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ISO 45001:2018 Standard

Occupational health and safety management systems

Learn what is ISO 45001, its benefits, requirements, how to get certified & more.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 Standard specifies workplace health and safety requirements. It basically enables an organization to provide a healthy and safe workplace by preventing ill-health and injuries. In addition, it enhances compliance with applicable occupational health and safety (OHS) statutory/regulatory requirements

ISO 45001 applies to organizations of any size, nature and type of products and services. It provides a structured, disciplined, and systematic approach for identifying OHS hazards/risks, assessing OHS risks and addressing risks and opportunities through processes approach using engineering controls, administrative controls and PPE. In addition, it provides a process for identifying applicable OHS legislation and evaluating compliance with applicable legislation.

ISO 45001 has a provision for determining the effectiveness of OHSMS through leading and lagging metrics (KPIs) for OHS processes as well as OHSMS. When properly designed and implemented, ISO 45001 based OHSMS becomes instrumental in creating a healthy and safe workplace both for physical and mental health.   

Why is ISO 45001 important?

Meeting the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard can support organizations that are striving for a culture of proactive, continual improvement, and can drive an organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in the realization of the highest levels of OH&S performance. It reflects the latest thinking and best practices in OH&S management.

Developing and implementing an OH&S management framework based on the ISO 45001 standard demonstrates to internal and external interested parties (e.g. workers, regulators, customers, investors, insurers) that the organization manages its risks and performance in a very effective and efficient manner.

Recognized globally, the ISO 45001 management standard will offer organizations a trustworthy framework enabling consistency in OH&S management practices. It aligns with other ISO management standards such as ISO 9001ISO 14001 and ISO 31000, and can contribute to an organization’s development of a coherent set of management practices across all facets of its operation.

Looking to certify your organization's OHSMS?

Contact JSA Inc. for questions related to your company’s OHSMS certification. Our proven and successful strategies can help you achieve OHSMS certification without any delays and hassles. Hire JSA for certification project!

Benefits of ISO 45001:2018 based Occupational Health and Safety System

Benefits of ISO 45001 based OHSMS include:

  • Your good OHS track record enables you to expand your business by bidding on future projects/customers and solidifying current customers. Good OHS track record is achieved by establishing and tracking lagging and leading indicators KPIs appropriate for your organization.
  • An appropriately designed and implemented ISO 45001 based OHSMS will keep you in good books/enhanced due-diligence with OHS legislative bodies by identifying applicable OHS statutes/regulations and then effectively evaluating compliance with these.
  • An effective OHSMS will enhance your perception amongst interested parties thereby, expediting the approval of future projects for business growth.
  • An accident-free workplace will result in enhanced productivity by creating prevention of ill-health/injury and by eliminating any downtime due to work stoppages caused by accidents/incidents.

OHSMS related metrics KPIs that could be tracked

Some of these KPIs include, Safety Related: Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR), Lost Time Injury Incidence Rate (LTIIR), Near Misses Rate, Equipment Breakdowns, Number of Safety Violations, Penalties Paid, Fleet Safety (Collisions per million km driven). 

Health Related KPIs include: Employee Attendance Rate, Employee Perception of Management Commitment, Average Overtime Hours Per Person, Satisfaction With Environment Score. 

OHS process-related KPIs include: Monthly health and safety Prevention Costs, Productive Days Percentage, Employee Training, Percentage of Management Trained in health and safety, Average Time To Resolution of Risks and Issues.

Steps to ISO 45001 certification

Jack Sekhon and Associates can help your organization get certified to the Standard by following the steps identified below:

Step 1: Scope and Training Identify the scope of ISO 45001 based on geographical and process boundaries as well as products/services. Get training on the Standard to understand its requirements, process approach and risk-based thinking. (5 % of overall work required) – JSA Led.

Step 2: Gap Analysis Conduct a gap analysis of your current OHS practices against ISO 45001 requirements. (5 % of overall work required) – JSA Led.

