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-03

Important Terminology in ISO 45001:2018

Workers & Interested Parties:
Interested Party - This term is defined as a “person or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive to be affected by a [organization's] decision or activity.”

Interested party is an important inclusion in the ISO 45001:2018 standard. It was not considered as much in OHSAS 18001:2007. The term is defined in clause 3.2. It is also referred to as "stakeholder" in the standard.

Examples of Interested parties regarding occupational health and safety management systems are: employees, management and shareholders, external parties, contractors and service providers, manufacturing partners, government and legislative bodies, pressure groups, neighbors, trade unions, company insurers. See the illustration on the following tab.

Worker - The ISO 45001 standard defines the term “worker” (clause 3.3), as a “person performing work or work-related activities, that are under the control of the organization”.

The concept of 'worker' in the standard, is different to that which is perceived in certain industries. The term worker, in the standard, includes top management, managerial and non-managerial staff. This term incorporates the following:

1. Workers from external providers
2. Contractors
3. Individuals
4. Agency workers
5. Other persons involved in work-related activities

Consultation is defined in clause 3.5 of the ISO 45001 standard as “Seeking views before making a decision”. Consultation includes engaging with health and safety committees and workers’ representatives in the decision-making process and the consideration of workers’ views. See the illustration on the next tab.

It is related to the terminology of participation, but is limited to obtaining the views of workers, before making decisions. It is not necessary that workers' views become the major factor in the decision-making process; however they should have merit. In the participation part of the standard, workers are an integral part of the decision-making process.

Consultation is also a style of management - a consultative style of management, in which there is less liberty and involvement of stakeholders, compared to a democratic style. However the consultative style offers more liberty than the autocratic style of management, in which top management directs what is to be done, without consulting others. A consultative style of management is considered a more "balanced approach" by many experts, compared with the autocratic and democratic styles of management.

Participation is a term defined in clause 3.4 of the ISO 45001 standard, as “involvement in decision making”, regarding the occupational health and safety management system. It includes the involvement of health and safety committees and workers’ representatives, or by other parties in the organization.

The involvement of workers and staff in decisions, is part of the ownership of the health and safety management system. Participation is different from consultation. In the former, workers are part of the decision-making process; in the latter workers' views are welcomed and considered but are not necessarily a deciding factor. In consultation, management considers workers' views on the basis of their merit.

Participation is a democratic style of management, where opinions are directly involved in the decision-making process. This means a more empowered role for workers in the management system, giving workers an increased level of ownership and involvement. See the illustration on the next tab.

ISO 45001:2018 defines contractor in clause 3.7 as “[an] external organization providing services in accordance with agreed specifications, terms and conditions”. The standard further says that services also include activities related to construction. A contractor is also an interested party in the organization’s management system.

There are two types of 'organizational circles', with regard to an organization's control over contractors - a 'circle of control' and a 'circle of influence'. In a circle of control, all contractors’ work is the responsibility of the organization. In a circle of influence, the organization influences contractors to work safely and according to certain protocols.

A contractor working at the premises of an organization, has to follow all health and safety related operational controls, as developed by the organization. However a contractor doing work outside an organization's premises, will be influenced to take certain measures, in order to control the health and safety levels at another location.

The selection process for contractors, should consider their health and safety performance record, in addition to the quality of services they provide. It is also pertinent that the terms relating to an organization's health and safety management system, should be incorporated into the terms and conditions of the contract made with contractors. This will create a contractual binding for compliance.

Hazards and the Workplace:
Workplace is defined in the ISO 45001:2018 standard as “[a] place under the control of the organization, where a person needs to be, or to go, for work purposes.”

Workplace is a physical entity with a defined periphery. Large organizations with large workplaces, usually employ area managers who have responsibility for certain areas. The scope of an organization's occupational health and safety management system, is validated by site visits to the workplace.

