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When everybody, from top management to part-time workers are on board with adopting ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Standard – there are certain steps needed before the business can be certified. Starting with running a gap analysis on the current state of the business compared with the requirements of the standard.

Gap Analysis

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Gap analysis not only requires a business to identify the ‘gap’ between where it currently is and where it wants to be but to also identify the driving aim to reach that end goal. The analysis can be done by members of staff who have knowledge and understanding of:

  • The business itself, and the direction of the business
  • Processes within the business
  • Technology within the business
  • Resources and capabilities of the business

Sometimes it can be hard to look at the business from an objective point of view. This is when a 2nd party – someone from within the supply chain – or a 3rd party is beneficial. Having access to all the documentation, as well as observing the way the business works allows them to pick out gaps that an internal member of staff may have missed.

If doing the analysis yourself, consider using the PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT approach or finding a self-assessment tool to assist. A really good tool will provide a systematic approach to creating a roadmap of steps to take to reach the end goal.

3rd Party Auditor and Accreditor

If you choose to save time, by hiring a 3rd party auditor to assess the business for adopting ISO 45001 you will need to be able to show conformity to the standard requirements. In ISO 45001 the need for printed documents in a folder sat on the shelf is no longer required, instead the term documented evidence is used.

Documented Evidence is any evidence that can show the performance of the business, from audio files of interviews, photos, videos and even emails between staff members. There are some situations though that are hard to document, and this is where a good auditor will come in and observe the business, the layout and the processes they take part in to make a report. This will include interviews with staff members to monitor behaviors and identify how the understanding of the procedures/policies staff members are. The basis of ISO 45001 is having all staff on board including top management, not just accepting to adopt the standard but to also understand the standard and what it means for their role within the business.

Where a business has multiple locations or remote workers, images and emails are a brilliant way to show performance and conformity. For example, if a work crew are at a site and identify a risk or hazard they can email a picture using their mobile phone to HQ who can then advise on what steps to take next. Engagement between top management and staff can also be done via newsletters, appraisals and regular local meetings – the best way is to include the staff in deciding how this is done.

How To Get Accredited

As ISO 45001 is a new standard, many auditors will currently not be accredited to part take in analyses of the standard, therefore you need to check any auditors’ accreditation before hiring them. Currently (March 2018) there is a phased approach to getting auditing bodies accredited.

Until a suitable auditing body can be found businesses can obtain a copy of the standard on the BSI website to start learning about it, and where possible implementing some of the required changes. The suggested time frame for a business to be accredited in ISO 45001 is 6 months, with 3 of those months showing conformity to the standard.

For those certified under ISO 14001, many of the terminology and system structures will be in place, making the adoption easier, and those certified under OHSAS 18001, the biggest gap can be the involvement and engagement of leadership. OHSAS 18001 will be phased out by March 2012, to be replaced by ISO 45001.

Still unsure about ISO 45001, and what it could mean for your business? Then give us a call to discuss how your business could benefit from it.