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-04

Requirements of an Occupational Health and Safety Management System


    • List the expectations top management has in a OHSMS.
    • Describe how best to manage health and safety risks.
    • Explain how support functions affect an organization's performance.
    • Define what operational controls are.
    • Summarize how organizations enforce operational controls.
    • Discuss what an emergency response is and how organizations are required to plan for emergency situations.
Leadership and Organizational Context
Leadership Roles and Responsibilities:
What is a leadership role and how is it mandated in the ISO 45001:2018 standard?
Top management must ensure leadership roles and exhibit commitment towards the OHSMS by:

a) Owning responsibility and accountability for avoiding work-based injuries and illness; provide a safe and healthy work environment and processes. 
b) Making sure that the OH&S policy objectives are identified and relate to the strategy of the company.
c) Making sure the OHSMS integrates into the business processes of the organization.
d) Ensuring the availability of the resources required to develop, apply, sustain and enhance the OHSMS.
e) Communicating the significance of the implementation of the OHSMS and compliance to the standard.
f) Ensuring the OHSMS attains its intended results. <Cont. next tab>
g) Guiding and empowering workers to play their role in the sustenance of the OHSMS.
h) Ensuring and encouraging continuous improvement.
I) Empowering other management to prove their leadership in the areas they lead.
j) Establishing, leading and encouraging an organizational culture that assists the desired results of the OHSMS to succeed.
k) Safeguarding workers from retaliation or reprisals, when it comes to reporting accidents, unsafe conditions, hazards, risks and areas for improvement.
l) Ensuring that the organization develops and applies processes for discussion and the participation of workers.
m) Empowering the development and operation of health and safety committees.

OHSMS Participation:

OHSMS Policy:
Who is responsible for establishing, implementing and maintaining the OHSMS policy? Top management i.e. the leadership of the organization must develop, apply and sustain this policy, which should have the following elements:

a) A commitment to offer a safe and healthy working environment. The commitment should ensure that work-based accidents and illnesses are avoided. The policy should be relevant to the objectives, size and business context of the organization and the nature of the particular health and safety risks that exist.
b) A framework for setting out the health and safety objectives.
c) A commitment to meet legal and other requirements. 
d) A commitment to eliminate hazards and reduce risks.
e) A commitment to the continuous improvement of the OHSMS.
f) A commitment to consultation and participation. The policy should encourage discussion and the involvement of workers/bodies representing workers and managers.

The organization's health and safety management policy should ensure the following:

• The policy must be controlled and documented.
• It must be communicated throughout all levels of the organization.
• It should be suitable, applicable and available to all interested parties.

Worker representation in the OHSMS steering committee, can be a source of participation and consultation for workers. 

Hurdles and barriers to staff participation can involve the inability to address inputs and opinions, language barriers and dangers of retaliation or reprisals for "speaking up".

Delivering training to staff, can break major barriers to worker participation. The participation of non-managerial employees can involve the following:

1. Identifying hazards and assessing risks and opportunities.
2. Identifying the procedures for consultation and participation.
3. Identify actions that can eliminate hazards and reduce health and safety risks.
4. Identify training and competence requirements and evaluate training.
5. Identify communications issues and methods.
6. Investigate incidents and non-conformities.
7. Identify control measures and their effective applications.

Internal and External Factors
Business Context:
The business context for the OHSMS (ISO 45001:2018, clause 4.1) involves the following:

• Understanding the company and its business context.
• Management must identify internal and external issues that are applicable to the OHSMS. 
• Highlight issues that have affected, or may affect, the organization's ability to successfully implement the OHSMS.

Internal Issue:
Collaboration between businesses has developed in the last two decades, with the advancement of the internet and business without borders. Health and safety concerns have developed too and management has more wider-reaching issues to consider, when planning an OHSMS. Some internal issues include:

• The competence and diversity of the organization’s workforce.
• The commitment of workers regarding health and safety regulations.
• The readiness to collaborate with declared specifications.
• The organization’s communication channels and their significance.

External factors are issues that are outside an organization, but that influence its business and operations. Some of these are summarized below:

- Legislation and regional laws.
- Economic and political situation.
- Union rules.
- National and international agencies.

Documenting the business context, for auditors and other stakeholders, with respect to external parameters, is recommended.

Compliance and Interests
Compliance with applicable H&S laws and regulations, protects businesses from legal and other financial penalties. 

Moreover, the well-being of an organization’s workers is the first and foremost objective. Making sure operations are safe, improves the quality of goods and services that can be provided. 

The latest discoveries and research with regard to contemporary illness, e.g. recurring stress, strains and depression, demonstrates that adhering to OH&S legislation improves performance.

It's important to involve the viewpoints of interested parties when formulating an OHSMS. Some common interested parties include:

• Employees/workers
• Management and shareholders - they are also connected to strategic business decisions
• External providers, contractors and vendors
• Manufacturing and business partners
• Government, regulatory and legislative bodies – in many cases these have authority over organizations
• Pressure groups, neighbors, trade unions – especially in the case of e.g. nuclear power/chemical/hazardous facilities
• An organization’s insurers - an OHSMS may significantly affect premiums

Managing Risk: Opportunities and Support Functions
Risks and Hazards
When planning the OHSMS, management must consider the issues and requirements from a business context, i.e. internal and external factors and those of interested parties. This constitutes the scope of the OHSMS.

Through the planning processes, management must identify and examine the risks and opportunities associated with the OHSMS and the structural changes involved. Management must document the information concerning the processes and measures needed to identify and address the risks and opportunities involved. A long and short term risk and opportunities assessment must be undertaken, before change is applied.

Hazard identification is referred to in clause 6.1. Top management, or its delegated personnel, must develop, apply and carry out pre-emptive and ongoing processes for hazard identification

These processes must take into account how work is managed, considering the following factors: 

Workload; Work hours; Victimization; Harassment and bullying; Leadership and culture.

Hazard identification processes must also take into account hazards that arise from routine and non-routine activities, including the following:
 • Infrastructure, machinery, supplies, physical job areas
 • Design of services and products, manufacturing, assembly, erection, service distribution, maintenance, product and waste disposal
 • Work methodology

Hazard Identification and Assessment
Hazard identification and the assessment of risks and opportunities, involves personnel in the workplace, including:
• Those with the right of entry to the workplace (employees, third-party workers, guests)
• Those in the locality of the work area, who are affected by the work
• Employees in an area that is not under the direct administration of the company

Other Factors:
Hazard identification and the assessment of risks and opportunities, involves other factors in the workplace, including:
 • The layout of work areas, practices, installations, heavy machinery, standard operating procedures and job management
• Changes with the needs and capabilities of employees
• Changed conditions in the workplace, as a result of work-related activities 
• Conditions (not controlled by management) in work areas, that can result in illness or injury to individuals
• Actual or intended changes in organogram, jobs, processes, proceedings or the health and safety management system
• Information and knowledge relating to any changes concerning hazards

Assessment of health and safety risks (Clause Management must develop, apply and carry out processes for the following:

(a) Assess the health and safety risks from a list of hazards, while considering the effectiveness of current controls;
(b) Identify and assess other risks related to the establishment, application, operation and maintenance of the overall OHSMS.

The management’s procedures and criteria for the assessment of health and safety risks, must be defined, to ensure they are preemptive rather than responsive and that they are utilized in a 
systematic way. Documented information must be developed and retained on the assessment principles and methodology

Processes, Actions and the Law
Assessment of health and safety opportunities ( 

Management must develop, apply and carry out processes for the following:

(a) Health and safety opportunities to enhance health and safety performance, changes to management, policies, processes or activities.
(b) Opportunities to upgrade work, management and the work environment for employees.
(c) Opportunities to eliminate hazards and reduce health and safety risks.
(d) Opportunities for improving the OHSMS.

Legal and other requirements (6.1.3)

Management must develop, apply and carry out processes for the following:

A. Identify and subscribe to the latest legal and other requirements that are relevant to hazards, risks and health and the OHSMS.
B. Identify how legal and other requirements apply to management and which requirements need to be communicated to staff.
C. Take legal and other requirements into account when developing, applying and improving the OHSMS.
D. Retain documented information on legal and other issues and ensure it is upgraded to incorporate any relevant changes.