The organization's responsibility for the workplace, is dependent on the level of control that the organization has. If the management area of an organization has direct control, then the workplace is under the control of the organization. If the workplace is at a contractor's premises, then the organization can influence the workplace, but it cannot control it.
ISO 45001 defines the term hazard, as a “source with a potential to cause injury and ill health”. Hazards can include sources with the potential to cause harm, or hazardous situations. 

They can also include circumstances that have the potential of exposure, leading to injury and ill health. Hazards exist, due to unsafe work conditions and unsafe work practices. 

Unsafe conditions pose a direct source of potential harm. An unsafe act also creates a situation where injury or damage is possible. ISO 45001 mandates that organizations carry out hazard identification and risk analysis of the workplace. Together, the process is known as hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA).

Health, Injury and Objectives:
ISO 45001 defines injury and ill health as “adverse effect on the physical, mental or cognitive condition of a person”. These adverse effects include occupational disease, illness and death. When we say occupational disease or occupational illness, it means that the illness or disease is related to, or a consequence of work-related activity.

The term “injury and ill health”, implies the presence of injury or ill health, either separately or in combination. The occupational health and safety management system's main focus, is to prevent injury and ill health at work. Recording incidents of injury and ill health at work, is part of the performance monitoring criteria of the OHSMS. Successful organizations aim to achieve zero occupational injury and ill health at work, as their primary OH&S objective.

ISO 45001 defines the term OH&S objective as “set by the organization to achieve specific results consistent with the OH&S policy”. It means that the targets are set in the form of objectives and that the objectives are consistent with the policies of the occupational health and safety management system. 

Objectives are made so that specific results can be obtained from the activities that are taken to achieve them. Objectives are usually based on the S.M.A.R.T concept, i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. See the illustration on the next tab.

If objectives are made using SMART principles, it is likely that an organization will achieve its targets. Also, it will be easier for people to follow the procedures and to complete activities that are defined in the objectives. Examples of OH&S objectives include: zero accidents, reduction in loss-of-time injuries, increase in safe working hours, decrease in the number of reports of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.

Risk and Uncertainty:
ISO 45001 defines the term risk as “the effect of uncertainty”. The standard further explains that the effect is a deviation from the expected. This effect can be positive or negative. Uncertainty is a state of deficiency of information relating to the understanding or knowledge of an event, its consequences, or its likelihood. Risk is often characterized by reference to potential “events” and “consequences”, or a combination of these. 

Risk is often expressed in terms of a combination of the severity and consequences of an event (including changes in realities) and likelihood or occurrence. Therefore risk is commonly a multiple of severity and occurrence (Risk = Severity x Occurrence). The joint terminology of “risks and opportunities” is used in ISO 45001. See the illustration on the next tab.

OHS Risk:
ISO 45001 defines Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Risk, as the “combination of the likelihood of occurrence of a work-related hazardous event(s) or exposure(s) and the severity of injury and ill health, that can be caused by the event(s) or exposure(s)”. 

This means OH&S risk is a risk related to hazards in the workplace, as opposed to business and financial risks. The standard specifically defines OH&S risks as the combination of probability of occurrence and the severity of the hazard. 

Occurrence is the frequency of the event that is expected. Severity is the impact of the hazard when or if it occurs. Severity, from an OH&S perspective, can be fatal, a disability, a first aid case, or a near miss. Organizations must bear the financial and reputation losses resulting from incidents where they have to compensate workers for loss.

Incidents and Accidents:
ISO 45001 defines the term incident as “occurrence arising out of, or in the course of, work that could or does result in injury and ill health”. Examples of incidents are accidents and near-miss reports. An incident where injury or ill health occurs is referred to as an accident

Within accidents there are: fatalities, disabilities, asset damage, first aid cases and injuries etc. An incident where no injury or ill health occurs, can be referred to as a “near-miss”, “near-hit” or “close call”. Although there may be nonconformity related to an incident, incidents can occur where there is no nonconformity.

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'.







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


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