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Actions To Take To Prepare for Moving from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Sandy Smith

If your organization is moving from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, it can be challenging to make the transition. Chris Ward wrote a post in the Community to help you negotiate the inherent challenges, and below I've broken it down in an easy to follow list of action items.                         

  • The first and most important requirement is to fully understand the role of leadership envisaged by 45001. Read the text of the requirements and grasp the pivotal role of leadership in relation to planning, resourcing and accepting responsibility for the OHSMS.
  • Then engage with top management and have it confirmed that they accept these new responsibilities and liabilities.
  •  Examine the current understanding of the context in which the organization operates, including the external influences that control the micro environment of the operations and the macro environment of the geographic, social, cultural and legal environment and regional or national scale.
  • There are existing protocols that can provide guidance in creating a valid overview, e.g. political, economic, social and technological analysis (PEST) or strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). Trends in demand can be analyzed, emerging technologies examined and an analysis of political stability and the possible change in regulation examined.
  • Ascertain the role and impact of interested parties. These may be local communities or regulatory authorities. The standard envisages interested parties to include contractors, visitors to site and all those impacted by an organization’s activities, dependent on location and sector-specific role of the organization. The list of interested parties could be extensive.
  • It would be a good idea to undertake an assessment of those that may be slightly, substantially or seriously impacted by the organization and undertake an evaluation as to what extent and how frequently such impacts might occur, e.g. routine procedures that slightly inconvenience or major incidents that have sever potential for harm. Establish links with emergency responders and create effective protocols.
  • Understand the need to undertake appraisals of existing hazards and risks and how they are identified, controlled, monitored and evaluated what opportunities might be available to improve OH&S by the elimination or replacement of hazards. This is a positive, proactive approach to risk management.
  • Undertake a survey of worker satisfaction with their current level of participation and involvement. Ascertain the need for or existence of worker H&S committees and the election or appointment of worker representatives. Establish whether there are systems to prevent retribution to whistle-blowers.
  • Create a culture where there are positive rewards for information or suggestions for improvements in worker and workplace safety.
  • Seek to diminish worker indifference to personal safety by enforcing site rules, such as wearing PPE.
  • Review methods of documentation, storage, retrieval, access and disposal.
  • Review contractors' pre-qualification status and their OHSM Systems and performance.

Use this checklist of action items to smoothly transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. You can read Chris Ward's original post by clicking HERE.

If you have any questions or comments please include them below to get answers from your peers.

Sandy Smith is the the Global EHSQ Content Lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. As the former Content Director at EHS Today, she has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications,documentaries and television programs, has served as a panelist on roundtables, has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences and has won national and international awards for her articles.

Chris J Ward had 37 years’ experience working for the Health and Safety Executive (UK regulator). He revised HSG 65 Managing for Health and Safety (the POPMAR system). He is a member of BSI’s OHSAS 18001 Committee. Currently he hosts the largest LinkedIn ISO 45001 group

May 18, 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT Manufacturing, Construction Health & Safety

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Tamara Parris's picture
Tamara Parris

This is a really great article and an easy read! Thank you @sandysmith

May 31, 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT