ISO 45001 - OH&S Management Systems (OHSMS)
WHAT IS ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is the International Standard that specifies the requirements for an Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS).
WHAT IS AN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (OHSMS)?
An OHSMS is a tool for providing a healthy & safe workplace. You can liken an OHSMS to your organisation’s road map for managing health & safety hazards & risks. This road map consists of processes, procedures, checklists, registers and forms but can take any shape or form; paper, electronic, written, pictorial, flowchart.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF AN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (OHSMS)?
ISO 45001 does not specify what shape of form your OHSMS must take. The standard is written very broadly, enabling organisations to use a common sense approach when interpreting the standard’s requirements. There is no ‘one size fits all’ OHSMS. Using the road map analogy from above, a Melbourne road map is not a useful resource when navigating Sydney.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF ISO 45001?
Context of the Organisation: Who are we? You need to demonstrate that you understand who your organisation is. This is done by identifying risks & opportunities, needs & expectations of workers & interested parties, legal obligations and your activities, products & services. Your organisation’s SWOT analysis is a great starting point for understanding who you are.
Leadership & Worker Participation: Where are we going? Top management needs to demonstrate leadership commitment to the OHSMS. Top Management must take responsibility for: establishing & communicating the OH&S policy & objectives, being committed to providing healthy & safe working conditions & fulfilling legal obligations, defining roles & responsibilities, providing adequate resources, promoting improvement, and enabling consultation with & participation by all workers in the OHSMS. The Standard has no intention of tripping up Top Management for not knowing the micro detail of your OHSMS, but it does require the organisation’s leaders to know the way, go the way and show the way.
Planning: What’s the plan? You need to demonstrate planned actions to achieve your organisation’s OH&S objectives. You also need to show planned actions to address hazards, risks & opportunities, meet legal obligations, along with your actions associated with planning for change, abnormal conditions and foreseeable emergency situations. Your local Worksafe authority have useful resources that can get you started.
Support: What’s keeping us upright? Competent people, infrastructure, environment, equipment and knowledge resources need to be determined, provided, reviewed and maintained to support the OHSMS. Your organisation’s induction, training & development records, and equipment maintenance schedules could be your starting point.
Operation: How are we related? You are required to understand the processes within your organisation and plan & eliminate the hazards and OH&S risks associated with those processes. This requirement includes procurement of products & services, contractors and outsourcing, and emergency preparedness & response. Essentially, these are all the activities necessary to eliminate, mitigate and control workplace health & safety hazards & risks. Simple flowcharts mapping each stage of your processes and the associated control measures are a useful tool to get you started.
Performance evaluation: How did we do? You will need to make your OHSMS accountable by measuring & monitoring performance. Think SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible when determining what needs to be measured & monitored, when & how to do so, and how to analyse & evaluate the results. These evaluations will need to include compliance evaluations, internal audits and management reviews. Your leadership team meetings or management meetings are the perfect forum to report performance evaluation.
Improvement: What could we do better? You need to identify opportunities for improvement and determine the actions to implement improvement. Improvement can include corrective action, process change, innovation and re-organisation. The suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the OHSMS needs to be reviewed and improved continuously as the organisation develops and evolves over time. The OHSMS is not a set and forget tool. Referring to our road map analogy, we would struggle to navigate our way around Melbourne today using a road map from 1920.
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER COMPLIANCE WITH ISO 45001?
All organisations regardless of size, industry or ownership structure can benefit from compliance with ISO 45001.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ISO 45001?
• Improve OH&S performance by reducing workplace health & safety hazards & risks
• Improve your organisation’s image by providing a healthy & safe workplace
• Gain a better relationship with stakeholders
• Improve employee engagement
• Reduction and elimination of incidents and accidents
• Help you compete with bigger enterprises
• Give your organisation a competitive edge & improve your marketing pitch
• Improve your risk profile with financiers and insurers
• Enable you to compete for public and private tenders
• Meet legal & compliance obligations with consistency
• Enhance your profile as a good corporate citizen
HOW DO WE GET STARTED WITH ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 only has a handful of documents that it explicitly requires. The best way to get started is to conduct a review of your core management tools (business plan, objectives & KPIs, processes, procedures and registers) to assess how they satisfy the requirements of the Standard. Stay focused on the items that matter. Start with the bare minimum and build your OHSMS from there. Most importantly, make a visible note: ‘OH&S Management does not equal mountains of paper & metrics.’
HOW DO WE ATTAIN ISO 45001 CERTIFICATION?
Certification is the written assurance (in the form of a certificate) from an independent body (Certification Body) that your organisation meets the requirements of the Standard. It stands to reason that assurance can only be provided once the Certification Body has reviewed your OHSMS in action. This is done in two stages. Stage 1 is a top level readiness review; it is used to gain knowledge of your organisation and review your organisation’s understanding of how your OHSMS meets the requirements of the Standard. Stage 2 is the evidence gathering audit; it is used to gather objective evidence that your OHSMS is compliant with the Standard and that you actually do what you say you are doing in your system.
ISO Helper Consultants are Industry Experts in the Development, Implementation & Maintenance of user friendly Compliant OH&S Management Systems. We can help you get started on your path to ISO 45001 compliance or certification by conducting an OH&S Management Health Check of your organisation..