What Is ISO 45001?

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Want to know what ISO 45001 can do to help your organization? The answer depends on the workplace health and safety risks that your employees encounter.

As the international standard for OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety), ISO 45001 provides a benchmark for employee welfare that’s recognized worldwide. It contains a framework for creating an OH&S management system, helps organizations identify workplace risks, and improves employee well-being.

Although some industries are more likely to experience these sorts of risks, it’s something that all organizations should be concerned about. According to a UN report, 2.78 million people die each year from workplace incidents, and another 374 million are injured.

An OH&S management system can help you identify potential accidents and implement measures to keep people safe. Find out what ISO 45001 is and how you can implement its specifications.

What Is Occupational Health and Safety?

Occupational health and safety deals with how organizations protect employees from accidents, injuries, and long-term health problems.

It applies not only to typically dangerous jobs, such as those that deal with heavy machinery equipment and toxic chemicals, but also to everyday hazards. Some of the common risks that occupational health and safety addresses are:

  • Physical—such as trip hazards and exposure to harmful materials.
  • Environmental—such as poor air quality and asbestos exposure.
  • Biological—such as exposure to viruses and bacteria.
  • Ergonomic—such as lifting heavy objects and repetitive strain.
  • Mental health risks—such as stress and burnout.

Learn more about ISO 45001 and occupational health and safety with our free ISO 45001 training course.

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Who Should Use ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is suitable for organizations of all sizes and in all industries. Like all ISO management system standards, it’s a globally recognized framework that can be adapted based on an organization’s requirements and resources.

The standard outlines the steps that you can take to identify, assess, and mitigate workplace hazards. It doesn’t contain rigid instructions on the types of risks that you might encounter or the controls you might implement. Instead, the framework is used to assess your operations and find solutions that work for you.

This flexibility means organizations in any sector can use ISO 45001, and its specifications can be scaled up or down according to individual needs.

Benefits of ISO 45001

There are a range of benefits that come with implementing ISO 45001.

Improved workplace safety

ISO 45001 helps organizations identify and mitigate workplace hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Competitive advantage

Suppliers and third parties often require that partners be certified to ISO 45001. By conforming to its specifications, you will stand out among the competition and create opportunities to win new business.

Legal compliance

ISO 45001 can help organizations comply with national health and safety regulations and industry requirements.

Enhanced employee well-being

By prioritizing all health and safety aspects, you make employees feel safe and respected, leading to increased morale and satisfaction.

Reduced operational costs

Improving employee safety and well-being can reduce employee absence through injury or leave—potentially increasing productivity and lowering compensation costs.

Enhanced reputation

ISO 45001 compliance demonstrates an organization’s commitment to health and safety, which can bolster its reputation among customers, partners, and stakeholders.

Discover more benefits of ISO 45001.

what is ISO 45001 certification - construction worker

What Does ISO 45001 Contain?

ISO 45001 contains ten clauses that comprise an OH&S management system.

  • Clause 1 is the scope of the standard. It outlines the purpose of the management system, how it applies to OH&S, and its applicability to organizations of all sizes and types.
  • Clauses 2 and 3 identify the various terms and definitions used in ISO 45001.
  • Clause 4 explains the context of your operations and the needs of interested parties. It covers internal issues, such as the competence and commitment of your workforce, and external issues, such as relevant legislation and any relevant union expectations.
  • Clause 5 describes the responsibilities of managers and employees.
  • Clause 6 documents the objectives of the OH&S management system and the ways you can achieve them.
  • Clause 7 explains how you’ll support your OH&S efforts. This includes communication strategies, staff awareness training, documentation, and other resources.
  • Clause 8 outlines operational controls and the steps you take to eliminate hazards. It also covers change management, procurement actions, emergency preparedness, and response procedures.
  • Clause 9 addresses performance evaluation and the steps you’ll take to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your OH&S management system.
  • Clause 10 contains the requirements for continual improvement, in which you take the results from your performance evaluation and make necessary changes to your OH&S.

How To Implement ISO 45001

Organizations should take a structured approach to ISO 45001. Implementing its specifications can take six months or more, so you need financial and logistical support from senior management. You’ll also need to carefully plan your activities, establishing a leadership team to oversee the project.

Like most management system standards, ISO 45001 is centered around risk assessment. This process helps you identify and evaluate your organization’s occupational health and safety risks. Systematically assessing risks ensures you make informed decisions based on your operations rather than relying on general guidelines.

Another significant part of the project is documentation, as you explain which parts of your organization the OH&S applies to, the types of risk you encounter, your obligations for employee safety, and the steps you’ll take to protect your workforce.

Download our ISO 45001 Checklist to learn more.

What Is ISO 45001 Certification?

ISO 45001 certification is the process of proving that your OH&S management system meets international standards. It involves a thorough audit from an independent assessment body, which assesses the organization’s documentation and on-site practices, comparing them against ISO 45001’s specifications.

Certification is essential to get the most out of your OH&S management system. It proves that your workplace practices meet international standards and that you’re committed to effective risk management. This recognition is globally respected, strengthening existing relationships and creating opportunities to win new business.

Being ISO 45001 Certified has never been more important, especially how injury rates have increased in the workplace

Find out how Orion Registrar can help you achieve ISO 45001 certification today.

Written by

Julian Russell

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