Safety Management System Compliance: Understanding ISO 45001

In today’s workforce, businesses are doing everything they can to foster their organization’s safety management system. This is mostly a reaction to the high number of workplace incidents and close calls that are creating unsafe environments for employees and placing significant financial burdens on businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were close to 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2018. Although the prevalence of workplace fatalities and injuries has decreased over the years as the quality of incident response has improved, the high number of annual incidents is problematic for employees and organizations alike.

To combat the dangers employees face every day, several organizations have innovated their Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) regulations. With the high costs of noncompliance, missed productivity, lawsuits, rising insurance premiums and medical payments, employers simply cannot afford incidents and close calls. That’s why outside organizations, such as the ISO, have intervened in order to ensure all workplaces are meeting specific requirements. You can find out more about ISO 45001, a recent development in EHS standards, below.


The Ins and Outs of ISO 45001

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed a benchmark to help businesses improve their employees’ safety and reduce the prevalence of workplace risks. ISO’s ultimate goal is to create safer, more productive work environments across all industries, and ideally to have incident-free conditions. ISO’s 2018 45001 represents an ideal workplace standard for occupational health and safety (OHS).

Businesses are not required to meet the standards represented by ISO 45001. However, the organization highly suggests workplaces around the world to adopt this framework in their own practices to lower their costs and improve their safety culture.

Some businesses are actively seeking ISO 45001 certification to improve their own understanding of this development and to check another box in their workplace culture to-do lists. By gaining this extra recognition, organizations can show external parties that they are meeting full compliance with this innovative safety standard. Another major benefit of gaining ISO 45001 certification is building a reputation for your organization as a safe place to work. Not only does this reflect well on your branding, but it may also convince more high-quality talent to join your workforce.

Understanding ISO 45001

Although ISO 45001 has adopted many of its ideologies from the former OHS benchmark, OHSAS 18001, it is considered to be its own distinct standard. For businesses to be forward-thinking in their OHS practices, they should rework their safety methodologies altogether, rather than updating and revising their codes from their current OHSAS 18001 practices.

The major difference between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 is the concentrations of both standards. While OHSAS 18001 focuses primarily on handling OHS issues, ISO 45001 hones in on the organization’s specific workplace environment. According to the ISO, their standard is process-based, and OHSAS 18001 is heavily procedure-focused. In addition, ISO 45001 considers business opportunities as well as risks, while OHSAS 18001 only looks at the latter.

Making a Smooth Transition to ISO 45001

When your business is ready to make the migration toward ISO 45001, you will need to take a series of steps to prepare your business for the resulting changes. First, you should evaluate the internal and external influences that could impact business, then figure out ways to manage and control these factors. It’s imperative that you make sure your EHS management system is capable of handling this new safety standard. This might mean upgrading your EHS software to one that can handle this dynamic interface. Once you’ve completed this process, you will need to integrate ISO 45011 into your platform. From there, you should work to establish your risk assessment and set your KPIs for this process.

If you’d like to become an expert on ISO 45001 and its components, it might be a good idea to enroll in a training program specifically catered toward this innovation in safety regulation. Safety management system reporting is highly time-sensitive and can be the difference in your ability to prevent further enterprise risk so the ability to report in real-time and having transparency to what is being reported is critical. A cutting-edge EHS platform, such as ProcessMAP, has the training you need to make the switch to ISO 45001. Our on-demand selection allows you to view informational trainings at the moment you need it most, whether you’re on the floor or in your office.

At ProcessMAP, we help businesses improve their workplace safety cultures through our rich suite of EHS tools. Connect with us today to find out more about how our solutions can help streamline the migration to ISO 45001 to move your business toward becoming accident-free.

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