Understanding ISO 45001: 5 Steps for a Better OHS Management System

Did you know that there are about 160 million victims of work-related illnesses and around 340 million occupational accidents happening globally? This statistic was reported by the International Labour Organization, which also reported that occupation-related diseases cause the most deaths among workers, with hazardous substances causing over 650,000 deaths annually.

It is the responsibility of every organisation to minimise the risk of harm to their employees, contractors, and guests by ensuring that the workplace is safe. This is where ISO 45001 comes in. ISO 45001 is a global standard that helps organisations improve employee safety and reduce workplace risks to ensure better working conditions for workers, contractors, and visitors alike. This standard also ensures that organisations are proactively monitoring and improving their occupational health and safety, or OHS, performance. But what are the steps that organisations can take to achieve ISO 45001 certification? How does a certification impact their OHS management system? The following are 5 steps as outlined by the American Society of Safety Professionals.

5 Ways to Improve an OHS Management System, Guided by ISO 45001

1. Understand what an occupational health and safety (OHS) management system is and the benefits of an ISO 45001 certification.

Before implementing any type of system, businesses have to fully understand what it means to adapt and maintain an OHS management system. In the preliminary planning stages, executives must understand the OHS management system and the benefits it can bring to the business. A deeper understanding of an OHS management system and its business impact can help them build a strong case on why the organisation needs to adapt one. ISO 45001 standard can provide insights on what needs to be done and how to do it.

2. Audit the existing system, if any.

If a business already has an OHS management system in place, it’s important to have an audit done before getting certified to ISO 45001. There are third party OHS consultants who can be of service and they are responsible for integrating all of a business’ ISO standards if any, to create seamless systems that ensure success. They are also tasked to minimise change by customising ISO solutions to ensure it meets the business’ unique needs. Lastly, these OHS consultants help the business save time and resources by limiting duplication of documentation, which may create confusion. From auditing the existing system to walking a business through the requirements for an ISO 45001 certification, these OHS consultants are able to provide an easy and risk-free transition to achieve certification.

3. Involve stakeholders.

Organisational change is to be expected when implementing any type of management system. That’s why it’s important to collect valuable input organisation-wide and consider the different perspectives and opinions about such changes. According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, a gap analysis must be performed to understand what the business truly needs to successfully implement an OHS management system. This also allows for employees, management, and stakeholders to have a sense of responsibility and commitment in ensuring that the system meets the ISO 45001 standard.

4. Define OHS management system objectives and outline priorities.

Following an audit of any existing safety management systems, OHS consultants are then able to help define a business’ priorities for their OHS management system. This ensures that such priorities are aligned with the overall business objectives and that business performance goals will in fact contribute to success.

5. Develop an OHS management system or overhaul an existing one.

After the auditing process, determining safety objectives, and ensuring that these are aligned with the business objectives, an organisation is now ready to develop an OHS management system or make improvements on existing ones. Working with OHS consultants throughout this process will help a business focus on its core competencies without risking OHS performance.

Safety management systems are beneficial to businesses because they provide guidelines to ensure that employees, contractors, and other people involved are always working in an environment that does not pose a threat to their health and wellbeing. Being certified to ISO 45001 means that a business is committed to continuously meeting global standards and upholds values to support that standard.

Getting an ISO 45001 need not be a tedious process, however. OHS consultants from ISO consulting firms are available to perform business audits and analyse existing OHS management systems to determine what can be done to improve them and what requirements must be met in order to get certified for ISO 45001. Consult with OHS specialists today to find out how ISO 45001 can improve workplace health and safety.

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