The ISO 45001 standard has been released for about a year now. Lots of companies haven’t taken the step to this new standard due to the three year transition period. Those that did, noticed that there are quite some differences. The companies that already made the transition to the HLS because of their 14001 or 9001 management system had an advantage, but still noticed the differences.
Focus on Risks
The new ISO 45001 has a big emphasis on risks and how to mitigate them. In particular, the more dangerous industries such as construction, heavy industry, and chemical industry are impacted by this. Most companies are aware of the risks involved in the business but don’t always properly identify and manage them. A good action plan is critical for proper risk management. Make sure these tasks are easy to manage and clearly defined.
Stakeholder management is a key new aspect in the ISO 45001. Most companies have a good understanding of the stakeholders involved in the business. The OHSAS 18001 did have a communication requirement, which some companies used to manage a part of their stakeholders, but with the stakeholder management coming in this isn’t enough anymore. A proper stakeholder management approach is required and good practice for any company actually. Not every stakeholder needs the same information. Having a rough understanding of who needs to receive what kind of information will help to reduce communication errors and improve productivity.
Next to risks and stakeholder management, opportunities are a newly introduced topic as well. The organization should identify opportunities to improve the safety of the employees. Some companies try to combine this with risks, but this isn’t always that easy. To be able to properly identify opportunities with respect to OHS, the company should have the tools available for the employees to report shortcomings. A great way to help employees with reporting shortcomings is with an application that lowers the barriers. Employees are the ones that face the risks every day and therefore hold the knowledge when it comes to OHS opportunities. The company can use unsafe situations as a great input for new opportunities. These opportunities are identified by the employees and will have more support than an opportunity identified by some top manager.
Reduce Barriers to Participate
The new ISO 45001 requires companies to lower barriers to participate in the OHS Management system. This isn’t always easy, but can be established with a proper solution. Not only giving the employees access to the right information, but also providing them with the tools to help improve the OHS system. They need to be able to report risks, incidents, and unsafe situations and easily create safety walks. This will lead to a higher involvement in and understanding of why the OHS Management System is essential for their safety. In the end, everybody wants to go home the same way they arrived in the morning.