ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard Summary

ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard Summary

An Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS), is a collaborative and systematic approach to effectively managing occupational health and safety risks. 

OHSMS helps companies to improve their occupational health and safety performance continually. Moreover OHSMS provides a framework for companies to comply with health and safety ordinances, regulations, state laws and compliance obligations.

OHSMS systems primarily direct organizations in the following ways:
       1. Identify occupational health and safety hazards.
      2. Examine the risks associated with the identified hazards.
      3. Establish controls to minimize the risks.
      4. Define goals for health and safety performance.
      5. Create a plan to achieve the goals.
      6. Monitor performance against the targets and goals.
      7. Report performance results.
      8. Review OHSMS results and continuously improve.

Fundamentals of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Summary:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems help companies to improve their occupational health and safety performance continually.
  • Some of the national standards for implementing OHSMS systems, prior to ISO 45001:2018 have been: BS OHSAS 18001; ANSI/AIHA Z10 and CSA Z1000.
  • The BS OHSAS 18001, Occupational Health & Safety Assessment Series, is a globally recognized British Standard for occupational health and safety management systems.
  • ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute. The Accredited Standards Committee “Z10” approved the standard in 1999.
  • The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), published a standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, in 2006, known as CSA Z1000-6.
  • The ISO 45001 standard matches closely with the newly revised ISO 9001:2015 quality management system and the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system. Both similarly employ a risk-based structure.
  • The committee responsible for the development of the ISO 45001 standard is known as ISO/PC 283. 
  • Experts from approximately seventy countries, collaborated on the drafting of ISO 45001. 
  • The British Standards Institution (BSI), served as the committee’s secretariat for the development of ISO 45001.
  • ISO 45001 incorporates a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model. This is a mechanism for organizations to plan what they require, in order to mitigate the probability of OH&S damages.
  • Companies need to migrate from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 within three years after publication of ISO 45001 (March 2018). 
  • Brief comparison between the ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 standards: ISO 45001 uses a process-based approach > OHSAS 18001 uses a procedure-based approach; ISO 45001 uses a risk-based approach > OHSAS 18001 uses a preventive approach; ISO 45001 incorporates both risks and opportunities > OHSAS 18001 considers risk only; ISO 45001 incorporates the views of interested parties > OHSAS 18001 does not include the views of interested parties.
  • In a rapidly growing and creative world, the requirement is felt for organizations to be proactive in the area of occupational health and safety management, rather than reactive. ISO 45001 provides such a framework.
  • Most organizations are small to medium-sized enterprises. ISO 45001 is applicable to those, as well as to larger enterprises. 
  • Most organizations will benefit from ISO 45001 and significant numbers will welcome the recognition that comes with ISO 45001 certification. 
  • The users of existing OHSMS, such as OHSAS 18001 and the ILO-OSH Guidelines, will easily be able to implement ISO 45001, as it does not contradict these standards.
  • The ISO 45001:2018 OHSMS, offers a vigorous set of processes for improving workplace safety in the area of global supply chains.
  • The new ISO 45001:2018 international standard, when implemented, is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illness significantly around the world.
  • According to ILO statistics (2017), 2.78 million fatal accidents occur in the workplace each year. In addition, there are approx. 374 million non-deadly incidents of work-related damage and illness each year. Most of these incidents involve loss-of-time injuries, meaning absenteeism from work, loss of productivity and loss of revenue.
  • According to the ISO 45001:2018 standard, the ultimate accountability of top management for the OHSMS cannot be delegated.
  • The support functions listed in clauses 7.1 to 7.5 of ISO 45001:2018, include: availability of sufficient resources; competency of workers to perform work safely, the necessary awareness of workers, visitors and contractors regarding occupational health and safety; sufficient communication; documentation of information.
  • Clauses 8.1 to 8.2, deal with operational planning and controls; emergency situations; cases of failure and the development of preparedness plans by organizations.
  • Clause 9 in ISO 45001, deals with performance evaluation, similar to that contained in the British standard OHSAS 18001.
  • The linguistic reference to ‘preventive’ action in OHSAS 18001, has been removed from clause 10 in ISO 45001, as it is already considered in the risk management phase. 
  • Risk should not only be managed for hazards, but also for internal and external issues, including the needs and expectations of 'interested parties'.

Requirements of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System Summary:

