There have been a few changes to ISO this year, with deadlines for the 2015 standards and 45001 close to being reached in order to bring health and safety up to align with modern standards. In this article, we will look at those changes and what they mean for your business.
The most recognized standard in the ISO suite, ISO9001 has a deadline of September 15th, 2018 for transitioning to the 2015 standards. This transition does not involve too many changes, but the biggest change is a greater involvement of leadership within the organization, compared to previous standards. For the standard to be truly part of an organization it requires investment by the company and its workers. To get workers on board, leadership needs to invest in making their workers feel they are receiving some form of dividends for their efforts. The standard also focuses on the customer and what they want, requiring companies to concentrate on the quality of the end product rather than margins and supply chains. One final change that is making a huge difference for companies is the ability to align ISO9001 with other standards, making it easier to combine management systems.
Like ISO9001, ISO14001 also has a deadline of September 2018 to transition to this new environment management system iteration. Due to the length of time it takes to compile all the necessary documentation for certification, September 2017 is the last realistic month for health and safety or environmental officers to start the certification process.
In past standards, companies have got away with hiring an auditor to come in and update their paperwork once a year, however, the new standard is more involved – a dusty folder on a shelf will no longer suffice. The initial work to adapt to the standard and bring your environmental processes inline can be consuming, but the results are worthwhile. Healthy and Safety officers will be able to use the tools of the 2015 standard to change the thinking of the company towards its environmental impact and its day to day risk management.
ISO45001 transition period will only start this coming October 2017, but the benefits the changes will bring are worth implementing as soon as possible. The new standard will enhance internal processes and external reputations while blending together with ISO9001 and ISO14001.
The most significant change in ISO45001 is that it is a complete cross-organization system. Every level within the company, from executive level to floor staff, need to be included to make implementing a success. The executive level will need to demonstrate true leadership and accountability for health and safety, while workers will be key contributors to making sure the ISO45001 standard is truly effective. A big aspect of ISO45001 is the focus on mental health and the way a company identifies not just the physical effects of an injury, but also psychological issues an individual may experience afterward. ISO45001 also looks at the long-term impact of an injury within the workplace, such as exposure to chemicals, radiation, and constant stressful work environments.
All three ISO standards have the Annex SL framework at their core. A way to combine standards to reduce the burden of implementation and ongoing management. Making it easier to align different ISO standards. If your company is involved or considering getting involved, with any of these standards, it is important to make sure you are making progress towards the new standards and consider the benefits of adding additional standards that can be aligned with your current ones. If you are unsure of how the ISO changes will impact you, get in touch and we can run an audit on your current processes, then compare them to the new requirements.