Management must plan actions relating to the following:

1) Risks and opportunities 
2) Legal and other requirements 
3) Prepare for and react to emergency situations 
4) Integrate and apply relevant counter measures to hazards and risks, through the OHSMS
5) Assess the effectiveness of the counter measures and action plans taken

Management must take into consideration the "hierarchy of controls" (clause 8.1.2) and results from the health and safety management system, when deciding on new actions. When planning actions, management must take into account best practice, technological alternatives and economical, functional and business needs.

Objectives and Planning:
Health And Safety objectives (Clause 6.2.1)

Management must develop health and safety objectives at appropriate functions and levels, to carry out and continually improve the OHSMS and OH&S performance (clause 10.3).

Health and safety objectives must:

(a) Be consistent with the health and safety policy
(b) Be quantifiable (if possible) and available for evaluation

Health and safety objectives must take into consideration the following:
(c) Relevant requirements
(d) The outcomes resulting from the assessment of risks and opportunities 
(e) The results of consultation with employees or employees’ representatives where they exist
(f) Checks, communications and upgrades

Planning to attain health and safety objectives (Clause 6.2.2)

When planning how to attain organizational health and safety objectives, management must address the following questions:

   A. What needs to be worked on?
   B. What resources will be needed?
   C. Who will be delegated?
   D. When it will be finished?
   E. How will the outcomes be assessed (including pointers for monitoring)?
   F. How will the measures needed to attain health and safety objectives, be assimilated into business processes?

Management must produce and retain documented information on health and safety objectives and the plans to achieve them.

Duties of Top Management:
Support Functions - Organizational Resources (Clause 7.1)
Management must recognize and render the resources required for the establishment, application, maintenance and continual enhancement of the OHSMS.

Competence (Clause 7.2)
To achieve mandatory employee competence, management must perform the following:
1. Identify the influence of employee competence on health and safety performance
2. Ensure that employees are competent (including the capability to recognize hazards) with help of education, experience and training 
3. Take the necessary actions to achieve mandatory employee competence and be able to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures 
4. Retain documented information on proof of employee competence

NOTE: Relevant actions can involve the delivery of training, mentoring, the re-allocation of presently employed persons and the hiring or outsourcing of competent persons.

Awareness (Clause 7.3)
Employees must be made aware of the following:

- Health and safety policies and objectives
- The effectiveness and benefits of the OHSMS
- The implications and potential outcomes of not conforming to OH&S requirements
- H&S incidents and the results of investigations
- Their ability to leave work situations when there is a grave danger to their life or health

Communication (Clause 7.4)
Management must develop, apply and carry out the processes required for the internal and external communications applicable to the OHSMS, together with identifying the following:

• The appropriate subjects of communication
• The appropriate timing
• The appropriate recipients (including contractors and visitors to the workplace)
• The appropriate methodology of communication

The standard stipulates that management must take into account the "diversity" of the audience when considering its communications. Diversity includes: • Gender • Language • Culture • Literacy • Disability

Management must ensure that the opinions of external interested parties are considered, when developing the communications process. In addition, management must:

• React to appropriate communications regarding its OHSMS
• Keep documentation, as proof of its communications

Documentation and Control
The level of documented information required (Clause 7.5) in an OHSMS, varies from one organization to another. This is due mainly to the types of products and services it provides and the requirement to show legal and other compliance.

Documentation (Clause 7.5.2) should normally include the following:

1) Identification and description 
2) Title, Date and Author 
3) Reference Number
4) Language and format
5) Graphics and media 
6) Software Version

Documentation needs to be sufficiently controlled (clause 7.5.3), to ensure:

- It is accessible and relevant for utilization where and when it is needed 
- It is sufficiently protected from loss of confidentiality and improper use 
- The availability of sharing, right to use and retrieval
- Is is conserved and stored properly
- Version and revision control

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


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