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NEW OH&S Standard ISO45001 is here.

Standards 45001 Health and Safety / Monday 11th of December 2017

After an inordinately long period of consultation, discussion, debate and redrafting, the eagerly awaited ISO45001 Standard for Occupational Health & Safety has been approved and will be published for use in March 2018.

Early indications are that there is significant interest, not just from those who will have to transition from OHSAS18001 anyway, but from businesses new to a formal OHS Management System. It looks like the structure has additional attractions, beyond previous standards. 

A few important key things here.

  • For the first time, there will be an International Standard for Occupational Health & Safety
  • Those businesses with a OHSAS18001 Standard Certificate will have 3 years to migrate to ISO45001
  • It is unlikely that Certification Bodies will support OHSAS18001 for very long after the introduction of ISO45001.

So depending where you are in the process, you have some important decisions to make. Of course we can help you through this.

At this stage, I don’t intend to go through the differences between OHSAS18001 and ISO45001 in detail. That’s for another day or indeed a consultation, but here are a few headlines.

  • The introduction of Annex XL framework makes it an option to integrate ISO 45001 OH&S with ISO9001 and ISO 14001 management systems.
  • Without diving into the detail, one key factor is that it will force senior leadership “Top Management” to be actively involved in your OH&S system (including planning). No longer will it be possible for organisations to just push the safety representative forward for audits.
  • Although it is an expectation that senior leadership play an active role in strategic OH&S decision making, the standard will support the requirement and drive to promote safety culture from the top of your organisation.
  • Reference to ‘Worker’ throughout the draft standard promotes the benefits from staff engagement when decision making and sharing information on OH&S.
  • ISO45001 has, in common with other updated Standards, adopted a “Risk Based Approach”, hence a preventative approach rather than the reactive one of OHSAS18001 which looks at 'Hazard Identification'.
  • The Standard ‘Annex A’ guidance is comprehensive and broken-down Clause by Clause. 

But if you have not implemented OHSAS18001 so far, why would you do so for ISO45001?

Well, by implementing a H&S System to ISO45001, you would enhance health and safety performance through:-

  • Using systematic processes which not only consider the “context” of your business and its operation, including from a H&S perspective, but also looks at the risks and opportunities within it.
  • Considering in a formal way, internal and external aspects, for the full range of stakeholders “Interested Parties”.
  • Expectation that you to identify hazards and H&S risks associated with your operations, then look to eliminate, or control them.  
  • Stay on top of expectations with regard to legal and other requirements.
  • Monitor, measure, analyse and evaluating your H&S performance and using an ISO fundamental, continually improve performance over time.
  • In addition to raising overall awareness (and contributing to an enhanced H&S culture) workers are more involved in the H&S landscape and decision making.

And there maybe more direct benefits such as,

  • Ability to response rapidly to regulatory compliance issues/ changes, and emergency situations
  • Fewer incidents, reflected in reduced time off work, downtime, disruption, and lower operational costs
  • Commercial benefits e.g. through reduced insurance premiums and sales/contract opportunities.
  • Your employees, customers and peers will recognise your commitment to safe working.
  • Apart from the H&S related points above, if you already have 2015 versions of ISO9001 and/or ISO14001, it would be relatively straightforward and you would reap the benefits quickly and simply.

We can make a start on it now so if you are interested in further discussion on how we can help implement, transition or integrate your OH&S System with ISO45001, then please contact me direct or through our website. www.spedan.co.uk/contact

We are also available for business bespoke, confidential OH&S Reviews if you are just looking for a health check on your current system.

Alister Constantine

Phone: 07552 217704

Email: alister@spedan.co.uk