ISO 45001 – Information for Construction Owners

ISO 45001 – Information for Construction Owners

17th April 2018

Last month we brought you news of the new global standard for occupational health and safety management and then followed up with some information on what this new standard, ISO 45001 means for construction company owners and managers.  Today we’re going to take a look at what’s changing with the introduction of ISO 45001.

  • Context of the organisation – organisations should take into account the wider society and how their work may impact on surrounding communities as well as issues that directly affect the organisation when considering health and safety.
  • Leadership and Worker Participation – ISO 45001 means that the role health and safety is not the sole responsibility of the Health and Safety Manager.  The new standard requires occupational health and safety aspects to be integrated into the structure of an organisation which ensures engagement from top management and greater employee contribution.  Health and Safety needs to become an integral part of business strategy.
  • Increased Emphasis on Risk Management – ISO 45001 requires the identification of occupational health and safety opportunities, addressing the need to act on any opportunities to improve or enhance the management system that ensues from the hazard identification, risk assessment and other activities of the organisation.

Why is it an Improvement?

  • There will be a reduction in bureaucracy
  • The use of common terms and definitions will make things easier
  • It will result in an enhanced implementation, integration and maintenance of standards.
  • It will be easier to demonstrate the benefits of having robust management systems in place.

The new standard, which places a greater focus on an organisation’s corporate social responsibility agenda will mean that failures in health and safety may significantly damage the reputation of an organisation.  It will enable global conformity with a focus on risk prevention, innovation and continual improvement.  The standard applies to all businesses, of all sizes, across all sectors. 

According to the British Standards Institution, application of ISO 45001 should result in an improvement in employee engagement whilst publicly demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to workplace health and safety.  The standard focuses on key challenges for businesses – such as the supply chain and continuity planning, enabling an organisation to anticipate, adapt and respond in an agile and resilient manner in a global market place.

There are several key differences for UK organisations which operate a formal management system standard in accordance with the requirements of BS OHSAS 18001:2007 which has now been withdrawn. 

Any organisations wishing to use ISO 45001 will need to weight the cost of implementation against the benefits.  Its adoption may be challenging in terms of ensuring that top management accept responsibility and accountability so a well-planned engagement process is vital.  Successful migration to ISO 45001 from OHSAS 18001 will depend heavily on careful planning and additional time and resources. 

This is a complex subject, which we appreciate here at Safety Fabrications, which is why we’re determined to give our readers the information in easily digested chunks, in plain, no-nonsense language.  Next week we’ll be focusing on the key differences in the new standard.  Make sure you don’t miss out by following us on Facebook or Twitter.