While achieving any ISO certification is a formal and complex procedure, this article tries to particularly elaborate on the steps of getting the ISO 45001 certification.

There are reports by ILO (International Labour Organisation) that approximately 7500 people get injured and even die from work-related accidents every day which adds up to 2.5 million every year. They are numerous labour-intensive sectors like construction, mining, chemical, oil and gas, and heavy manufacturing that have the most adverse work situations and threaten the life or health of the workers. Hence, state governments, regulatory authorities and international organisations like ILO are working to create better and safer working environments by introducing regulations. The ISO 45001 certification introduced by the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) which directly helps organisations to control the workplace risks and safeguard their employees.

ISO 45001 is the specific international standard aimed at regulating occupational health and safety management practices in organisations. It provides a set of requirements to establish the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) which helps organisations to assess, identify, and mitigate workplace risks. However, getting your company ready for the certification is an overwhelming and time-consuming process. Here, you will know how you can achieve it in a smooth and simplified manner. Take a look.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Get the ISO 45001 Certification of OHSMS

Learn the Certification Standard

If gaining ISO 45001 is your goal, then first you need to learn about the standard in-depth and understand how its requirements apply to your company’s scope and objectives of OHS management. Depending on that, you can decide on the structure of your OHSMS.

Pre-assessment of Your OHS Management Approach

Your company must already have some kind of management framework or set of practices to ensure the safety of employees. The ISO 45001 standard is needed to further strengthen it and make it a systematic framework. Thus, you need to perform an initial review of your existing OHS management framework, also known as gap analysis. Through it, you can know what more needs to be done for transitioning your present framework to an ISO-certified OHSMS. This step is also crucial for determining how much time and what resources you will require to implement the OHSMS.

Planning the OHSMS Implementation

Next, you need to prepare a realistic plan to engage a team (probably human resources managers and executives) and other necessary resources to implement the OHSMS according to ISO 45001 requirements. The plan should include the timeframe and investments required, and should mention the following steps.

Educate the Employees

To make the implementation of OHSMS successful in your company, you should ensure that your employees understand the changes that ISO 45001 will bring and will be able to adapt with them. You must hold training sessions and provide instruction manuals to the employees to get them acquainted with the aspects of ISO 45001 OHSMS.

Do the Necessary Documentation

A crucial requirement for getting the certification is maintaining the proper documentation of the OHSMS. It simply means all the practices and procedures that are introduced in your company with the OHSMS must be documented well. Also, you need to redesign or modify many of your work processes to meet the standard’s requirements. Therefore, you need to control the processes in the same manner consistently. Documentation will help you in that.

Implement, Use, and Continually Improve Your OHSMS

Once the OHSMS is developed, well-documented, and employees are educated about its procedures, you need to ensure that it is being adopted properly across your organisation. You should also collect records on its performance such as workplace risks encountered, absenteeism, operational downtime, sick leaves, etc. After assessing the risks that are still prevailing or workplace safety concerns among the employees, you can make necessary improvements to the OHSMS. The step or phase must continue for at least 3 months i.e., you should keep operating with the OHSMS and collecting data.

Perform the Internal Audit of the OHSMS

When the initial phase of OHSMS has passed and you consider it to be mature enough for achieving your organisation’s OHS objectives, you need to perform the internal audit. You can either perform it by engaging your own members i.e., HR managers/executives who have knowledge of ISO 45001 standard or you can get it done by a third-party consultancy.

Achieve the ISO Certification

Lastly, seek a reputed registrar or ISO certification body to apply for the certification. They will grant the certification after performing an external audit and assuring the conformance of your OHSMS to ISO 45001.

Typically, following these eight elementary steps will get your company ready for the ISO 45001 certification in the shortest possible time. However, it is always recommended to get a team of ISO consultants by your side that will guide your team and ensure that every step is executed correctly.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the founder and managing director of an eminent ISO consultancy based in Australia that assists organisations in several certifications like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, and the ISO 45001 certification. Having in-depth experience in the ISO certification field, he likes to write articles in his free time about the standards.

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