Across the globe, there are more than 7,600 people who die from work-related accidents or diseases each day.
In recent times, work-related risks have been further amplified, as many staff are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers must now manage a multitude of health and safety risks both on and off their premises, while also taking sufficient action to protect their staff, customers and the greater community.
In Australia, as of July 31st 2020, there were already 533 COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims that had been lodged. This figure will continue to grow in the months ahead, highlighting flaws in how some businesses responded to the pandemic.
As an organisation, meeting your health and safety obligations is paramount at all times. Failing to meet requirements could not only result in legal prosecution and hefty fines but also damage your reputation, leave employees with temporary or permanent injuries or illnesses and more.
ISO 45001 compliance is ideal for organisations that are serious about improving employee occupational health and safety.
By becoming certified, you can build robust, maintainable OHS management systems for proactively identifying and reducing workplace risks – helping you create safer working conditions for your staff.
What is ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is the international standard for occupational health and safety. This globally recognised standard provides a formal framework for minimising risks in the workplace, regardless of a company’s size, industry or location.
To become ISO 45001 compliant, organisations need to demonstrate that they are proactively taking preventative measures to protect employees, clients, customers and the general public from physical or mental harm. This involves identifying and alleviating health and safety-related risks across all of their operations.
If health and safety issues do arise, certified organisations must have systematic processes in place to swiftly and effectively manage these appropriately.
With ISO 45001 compliance, organisations can:
- Improve the credibility of their OHS efforts;
- Reduce injuries and injury-related costs;
- Ensure they’re meeting legal requirements;
- Gain access to more business opportunities from customers that preference certified companies;
- Improve employee morale and productivity.
ISO 45001 can also be seamlessly integrated with other ISO standards, resulting in one unified system for managing organisation-wide compliance. Streamlining and integrating your systems can save you time, money and resources when it comes to maintaining certification and updating processes, while also helping you:
- Avoid duplication and excessive documentation;
- Improve harmonisation and consistency across all operations;
- Support the achievement of business goals;
- Optimise performance and efficiencies;
- Remove clunky procedures;
- Respond to any issues quickly and effectively;
- Bring clarity to informal or highly complex systems;
- Improve communication capabilities;
- Ensure employees are receiving suitable training and the like.
ISO 45001 and building robust systems
If you’ve decided to work towards ISO 45001 certification, it can seem like an overwhelming task to take on. Luckily, there are steps for building robust OHS systems, which can help you get on track to becoming compliant.
Here are some steps you can take to get well on the way achieving your ISO certification goals:
- Make sure you fully understand the requirements of ISO 45001. This well- checklist from our colleagues at Advisera may help you
- Examine your organisation’s current systems by determining if there are any discrepancies, what needs to be done to resolve them and if you have already achieved certification with another standard that ISO 45001 could be integrated with.
- Engage and communicate with impacted stakeholders, this involves:
- Determining how they will be affected by any organisational changes that must be made to achieve compliance;
- Providing sufficient training to staff, so they understand their role in compliance and feel a sense of ownership for the safety management system.
- Pinpoint priorities and objectives. This involves determining timelines and deadlines, setting goals and establishing metrics for measuring ongoing progress.
- Develop your ISO safety management system and/or improve your existing processes.
For professional guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated ISO consultants who can help you every step of the way with tailored advice and assistance. With an ISO 45001 consultant by your side throughout the certification process, you can avoid costly mistakes and achieve maintainable outcomes in the shortest possible time.
ISO 45001 internal auditing and continual improvement
For organisations looking to achieve and maintain ISO 45001 compliance, having a strong focus on continual improvement is crucial. An aspect of this is constantly monitoring performance and progress towards goals, which can be done through conducting regular ISO internal audits.
With ISO internal audits, organisations can bring an outside perspective to their otherwise familiar processes.
An internal audit involves:
- Critically reviewing areas of the occupational health and safety management system like training procedures, organisational structure, reporting capabilities, hazard identification and control and overall performance;
- Writing an audit report that details all relevant findings;
- Developing an action plan for addressing any downfalls.
Want to get ISO 45001 compliant?
For more information or if this article has brought up any questions, get in touch with our team. We can assist you either onsite or through remote consulting, providing expert guidance so you can enjoy the benefits of ISO certification sooner.
Our team are experts in a range of services and ISO standards, including ISO 14001, ISO 9001, cloud-based IMS, legislative services and integrated management systems. Find out more by contacting us today.