hazard Identification'. Further, the standard strongly requires the use of the ‘Hierarchy of Controls’ which is a useful and practical management tool.
By implementing an Occupational Health and Safety management system, your organisation is committed to eliminating and reducing risks, and improving safety and health of all workers and people affected by the organisation. The approach captures and manages all significant OH&S risks and opportunities, which affect a full range of stakeholders, know as ‘Interested Parties’.
Directly, this will strengthen the organisation by improving the ability to respond quickly to regulatory compliance issues, changes, and also emergency situations. Good management of Occupational Health and Safety will improve performance, such as fewer incidents (reflected in reduced time off work, downtime, disruption, and lower operational costs) as well as having commercial benefits (such as reduced insurance premiums and sales/contract opportunities). Moreover, workers will be more willing to work for a safe organisation than an unsafe one.
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