A safe and healthy workplace is a happy and productive one.
- 44% better employee morale and engagement;
- 35% healthier and more inclusive culture;
- 31% lower sickness absence.
The most successful organisations recognise the correlation between focusing on health and safety in the workplace and benefits like these. As risks are mitigated, employees can avoid physical and mental injury or illness, which creates a safer, more positive work environment and helps the business thrive.
One way to achieve this is through compliance with ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety.
What do effective ISO 45001 systems have in common?
Effective ISO 45001 systems that minimise OHS risks have several common characteristics.
1. Leadership commitment and engagement
An effective ISO 45001 system has clear commitment and participation from management, who actively lead the implementation of occupational health and safety management systems. This creates a culture of accountability and ownership across all organisational levels, which can improve employee engagement and lead to better communication and collaboration.
Management commitment is demonstrated in a variety of ways. For instance, introducing OHS policies and objectives, allocating sufficient resources to support the OHS management system, providing visible leadership, regularly reviewing OHS performance and ensuring employees have the opportunity to discuss changes and ask questions.
2. Employee involvement
For successful implementation, employees across all organisational levels, from top management to frontline workers, must be actively involved.
They need to not only understand the OHS compliance requirements but also know their role in achieving and maintaining certification. All employees must also be well informed on hazards in the workplace, such as those related to machinery, trips or spills and psychosocial hazards like workload, work hours and bullying.
3. A defined OHS policy and objectives
An OHS policy is a statement of the organisation’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of employees in the workplace. When this policy is effectively executed, objectives are set to provide a basis for planning, implementing and evaluating the performance of OHS management systems.
4. Implementation of control measures
Companies that effectively implement OHS systems eliminate or minimise risks by implementing control measures.
This starts with identifying the OHS hazards and risks in the workplace. After that, control measures are implemented to either minimise or completely alleviate these risks.
There are different types of control measures that can be used depending on the level of risk and specific circumstances. An example could be providing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) or introducing new procedures and policies.
5. Focus on continual improvement
Companies that maintain compliance are committed to evaluating and improving their OHS systems. This involves reviewing internal audit results, analysing OHS performance data and taking any relevant feedback on board.
By taking these steps, companies can ensure they’re proactively identifying and addressing new or emerging hazards and risks to improve OHS performance. They can also maintain compliance with ISO 45001, as continual improvement is a key requirement of certification.
6. Emergency preparedness and response
Instead of waiting until they are in the midst of a crisis, ISO 45001 compliant companies proactively plan how they would prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency situations impacting the health and safety of workers.
This involves identifying potential emergency situations, assessing the related risks and developing procedures for navigating them effectively. It’s important that these plans are communicated with employees and regularly reviewed to ensure they are still applicable.
10 benefits of ISO 45001 certification
Compliance with ISO 45001 makes it possible to:
- Improve health and safety performance, which can lead to fewer accidents and injuries in the workplace;
- Ensure you are compliant with OHS regulations and best practices;
- Position your business as an industry leader by establishing a strong focus on continual improvement of OHS performance;
- Enhance your reputation and competitiveness by increasing trust with employees, customers, stakeholders and the general public;
- Set a clear company-wide standard for managing OHS risks;
- Improve cost saving and efficiency due to streamlined OHS systems and a focus on minimising waste;
- Reduce insurance premiums, as compliance proves you are performing strong due diligence to lower risks and protect employees;
- Be proactive rather than reactive when managing OHS risks;
- Increase return on investment (ROI) due to higher efficiency and productivity;
- Increase employee engagement and motivation, as OHS compliance encourages improved participation, collaboration and communication.