  • An organization's policy should include a commitment to providing a safe and healthy working environment and a commitment towards continual improvement of its occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS).
  • Management must identify all "interested parties" in the system, together with employees. Interacting with the organization’s workers, contractual partners and shareholders is an important part of maintaining a list of all interested parties. If a business has a high accident rate, insurance premiums will rise. Insurers are therefore an "interested party".
  • The competence of an organization’s workforce is an internal issue and is relevant to effective health and safety management.
  • External factors are outside an organization's direct control. However, they influence an organization’s business and operations and consequently its OHSMS.
  • The latest discoveries and research into contemporary illness in the workplace highlights: recurring stress, strains and depression (mental health). It finds that legislation must be upgraded and business contexts need to be fully documented, if organizations are to truly alter their health and safety systems to function effectively. 
  • 'Scope' refers to the boundaries and applicability of an organization's OHSMS.
  • Management must take into account the "diversity" of its interested parties, when formulating its health and safety communications strategy. Diversity, according to the ISO 45001:2018 standard includes: Gender, Language, Culture, Literacy and Disability.
  • Employees must be made aware of the organization's health and safety policy and its health and safety management objectives.
  • Management must react to appropriate communications regarding its health and safety management system.
  • The documented information relevant to the OHSMS, should include the following components: Identification and description; Format, language and reference number; Title, date and author; Software version (if relevant); References to media and graphics used.
  • Documented information should be protected from: Loss of confidentiality; Improper use and Loss of integrity (damage).
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes for the eradication of hazards and the minimization of health and safety risks, using the following 'hierarchy of controls': (a) Remove or eliminate the hazard; (b) Substitute or replace hazards and risks with less hazardous operations, processes, supplies and machinery; (c) Use engineering controls and management of work; (d) Use administrative controls such as training and visual controls; (e) Use adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Where short or long term changes are applicable to work practices, a risk and opportunities assessment should be undertaken before the change is applied.
  • Only top management or its delegated personnel should develop, apply and carry out the processes for hazard identification.
  • Legal and other requirements relevant to health and safety, constitute risks and opportunities for an organization, which management must address.
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes to assess occupational health and safety opportunities, in order to enhance occupational health and safety performance in an organization.
  • Management must develop occupational health and safety objectives relevant to different work functions and levels. 
  • Management must identify and provide the resources needed for the establishment, application, maintenance and continual enhancement of the OHSMS.
  • Management must send information regarding its OHSMS and concerning legal and other requirements, to any relevant external parties.
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes to control the acquisition of products and services, to ensure their compliance with the OHSMS.
  • Management must ensure that its outsourcing activities, with respect to health and safety, are in fulfilment of legal and other requirements. 
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes to prepare for possible emergency situations.
  • Management must produce and retain documentation, regarding its processes and plans for reacting to potential emergency situations.

Performance Evaluation and Improvement Summary:

  • Three main areas of OHSMS evaluation are: monitoring, measurement and analysis; Internal audits; management reviews.
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out different processes for the monitoring, measurement and analysis of its OHSMS.
  • Monitoring can be based on observation of work being done, the assessment of documented information (e.g. records) and the utilization of interviews - this helps to identify status, so that any deviation from performance can be recognized.
  • 'Measurement' is the allocation of numbers to the performance of events or objects. It is related with performance evaluation. It can be extracted from the utilization of verified or calibrated equipment.
  • Data analysis discovers patterns, relationships and trends in performance. It is related with the measurement of events.
  • Criteria is what the management compares its performance with, for example the performance of other companies, developed codes, acknowledged standards, the organization's own codes, the organization’s objectives and its historical health and safety record (statistics).
  • Management must ensure that monitoring and measuring equipment is calibrated, verified and used as appropriate.
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes for evaluating organizational health and safety compliance, with legal and other requirements.
  • An organization should have a systematic method for monitoring and measuring its occupational health and safety performance, on a recurrent basis. This should be a core component of its OHSMS.
  • An organization should employ preemptive and responsive measures to OH&S gaps and should primarily focus on proactive solutions, in order to maximize its performance.
  • The internal audit plan must be scheduled and developed according to the system's scope. The plan should be developed according to a risk assessment and take into account the results of former audits. 
  • When choosing auditors to perform audits, objectivity and the absence of bias in the process, must be assured.
  • Management should conduct internal audits at regular intervals, as part of conducting management reviews of their OH&S status and processes. 
  • The ISO 45001 OHSMS standard, mandates that the results of internal audits should be presented to all employees and interested parties.
  • Documenting the internal audit, together with the outcomes, measures and results, is a requirement and a part of the OHSMS continual improvement process.
  • The management review should not only assess data and historical trends; it should aim to improve the OH&S standards and performance in the organization. 
  • Management review of the organization's OH&S status, should be performed regularly, on a quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis.
  • Management must develop, apply and carry out processes, together with investigations, reports and measures, to identify and manage OH&S-related incidents and nonconformities.
  • An organization must take into account the following: the results from the evaluation and analysis of its OH&S performance; the assessment of its OH&S compliance; the lessons learned from internal audits and the lessons learned from management reviews. 
  • Corrective actions, continuous improvements, technological changes, innovations and re-organization can improve the organization's OH&S position.
  • Incidents that lead to health and safety risks, include: near misses, disabilities, injuries, ill health, damage to property and equipment.
  • When a nonconformity or incident occurs, the organization must respond in a timely way; they must act to manage/contain the issue, correct it and deal with the outcomes.
  • Organizations must assess the corrective actions that are required to eliminate the root causes of health and safety-related incidents and nonconformities. They must endeavour to ensure that incidents and nonconformities that occur in one part of an organization, do not occur in another part of an organization.
  • Required corrective actions should be planned and implemented with the participation of employees and interested parties.
  • The concept of the continuous improvement of an organization's OHSMS, is referenced in management systems prior to ISO 45001:2018, for example ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
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Part-06: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide


Part-05: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide

Part-04: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide

Part-03: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide

Part-02: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide

Part-01: ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: Step by step implementation guide

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ISO 45001:2018Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standard Summary


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