Step 3: ISO 45001 based OHSMS Design – Design the ISO 45001 based OHSMS by establishing documented information required by your organization based on process approach and risk-based thinking. The documented information could include scope, OHS Manual, OHS policy, OHS objectives, Process Lists, OHS Risk Register, OHS Legal Register, OHS System Procedures, OHS Safe Work Procedures, OHS Safe Work Instructions and supporting tools such as forms, templates, checklists and databases. (60 % of overall work required) – JSA Led.

Step 4: ISO 45001 based OHSMS Implementation – Implement the OHSMS by following established documented information and retaining records of implementation. This can be done through employee/management implementation questionnaires and assisting as necessary. (10 % of overall work required) – JSA Led.

Step 5: Internal Evaluation – Train internal auditors. Conduct internal audits and address identified gaps through NCRs. Conduct management review and develop/implement action items arising from management review. (5 % of overall work required) – JSA Led.

Step 6 – Stage 1 External Evaluation – External Registrar auditor conducts Documentation and Readiness Stage 1 audit and issues report-Address any identified issues. (5 % of overall work required) – External Registrar Led.

Step 7 – Stage 2 External Evaluation – External Registrar auditor conducts stage 2 Implementation Effectiveness audit and issues report. Address any identified issues. (10 % of overall work required) – External Registrar Led.

Step 8 – External Registrar issues Certification – The organization submits documented information demonstrating the issues have been addressed. Upon acceptance, external registrar issues Certification of your organization’s OHSMS to ISO 45001 Standard.

Step 9 – Sustain the Certified OHSMS – The organization maintains the OHSMS. External registrar conducts annual surveillance audits and 3 year recertification.

Certification is a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your workplace health & safety is compliant with applicable legislation and is proactive, rather than being reactive. For some industries, certification is a legal or contractual requirement.

iso 45001 2018

Looking to get certified? We offer online training courses!

Purpose of ISO 45001:2018 certification

Certification is a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your product or service meets the expectations of your customers. For some industries, certification is a legal or contractual requirement.  

How many ISO 45001:2018 certifications have been issued worldwide? As of 2021, based on survey of ISO 45001:2018 certified companies, 294,420 certificates have been issued for a total number of 374,292 sites.

What clauses does ISO 45001 covers?

How has the structure of the standard changed?

The structure has been changed to align with the common 10-clause high level structure developed by ISO to ensure greater harmonization among its many different management system standards.  The new revision to ISO 14001 will also adopt this same structure, which is built around the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) sequence. All ISO management system standards are now required to adopt this structure. This will make it easier for organizations to address the requirements of more than one ISO Management System Standard within a single, integrated system.

How have the documentation requirements changed?

Specific documented procedures are no longer mentioned; it is the responsibility of the organization to maintain documented information to support the operation of its processes and to retain the documented information necessary to have confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned. The extent of the documentation that is needed will depend on the business context.

Why has management review been moved to performance evaluation? (9.3) The sequence of the new version of ISO 45001 is based on the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle and so, in order to evaluate quality management system performance, it makes sense for management review to follow the measurement of the system performance.

The title of management representative has been removed. How is the performance of the system reported to top management? Although the prescriptive title of a management representative has been deleted, it is up to top management to ensure that the roles and responsibilities are assigned for reporting on the performance of the OHSMS. Some organizations might find it convenient to maintain their current structure, with a single person carrying out this role. Others might take advantage of the additional flexibility to consider other structures depending on their organizational context.

What is risk-based thinking and why has it been introduced into the standard?

The phrase risk-based thinking is used to describe the way in which ISO 45001:2018 addresses the question of risk. The concept of risk has always been implicit, by requiring the organization to plan its processes and manage its business to avoid undesirable results. Organizations have typically done this by putting greater emphasis on planning and controlling processes that have the biggest impact on the quality of the products and services they provide. How organizations manage risk varies depending on their business context (e.g. the criticality of the products and services being provided, the complexity of the processes, and the potential consequences of failure). The use of the phrase risk-based thinking is intended to make it clear that while awareness of risk is important, formal risk-management methodologies and risk assessment are not necessarily appropriate for all business situations and organizations.

iso 45001 risks

What has been changed in terms of planning?

