ISO 45001 Health & Safety Management System

What is ISO 45001?

Launched in Match 2018, ISO 45001 is the new internationally recognised standard for health and safety management systems. It demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to controlling its health and safety risks and eliminating work-related accidents.

The standard provides a systematic approach to engaging employees and contractors in preventing injuries and ill health and ensuring you are compliant with legal and contractual requirements.

ISO 45001 provides a framework for improving any organisation’s health and safety performance by detailing requirements for 11 key success factors for any health and safety management system:

  1. Top management leadership, commitment, responsibilities and accountability
  2. Top management involvement in developing, leading and promoting a culture in the organisation that supports the health and safety management system
  3. Communication
  4. Consultation and participation of employees and contractors
  5. Allocation of resources to implement and maintain the health and safety management system
  6. Alignment of health and safety policies with the overall strategic objectives and direction of the Organisation
  7. Processes for identifying hazards, controlling risks and taking advantage of improvement Opportunities.
  8. Continual performance evaluation and monitoring of the management system to improve health and safety performance
  9. Integration of the health and safety management system into the organisation’s business processes
  10. Health and safety objectives that align with the policies and take into account the organisation’s hazards, risks and improvement opportunities
  11. Compliance with its legal requirements and other requirements

Who can benefit from ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 can help any size or type of organisation that wants a simple and clear system for protecting the health and safety of its employees and contractors. It will enhance your reputation as a responsible employer and demonstrate compliance with health and safety legislation.

The more significant the hazards present in the environment that you operate in, the more that you will benefit from ISO 45001. Suppliers to high-risk sectors will often find themselves needing to demonstrate their compliance with a wide range of policies and procedures. Having ISO 45001 allows you to leapfrog many complex questions on contracts and tenders.

How can ISO 45001 help you grow your business?

There are four key ways that OHSAS 18001 can help:

(1.) ISO 45001 enables you to increase your sales by expanding your customer base by meeting the requirements of certain customers
Large organisations cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to health and safety. To help manage their risk these organisations are increasingly likely to insist that their suppliers are ISO 45001 certified or similar. Often, suppliers are expected to have ISO 45001 as a prerequisite to winning contracts and tenders. If you undertake any work on behalf of a customer on one of their sites, you will significantly help them by having safe systems of work that are legally compliant. Equas clients have won significant new business that they would not have otherwise acquired without ISO 45001.

(2.) Reduce accidents and reduce cost
ISO 45001 can enable you to reduce your risk of accidents and in turn reduce business disruption and employee absence. Providing a safe working environment where everyone feels secure and confident in carrying out their duties, has a positive effect on productivity and morale.

If your organisation is certified to ISO 45001 by a SSIP approved UKAS-accredited certification body, it will automatically satisfy the requirements of all other SSIP schemes. This means that if you pay the registration fee to join any one of the schemes you will not need to undergo and initial assessment audit or any annual surveillance audits.

(3.) Reduce your operating risk
The Health and Safety Executive are becoming less tolerant of organisations that breach Health and Safety law. Furthermore, employees are ever more likely to seek compensation for accidents at work. Having a robust health and safety system certified to ISO 45001 will reduce the likelihood of prosecutions and insurance claims. This will in turn lead to lower insurance premiums and reduce the likely frequency of visits by the Health and Safety Executive.

(4.) Improve the strength of your brand
In a competitive environment, organisations can differentiate themselves through demonstrating that they operate responsibly and professionally. Being certified to ISO 45001 increases the likelihood that customers and other third parties will have a positive image of your organisation and your brand.

What is the process for achieving ISO 45001 certification?

  1. Decide how you will operate and maintain your management system documents and records e.g. pc, local server or specialist health and safety management system software (click here for more information about our Activ software system).
    •  The extent of the legislation that applies to your business and the health and safety requirements of your customers. If this is large, then implementing ISO 45001 will significantly improve the control you have in these areas and the potential reductions you can achieve in insurance costs and permit charges.
    • How well you exploit your ISO 45001 certification in your marketing and PR materials.
  2. Commence the Project
    • Ensure you have buy-in from key colleagues
    • Carry out a Gap Analysis of your current system against the certification requirements
    • Plan the project including resources and timescales
    • Appoint a Certification Body
  3. Project Implementation
    • Project Manage to ensure key milestones and deadlines are met
    • Complete risk assessments covering all the activities covered by your system scope
    • Complete a legal compliance assessment
    • Create appropriate documents to control your significant health and safety risks (e.g. permits to work, operating procedures, safe working instructions)
    • Train your employees in the policies, procedures, risk assessments and control measures that are relevant to them
    • Carry out an Internal Audit and close out any significant actions identified
    • Complete your first Management Review meeting
  4. Undergo a certification audit by a UKAS-accredited certification body. This audit will be split into two visits. The first visit will review your system documentation (referred to as a Stage 1 audit). The second visit will audit your records, interview employees and assess whether you have effectively implemented your system (referred to as a Stage 2 audit).

What factors will affect your return on investment?

There is a strong link between having a robust health and safety management system and superior long-term business performance. The return you make on your investment in implementing and maintaining an OHSAS 18001 certified Health and Safety Management System depends on a number of factors:

  • The extent of the legislation that applies to your business and the health and safety requirements of your customers. If this is large, then implementing ISO 45001 will significantly improve the control you have in these areas and the potential reductions you can achieve in insurance costs and permit charges.
  • How well you exploit your ISO 45001 certification in your marketing and PR materials.

What are the implications of the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001?

If you are currently certified to OHSAS 18001, you will be able to transfer to ISO 45001 provided you make changes to your existing system so that it complies with the new requirements in ISO 45001. You will have to transition to ISO 45001 by March 2021.

Please contact us if you would like advice and support on how to amend your current Health and Safety Management System to comply with the requirements of ISO 45001:2018.

How can ISO in a Box™ help you?

Equas supports organisations in implementing an ISO 45001 compliant system. Done in the right way, it avoids complexity and focuses on implementing and maintaining simple and effective measures rather than creating reams of paperwork.

Contact us now to find out more about how ISO 45001 can provide you with a more comprehensive and easier-to-maintain health and safety management system, discuss your requirements, or obtain a fixed-price quotation with guaranteed certification.