ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety

A Scrabble-type board game with several words laid out, including health, safety, work, policy, assessment, risk, training, and accident

What is ISO 45001 (previously BS OHSAS 18001) Health and Safety Standard?

ISO 45001 is an International Standard, drawing on the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts, that enables an organisation to establish an effective occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) which reduces / prevents risk and provides better resilience to benefit those within the workplace and enable better engagement with suppliers, customers and others in the marketplace.

The management of health & safety in the work place, in the context of the organisation itself and also the impact it may have on others, can be a major concern. ISO 45001 assists an organisation in managing and preventing health and safety risks and complying with relevant legislation and regulations by setting out the requirements for establishing a recognised and effective occupational health & safety management system, based on international best practice.

ISO 45001 supports and guides an organisation in creating the processes needed, focusing on improved efficiency and effectiveness, integration with other management systems, leadership and workforce empowerment. In particular ISO 45001 guides an organisation through the following aspects:

  • Planning how to deal with potential risks in the workplace.
  • Assessing, controlling and eliminating health and safety risks.
  • Defining objectives for a health and safety management programme.
  • Defining leadership, management and operational responsibilities.
  • Enabling awareness and empowerment within the workplace.
  • Ensuring that in-house people are competent in the relevant skills and processes.
  • Consulting and communicating within the workforce on health and safety management issues.
  • Preparing for and responding to emergency incidents at work.
  • Monitoring, reviewing and assessing effective performance with the aim of continuous improvement.

The Benefits of ISO 45001

Most organisations have certain procedures in place to reduce risk and deal with health and safety concerns, both within and outside the business, affecting employees, customers, suppliers and members of the public. By implementing a management system and achieving certification to ISO 45001, an organisation can be sure that it has taken account of its essential responsibilities and better protect the business.

ISO 45001 enables an organisation to manage health and safety issues effectively while achieving its aims and safe-guarding its future by:

Reducing risk and complying with legal requirements

An organisation can dramatically and effectively improve its internal processes and competent management of health and safety issues, enabling it to comply with legislation and regulations, reduce risk and the likelihood of damaging and costly incidents impacting on the business and others, including those that could lead to legal liability and adverse publicity.

Winning business

A business with ISO 45001 certification will be more likely to inspire confidence and trust in the business, be approached by potential customers and pass through the screening process of any tendering exercise.

Creating marketing opportunities

Certification makes a public statement, offering significant opportunities for marketing and publicity in announcing the organisation’s success and demonstrating its high level of awareness, responsibility and commitment.

Increasing confidence

Everyone involved in the organisation’s activities and those who come into contact with it will be assured that the organisation takes risks to health and safety matters very seriously, enhancing its reputation, standing and culture.

Offering peace of mind

With reduced risk and effective management systems in place, the organisation can better focus on its aims and future development.

Achieving certification to ISO 45001

The process of setting up a health & safety management system starts by reviewing the ways in which the organisation currently prepares for and responds to health and safety issues, measuring these against the requirements of ISO 45001.

Every organisation is different, and some will need to plan for potential risks that others are unlikely to encounter. Consideration has to be given to leadership and empowerment within the chain of responsibility for health and safety management.

An organisation will wish to consider risks affecting not only its internal workforce but also anyone else likely to be affected by its existence and activities.

Revised and new procedures for health and safety management have to be prepared, documented and embedded within the activities and responsibilities of the organisation, usually involving awareness and competence training for those involved and defining responsibilities.

Once a health & safety management system has been put in place and appears to be working, an audit can be carried out by an accredited, independent body, leading to formal certification to ISO 45001.

The system has to be maintained, updated and kept under regular review, with periodic independent audits for the re-certification process.

ISO 45001 allows integration with other management standards under current ISO frameworks. 

Organisations can therefore put integrated management systems in place to accommodate two or three standards, as far as possible, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and avoiding duplication – or triplication – of work and effort.

Organisations currently working to BS OHSAS 18001 can follow a transition process to achieve ISO 45001.

How Touchstone Renard can support an organisation with ISO 45001 including transition from BS OHSAS 18001

Since the early 1990s, Touchstone Renard has successfully supported a large range of client organisations with the design, implementation and maintenance of management systems, including occupational health and safety management. We offer clients a flexible service to meet the needs of their organisation and its budget.

We have a strong team of qualified, experienced, professional consultants who seek to involve and capture the support and interests of an organisation’s people in implementing a management system to suit their circumstances. Tangible benefits are soon identified that can quickly be realised from the improved ways of working that quickly become part of the day to day activities.

We design a system to match the needs of the organisation while ensuring that the processes are in place to achieve independent certification.

We also offer a highly flexible optional service, following certification, to help a client organisation to maintain an existing management system by keeping it updated and operating effectively to enable re-certification to be achieved.

Please Contact Touchstone Renard

If you would welcome a discussion or further information about ISO 45001, including transition from BS OHSAS 18001, maintenance of your OHSMS, or the idea of an integrated management system, please contact Phil Austin, Managing director, without any obligation.

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