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What Are ISO 45001 Requirements and How Do They Work?

You’ll need a process for ongoing and proactive hazard identification, which will take into account many factors.

ISO 45001 is a standard created with various requirements to help organisations improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better working conditions. Some of these are: Hazard identification and assessment of risks and opportunities You’ll need a process for ongoing and proactive hazard identification, which will take into account many factors – how work is organised, social factors, leadership, culture, routine and non-routine activities, infrastructure, equipment, physical factors, human factors, past and potential incidents and emergencies, people in the workplace, in the vicinity of the workplace and workers at a location not under direct control of the organisation (e.g. mobile workers or workers who travel to perform work-related activities at another location), actual and proposed changes and changes in knowledge. These hazards and the methodology you’ve used to assess them needs to be documented. Incident, nonconformity and corrective action This is all about how you are reporting, investigating and taking action on incidents or nonconformities. You need to: react in a timely manner to control, correct and deal with consequences; evaluate, with participation of workers and other relevant interested parties as appropriate; analyse to determine and eliminate root causes; formally investigate if deemed significant; determine if similar incidents have or could occur; review existing risk assessments; review effectiveness of the action taken; check that corrective actions are appropriate. Consultation and participation of workers You should have a process for consultation and participation of workers at all applicable levels and functions, including workers’ representatives as necessary, in development, planning, implementation, performance evaluation and improvements of your OH&S system. You need to provide time, training, resources, access to information and remove obstacles and barriers to participation. You should ensure consultation of non-managerial workers on needs and expectations of interested parties, policy, roles and responsibilities, etc. Determination of legal requirements and other requirements Similar to ISO 14001, the organisation should have a process to determine and have access to health and safety (as opposed to environmental) legal requirements and other requirements applicable to its OHSMS, and to determine how these requirements apply to the OHSMS. The process should cover:

  • What are the organisation’s legal and other requirements and how are they determined, accessed and kept up-to-date;

  • How do these legal and other requirements apply to the organisation’s activities, processes, plant & equipment, workforce, hazard profile & associated OH&S risks, the overall OH&SMS and its OH&S performance;

  • How these legal and other requirements are taken into account when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving the organisation’s OH&S management system.

Then there are ‘other’ requirements, and this is used as a catch-all term for a range of sources which may or may not apply to you, such as:

  • Parent company protocols or policies;

  • Collective bargaining agreements;

  • Voluntary adherence to sector or trade body guidance documents;

  • Contractual conditions;

  • Employment agreements;

  • Voluntary principles, codes of practice, technical specifications, charters;

  • Public commitments of the organisation or its parent company.

Eliminating hazards and reducing OH&S risks You’ll need to establish, implement and maintain processes for the elimination of hazards using the ‘hierarchy of controls’. This concept is key in health & safety, where risks should be reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority. The table below sets out an ideal order to follow when planning to reduce risk from construction activities, and you should consider the headings in the order shown - do not simply jump to the easiest control measure to implement:

Management of change You should have a process for implementation and control of planned temporary and permanent changes. This can involve (but is not limited to!) new products, services and processes; workplace locations; work organisation; conditions; equipment; workforce; legal and other requirements; and knowledge about hazards and risks and developments in technology. You need to review the consequences of any unintended changes and take action to mitigate any negative H&S impacts. If you would like to look at how to implement an ISO 45001 H&S management system, then simply contact us. Or, if you want to see what's involved in more detail, then get a completely free, no obligation, totally tailored ISO Gap Analysis for your business (only available to UK businesses).

Article originated in The Ideas Distillery blog

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