ISO 45001 certification is the dedicated ISO management certification that sets out requirements for organisations to develop an occupational health and safety management system. Occupational health and safety (OH&S) must be a key concern for any organisation, big or small, to ensure that their employees are safe, healthy, and in a good state of mind. The requirements for the OH&S management system are carefully incorporated in the certification, keeping in the mind the safety interests, workplace-related accidents or hazards, and probable illnesses. The implementation of the OH&S management system leads to practices that will help the organisation’s management meet all the health and safety obligations for their employees.

In short, organisations that achieve OH&S management certification will drive continuous improvement of employee wellbeing and see an increase in their employee retention rate. However, putting the right OH&S management system in place and conforming to every requirement of ISO 45001 can be complex. Failure to comply with the ISO standard can be a major setback for your OH&S management system. So, here are some interesting points that could be useful in ensuring that your OH&S management system conforms to the ISO 45001 standard.

Documented Practices for OH&S

It is essential to document the practices or procedures that your organisation will adopt to assure the health and safety of the employees. Documenting the health and safety management system will ensure that the senior management is involved in protecting the wellbeing of the employees. The documentation of the OH&S practices is also necessary to provide a reference to the employees and interested members of the organisation on how to execute their distinct role in OH&S management.

Regular Reviewing of Workplace

Simply implementing the OH&S management system as required by the ISO 45001 standard is not the full story. ISO 45001 certification is completed when the requirements are met by the OH&S management system and it drives improvement in the workplace. To ensure improvement, you need to review the processes or practices that are implemented by the OH&S management system. The best way to review this is by engaging internal auditors who will review each aspect of the OH&S management system and analyse how the employees follow the OH&S practices. The internal audit needs to be periodically conducted to see whether safety and workplace conditions improved and risks are checked and restricted.

Get a Definite OH&S Policy

There must be some workplace safety goals for your organisation. Your OH&S objectives must be different from that of any other organisation because the work nature is different, risks are unique and employee concerns are varied. Thus, you need to have an appropriate OH&S policy for your organisation that will detail the responsibilities of the management regarding employee safety. This policy should be conveyed to every employee, and it will be used to lay the foundation of the OH&S management system. The policy reflects the OH&S practices or procedures that need to be promoted in the management framework to particularly address the concerns of the employees.

Get Risk Assessments and Emergency Response

An OH&S management system will conform to the ISO 45001 standard when it is capable of assessing the risks and ensuring emergency preparedness. Introducing practices for safety and health precautions are just preliminary aspects of the OH&S management system. It should also have risk assessment procedures to measure the probability of risks and the magnitude of the losses. Proper risk assessment should be done at all levels and points of the organisation, regardless of whom or what they involve. Additionally, the management framework should assist in emergency preparedness or responding to an accident or hazard after they occur. For instance, a fire risk assessment should be completed regularly on the premises and it is also necessary to have the emergency tools (fire extinguishers and fire exits) tested.

ISO 45001 standard provides a set of requirements for organisations to build their health and safety management system and maintain the wellbeing of their employees. However, it is truly difficult to comply with each of its comprehensive requirements. These steps are a beginner guide to achieve a compliant OH&S management system. They explain how a systematic process involving documentation, regular reviewing, policy formulation, and emergency preparedness will help in developing an appropriate OH&S management system.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is a professional ISO 45001 certification expert who guides different organisations with the development of the ISO compliant health and safety management system. He writes blogs in his free time where he discusses ways to achieve compliance in the safety management system.

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