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12th March 2018 sees the introduction of ISO 45001, a management standard that is a global standard for organizations to adopt to reduce the health and safety risks within the workplace and associated with the tasks workers are required to partake in. ISO 45001 has similar traits to OHSAS 18001 however it will expand this standard to cover not just the core organization but also the supply chain, and any outsourced resources.

Before an organization can become accredited there are a few things they need to do first, an organization needs to be fully engaged in adopting the standard, have implemented and show conformity to ISO 45001 for a minimum of 3 months before they can consider hiring a credited company – NEVER USE A NON-CREDITED BODY – to certify them in the standard.

What happens if an organization is not engaged in adopting the standard?

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A conversation needs to be had between the health and safety manager and top management as to what benefits the organization can achieve through adopting ISO 45001. ISO 45001 requires the ACTIVE participation of top management, therefore they need to truly believe in the benefits. Top management’s time is limited so the conversation must be concise and straight to the point, mentioning the big ask within the first minute of the conversation than being persuasive to your point the remaining time.  

If top management is not 100% on board with the idea of ISO 45001 and therefore need it sold to them, there are a few things that need to be discussed, and for it to be easier for top management to understand what is in it for the organization. The conversation needs to be approached as an economic discussion, looking at the current client base and the size of the base, the supply chain and what the different aspects of that chain require – some may already be considering ISO 45001 and looking for buyers who are also looking into adopting the standard. The potential growth the standard can bring to the organization, as well as the impact that could be had if it wasn’t adopted need to be considered. Socially and morally if an organization commits itself to taking care of its staff, then ISO 45001 allows them to document how this is being done.

In a webinar given by Dame Judith Hackitt, it was discussed that ISO 45001 on its own won’t make a difference to an organization, but with the support and engagement of top management, it can have major differences. This is the basis in which the standard and many more upcoming standards are built.

Top Management agree to adopt ISO 45001, now what?

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When top management is on board and ready to start the process of becoming certified, a gap analysis needs to be taken to determine where the organization currently is, and where they want to be – usually this is the aspects of ISO 45001 that the business is not currently conforming to.

The organization needs to decide whether they are going to partake of this analysis themselves or have it conducted by a 2nd or 3rd party auditor.

Management will need to demonstrate the performance of the current management system, in addition to the current health and safety outcomes in order to identify any room for improvement, risks as well as opportunities available to the organization. If an organization wishes to compile the analysis themselves, there are many self-assessment and checklists they can choose to assist them in creating a roadmap of steps to take in order to modify the organization to conformity. This roadmap will not only show what needs to be done to achieve conformity but also how to achieve it.

If an organization is already certified with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 then conforming to ISO 45001 is a lot easier, with fewer steps to make it happen. The biggest change between OHSAS 18001 is the integration and active participation of top management, as previously mentioned without it the success rates of conforming are far lower.

To find out how an audit works, and how you can prove conformity to ISO 45001 check out our upcoming post.

If you want to discuss the impact ISO 45001 will have on your organization then get in touch and we can walk you through the various clauses and what they mean.