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What is ISO 45001?

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What is ISO 45001?


ISO 45001 is an international regulation for occupational health and safety that will provide a framework to improve employee safety, reduce work-related injury and risks, and prevent ill health and death. The intended outcome of the standard will be to provide safer working conditions around the world. The new standard will help organizations provide a safe and healthy work environment for workers and visitors by continually improving their OH&S performance. The standard is based on OHSAS 18001, conventions and guidelines of the International Labor Organization.

ISO45001 2018
ISO45001 2018

How does the new ISO 45001 differ from OHSAS 18001?

ISO 45001 focuses on processes, the organization as a whole, and different stakeholders. It also emphasizes both risks and opportunities. OHSAS 18001 is procedure-based, does not consider interested parties outside the organization, and deals exclusively with risk.

ISO 45001 requires organizations to identify the potential hazards in the workplace and then develop strategies to mitigate those risks. This includes assessing the risk level associated with each hazard. Additionally, procedures must be developed to reduce or eliminate that risk.

Organizations that have achieved ISO 45001 certification will have improved processes for risk management. This will result in fewer accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the workplace.

Interaction with the outside world

The ISO 45001 standard contains a new requirement; the context of the organization (Clause 4) must be determined. The context of the organization refers to the issues that are relevant to the organization’s purpose. These issues can have a positive or negative impact on the intended results of your OH&S management system.

Examples of issues include the legal, political or competitive environment, changes in this environment, suppliers, partners, new technologies and/or resources. Not only should the needs and expectations of workers be determined, but also the requirements of other interested parties such as clients, shareholders, suppliers, and people affected by the organization’s activities). Needs and expectations could become future legal requirements.

Together with work related activities, products and services, the issues and requirements determine the scope of the OH&S management system. This scope must be documented. In practice, the ISO 45001 standard requires the organization to review its interaction with the outside world and the future. OHSAS 18001 focused more on the organization, its own site(s) people present there, and current legal requirements.

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Although ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety constitutes a fully new standard, its foundations already exist and are formulated in OHSAS 18001. Companies that have already implemented an occupational health and safety management system OHSMS in accordance with OHSAS 18001, and actively apply it in everyday company practice, can expect a smooth transition to ISO 45001 certification and achieve ISO 45001 compliance.

Key improvements:

  • ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System implements the ‘high level structure’, giving it a common framework with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
  • ISO45001 OHSMS places great emphasis on the responsibility of senior management. This aspect has already been implemented in the revised ISO 9001 QMS and ISO 14001 EMS standards.
  • ISO45001 OHSMS explicitly includes persons who are not permanently employed, but are in other ways working under the responsibility of the organisation/company, such as subcontractors, as well as processes that have been outsourced in their entirety. In this way it incorporates elements of the SCC certificate.
  • The standard also introduces the term “opportunities”, as a new aspect in the field of occupational health and safety OHS This covers issues that go beyond the mere elimination or minimisation of OHS risks and hazards.

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