ISO 45001:2018 requires the organization to address risks and opportunities, quality objectives and planning of changes throughout the oganization. As new products, technologies, markets and business opportunities arise, it is to be expected that organizations will want to take full advantage of these opportunities. This has to done in a controlled manner, and be balanced against the potential risks involved, which could lead to undesirable side-effects.

JSA can help you become a Lead Auditor

ISO 45001:2018 Auditor/Lead Auditor Certification requires completion of 36- hour course provided by a Certified Training Provider and successful demonstration of OHSMS experience and auditing experience with Auditor Certifying Organization such as Exemplar Global or Individual OHSMS Registrar. Jack Sekhon and Associates is ISO 45001:2018 OHSMS Training Provider certified by Exemplar Global under TPECS scheme. Getting Auditor/ Lead Auditor certification empowers you with skillsets for ISO 45001:2018 Management System excellence and robust company performance. You can either work as an internal auditor for your organization or as an external auditor for a Registrar. Irrespective of internal/external auditor option, certified auditors earn attractive compensation for their work. In addition, they earn higher potential for promotion being instrumental to on-going growth, due-diligence and efficiencies of the organization as an ISO 45001 auditor/Lead Auditor. Get certified today!

Consult JSA Inc. today to get started!

ISO 45001 Resources

  • What is Ohsms? – Learn what is OHSMS, its requirements, benefits, importance, how to implement it and more.
  • Core Elements of Ohsms – Learn about the 10 clauses of Occupational Health & Safety Management System.
Case Studies

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited

Jack Sekhon and Associates assisted Coca Cola in evaluating compliance with Worksafe Act and Regulations and CSA Environmental Compliance Auditing Standard.

Ridley Terminals

Jack Sekhon and Associates assisted Ridley Terminals in achieving transformation and evaluation to Integrated Management System (IMS) consisting of QMS, EMS and OHSMS and compliance evaluation for environmental and OHS legal obligations.

Suncor Energy

Jack Sekhon and Associates assisted Suncor Energy in determining the top 10 high risk OHS processes within their operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

OH&S management is everyone’s business. It encompasses everyone in an organization, from the highest level down; including temporary as well as permanent workers; and visitors and neighbours. It also has to be across all departments and divisions in an organization, to ensure that they develop collaborative and engaging relationships between their functions.

The following fundamental concepts are pivotal for the success of ISO 45001:2018 based OHSMS:
  • Understanding of process approach.
  • Application of process approach using PDCA cycle.
  • Understanding of risk-based thinking and its application.

Certification to ISO 45001:2018 can be achieved through the following process:

  • Complete ISO 45001:2018 Certified Auditor/Lead Auditor Course/Training.
  • Gain required minimum 5 years OHSMS experience.
  • Gain required minimum ISO 45001:2018 auditing experience of 20 audit days for Auditor and additional 15 days as lead auditor for Lead Auditor application.
  • Have your experience endorsed by your Supervisor/Manager.
  • Apply to Auditor Certification body such as Exemplar Global.

ISO 45001 follows the high-level structure HLS approach which also applies to other ISO management system standards, such as ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment). In developing the standard, consideration has been given to the content of other international standards (such as OHSAS 18001 or the International Labour Organization’s “ILO –OSH Guidelines”) and national standards, as well as to the ILO’s International Labour standards and conventions (ILSs). This will allow for a relatively easy migration from using an existing OH&S management system standard to using ISO 45001 and will also allow for the alignment and integration with the requirements of other ISO management system standards into their organization’s overall management processes.

What is OHSAS 18001? 

OHSAS 18001 focuses on controlling hazards. It provides a framework for the effective management of occupational health and safety including all aspects of risk management and legal compliance. It addresses occupational health and safety rather than any specific product safety matters.  

The main difference between the two standards is ISO 45001 takes a proactive approach that requires hazard risks to be evaluated and remedied before they cause accidents and injuries, while OHSAS 18001 takes a reactive approach that focuses solely on risks and not solutions.  

The requirements course provides an understanding of the requirements of the standard which is used as a criteria or a benchmark for auditing. Without the knowledge and understanding of ISO 45001:2018, the auditor/lead auditor will not be able to perform an effective and efficient audit.

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