What is ISO 45001 & Why is it Important?

Posted by

Emmeline de Chazal

on 02 Feb 2024

ISO 45001 certification trumps many existing health and safety standards. We take a closer look at ISO 45001 and its importance to your firm.

What is ISO 45001 & Why is it Important

The International Organisation for Standardisation

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) stands as the globe's primary creator of voluntary International Standards. These standards provide comprehensive solutions and optimal practices across a diverse range of technologies and business sectors, empowering companies and organisations to enhance performance while safeguarding both consumers and the environment.

Formulated through widespread consensus on a global scale, ISO's standards are designed to dismantle obstacles to international trade. Notable examples of these standards encompass ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environmental considerations, ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety and ISO 27001 for the management of information security.

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What is ISO 45001:2018?

ISO 45001:2018 is a game-changer for workplace safety. This international standard provides a framework for organisations of any size and industry to manage and continuously improve their occupational health and safety (OH&S) performance.

It aims to reduce work-related injuries and diseases, going beyond legal requirements to promote and protect both the physical and mental health of employees. By integrating safety into company policies and practices, ISO 45001 fosters a positive safety culture, boosts productivity, and potentially lowers insurance costs.

It's the successor to OHSAS 18001, offering improved compatibility with other management systems like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for streamlined implementation. ISO 45001 is the blueprint for creating a safer, healthier work environment.

The standard follows the High-Level Structure (HLS) common to other ISO management system standards, making it easier for organisations to integrate it with their existing management systems.

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Why should you get ISO 45001 certification?

An ISO 45001 certification provides your staff with the assurance that their workplace prioritises occupational health and safety, fostering a secure and supportive environment for their well-being.

Key benefits of ISO 45001

  • Improved safety performance: ISO 45001 provides a framework for identifying and assessing occupational health and safety risks. By implementing the standard, organisations can enhance their safety performance and reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses.
  • Legal compliance: ISO 45001 helps organisations stay compliant with relevant health and safety regulations. This can be crucial in various industries where non-compliance may lead to legal consequences, fines, or damage to the organisation's reputation.
  • Employee well-being: The standard promotes a proactive approach to ensuring the well-being of employees. By systematically addressing health and safety concerns, organisations create a safer and healthier working environment, fostering employee satisfaction and morale.
  • Reduced workplace incidents: ISO 45001 encourages the identification and mitigation of potential hazards, leading to a reduction in workplace incidents. This, in turn, minimises downtime, lowers insurance costs, and improves overall productivity.
  • Enhanced reputation: Certification to ISO 45001 demonstrates an organisation's commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace. This commitment can positively impact the organisation's reputation among stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and regulatory bodies.
  • Cost savings: While there may be initial costs associated with implementing ISO 45001, the long-term benefits often outweigh them. Reductions in accidents, illnesses, and downtime contribute to overall cost savings, making the investment in compliance worthwhile.
  • Global recognition: ISO 45001 is an internationally recognised standard that provides a common framework for occupational health and safety management. Achieving certification can enhance an organisation's credibility and facilitate global business activities.
  • Continuous improvement: The standard promotes a cycle of continuous improvement through regular monitoring, evaluation, and updating of the occupational health and safety management system. This helps organisations adapt to changing circumstances and stay proactive in risk management.

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About the ISO 45001 certification process

Becoming ISO 45001 certified requires planning, commitment, and resources. The certification body, Citation ISO Certification, recommends a simple 3-step process:

  1. Gap Analysis
    A review of current processes and procedures to check if they align with the ISO standard will take place. This allows for the identification of any areas that did not meet the standard's requirements.
  2. Apply changes
    After conducting a gap analysis, any changes needed to existing processes and procedures can be made.
  3. Certification
    An auditor visits your office annually to check that all of the documented processes are being followed, and once they are satisfied, a new certificate is issued.

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How can you choose a certification body?

ISO 45001 recognition is at its most valuable when certified by a UKAS-accredited certification body that will independently audit your organisation and provide you with ISO 45001 certification. You can find comparable international bodies through the International Accreditation Forum.

  • Evaluate several certification bodies.
  • Check if the certification body is accredited and uses the relevant CASCO standard.
  • Accreditation is not compulsory but provides independent confirmation of competence.

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