The ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) Standard is an International Standard that “specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for…preventing injury and illness.” Like other ISO Standards, Certification to ISO 45001 is not required, but its contents are useful for all businesses.

Certification may not be possible due to its cost and human resource requirements but, according to an article in OHS, Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety resource, “we can still study ISO 45001 and examine key areas where we can evolve our current methods for managing safety…[and] adopting its key elements.”

  1. Understand the organization and its context. Determine external and internal issues … that affect the ability to achieve the intended (OH&S) outcomes.” Setting the context is evaluating all of the sources of impact on achieving the goals of the OHSMS.
  2. Take a risk-based approach. The process of hazard identification, eliminating hazards and assessing residual risk while applying a hierarchy of controls will deliver results proactively, instead of waiting for an incident to spark an emergency response.
  3. Establish objectives, devise a plan. The objectives come from the internal and external issues that are identified as hazards and a risk to OH&S performance. Create an objectively measurable plan to improve safety performance
  4. Engage leadership. The final key to the success of ISO 45001 is also the area that many safety managers are most apprehensive about — management review of the OHSMS. Clause 9.3 states: “Top management shall review the organization’s OH&S management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness.”