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ISO 45001 is the relevant standard for Health and Safety, reducing workplace risk and creating safer, better working conditions. The Standard is driven by Best Practice in the management of Occupational Health and Safety and the prevention of injury and ill health. It enables your organisation to effectively manage workplace risks and the associated legal responsibilities. Continual Improvement, the other important component of the best management systems, is also a central part of the ISO 45001 Standard.

What is ISO 45001?

Over the last 30 years, there has been a move toward proactive Risk Assessment in the workplace. Today, if there is an accident, investigators will immediately want to check your Risk Assessments. They will also investigate the resulting implementation of Controls and then the record of reduction in the Risks. Without such a system, a judgement after an accident can see key personnel imprisoned, and the organisation handed down significant fines. Ignoring the responsibilities of the legislation can have expensive and far-reaching consequences.

Conversely, there is an enlightened and effective response to these personal and organisational threats. ISO 45001 replaced OHSAS 18001 – the previous relevant Standard. So, the ISO 45001 Management Standard is now truly an International Standard. It uses the same principles as ISO 9001 and other modern Management Standards. This aids the integration of Health and Safety with other Management Standards. For example, other complementary standards can include ISO 9001 for ‘Quality Management’, and the Environmental Standard, ISO 14001. This integrated approach with a variety of Standards in place in the organisation also encourages more holistic and proactive approach to effective management of the business overall.

A complete system

The ISO 45001 Standard is a complete system for the management of Occupational Health & Safety risks and responsibilities. The process of implementing ISO 45001 is simple. At the same time as you document your management system, you are also considering the other aspects of the system. So, you simultaneously document three things. These are the management part of the system; the legal and relevant risks; and the Health and Safety documentation. Once your documentation identifies the organisational risks, then you specify how to reduce, control and manage them.

As part of the ISO 45001 System, you are also externally assessed for certification. This external verification provides assurance that you have proper management in place for your Health & Safety Risks. Additionally, your documented system shows that you are actively working to improve occupational health and safety as a part of your overall management responsibilities.

An integral part of the system

Like all of the International management standards, measures of performance are integral to the system. However, ISO 45001 does not specify specific Health and Safety performance measures. Instead, your organisation picks the most relevant performance measures to help you monitor your work processes. The performance measures you choose must reflect the risks, and the Health and Safety needs of your organisation. Therefore, your measures arise out of the particular needs and circumstances of your business. These measures help you to develop evidence-based management. In a modern, safe business your records prove you have taken appropriate and effective steps to protect the work force. Equally, you can use your performance statistics to continuously improve that record through proactive management.

Proactive risk assessment forms an important part of the ISO 45001 Standard. A UK business of more than five staff must have conducted Risk Assessments of workplace activities. Furthermore, the findings of that risk assessment must document significant hazards. Traditionally, ‘Health and Safety’ has been reactive to legal requirements. This has led to cumbersome, fragmented, documentation. This is confusing for staff and difficult to implement and maintain. Instead, ISO 45001 works through an integrated risk analysis approach. Throughout the management process, risk assessments form part of controlling the work process. Thus, risk analysis is proactive and the responses to perceived risks have planned mitigation put in place.

ISO 45001 is relevant to any business that is seriously concerned about work conditions. All parts of the Standard should be included into any Health & Safety management system. However, no two ISO 45001 systems are the same. Every Health & Safety system will differ because of the range of activities, locations, products or services that impact on that business.

Benefits of ISO 45001?

No modern business can ignore Health and Safety, or any of the occupational health and safety responsibilities under the law. The penalties are too high both in legal and human terms. No manager should be placed in a difficult legal or ethical position over their staff safety responsibilities. No director should lose sleep at night over the consequences if the worst happens! So, the following benefits should be clear…

  1. Risk Reduction:
    • Reduce your Health and Safety Risks; reduce injury and ill health to staff, Customers and public. ISO 45001 is a commitment to these principles and to continuously improve your occupational health overall.
    • Reduce the risk of prosecution and the long term personal and organisational implications of legal action.
  2. Legal & other requirements:
    • Within a well organised system, identify, document & manage your legal responsibilities, risks and associated controls.
    • Use your business system to consistently manage and reduce risk while continuously improving the occupational health of your employees.
  3. Improve and Protect your Reputation:
    • Manage and improve health and safety for your staff and customers. Assess actual risks in the workplace as part of the normal management process to better manage & reduce near-misses & emergencies.
    • Have prepared plans and strategies in place to mitigate risk and handle problems.
  4. Required by Customers.
    • Customer requirements for safe product and service provision can more easily be met within ISO 45001 because of planning risk assessment at all levels of the organisation.
    • Customers, visitors, service representatives and the public gain protection from proper management of risk. Further, the management process ensures proper pre-planned responses to protect individuals and the organisation against prosecution.
  5. ISO 45001 Certification
    • Customers often now require full certification under ISO 45001. Certification reduces the risks for customers as well as other associated parties.• The supply chain becomes safer because there is a proof of safety link throughout.
  6. Competitive in the market
    • Your organisation will be able to reach wider markets, often globally.  This is because your certification will demonstrate to potential customers that you meet international standards of safety. In addition, you will have systems in place for safety assurance.

So, why do You need ISO 45001?

Any Organisation, serious about its Reputation and the Health and Safety of its employees, must think carefully about how to manage the risks. However, the scope of modern risk management goes beyond your organisation. It includes other businesses and a range of other affected parties. If you make a Health and Safety mistake, or your organisation fails to meet the legal requirements the penalties are high, the business impacts are dire.

All requirements of this International Standard are generic and intended to be applicable to all organisations, regardless of type, size and product provided. It covers your health & safety responsibilities at all levels in the organisation and your relationships with other parties. In a modern, competitive world, no business can afford to play loose with the consequences of mismanaged Health and Safety within the organisation.

When should your business start?

The ISO 45001 Standard has been widely adopted worldwide. It is indicative of a widespread recognition of the importance of the principles behind Health and Safety Management. In particular, such wide adoption indicates the success of this Standard. At CHARTER 4 we have significant experience with projects to improve the management of Health and Safety. We can provide the support you need to implement this Standard. However, we also go the extra mile. We will help you get pay-back for the time and effort you spend on implementing ISO 4500. Safe management and safer staff have positive spinoffs and real risk reduction.

CHARTER 4 can help you reduce your Health and Safety Risk levels, as well as add value to your business. Would you like to know more about our unique approach to supporting your ISO 4500 project? Just click one of the buttons below.

ISO 45001 HEALTH And SAFETY MANAGEMENT STANDARD - Personal Protective Equipment Image.
Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
  • Improve, rather than just comply.
  • Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
  • Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
  • Help defining your Best Practice.
  • Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
  • 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
  • Help to get Government Grant (when available).
  • Flexible support to complement your resources.
All the senior management team reported feeling less stressed after ISO 45001 certification. We did not realise how much we worried about our Health and Safety challenges. Our business is moving forward as our staff and customers are responding well. Now we all sleep better.