A workplace health and safety management system is a set of defined policies and measures that systematically helps organisations to manage the health and safety of their workers. It helps to minimise the risks of injuries or illnesses that workers are exposed to while they are at their workplaces. An occupational health and safety (OHS) management approach is especially necessary when work situations are often harsh and risk-prone such as the construction, chemical manufacturing, and energy sectors, or the workers have to deal with heavy or harmful equipment such as in the health, automotive, machinery, or aerospace sectors.
OHS Management: A Systematic Approach
As an organisation owner, you need to seek the best management system for your workers’ health and safety because they are the most valued assets of your business. A well-structured management system with defined policies or measures can help you. That is why forming your OHS management system according to the regulations of the ISO 45001 standard, the internationally-accepted standard of occupational health and safety is ideal.
ISO 45001 specifies the requirements for workplace health and safety by considering widespread risks or hazards that various workplaces pose for the workers. Moreover, complying with well-defined procedures or practices can help your organisation to meet your safety goals better and keep workers more content. You need to document everything regarding safety measures, risk assessment methods, and mitigation plans. With everything formally established, it creates an obligation for everyone, starting from management representatives to workers to follow all measures and safety procedures.
Development of OHS Management System
To develop an ISO 45001 based OHS management system in your organisation, you need to systematically follow certain steps.
Start by consulting with a team of ISO consultants or experts who have an inherent understanding of the ISO 45001 certification requirements. As senior management, you should be involved from the very beginning and stay committed to developing the best OHS management system complying with ISO 45001 requirements. Ask the consultants for practical guidance about the structure of your management system. Make sure they understand all the existing risks as well as probable risks that workers face. Ask them to evaluate your workplace situations and work equipment well to help you formulate the most competent OHS management system.
2. Designing the OHS Management System
Designing the structure and functions of your OHS management system by considering your workplace risks as well as ISO requirements is the next step. Designing it comprehensively is essential to ensure it is effective when put into practice. You need to have some management representatives who can undertake workplace inspections. Incidents and emerging risks should be reported, documented, and investigated. After their observations, senior management can sit together to include the practices, safety precautionary arrangements, and risks identification or monitoring methods in the management system.
3. Hazard & Risk Management
A major part of the OHS management system must include hazard identification and management. There must be a specific code of practices to manage the risks when they occur suddenly, and workers must be aware of the practices. Your organisation’s management team must acquire information related to chemical, biological, physical, as well as ergonomic hazards at their workplace and make plans to prevent them. You should also ensure a continuing systematic mechanism for monitoring and assessing every work process and identify risks as soon as possible. You should decide the criteria for safety performance of your organisation so that you can assess your workplace later after implementing the management system and see whether the criteria are met.
It is significantly necessary to make each of your workers aware of the safety procedures and practices to be implemented under the OHS management system. You need to provide face-to-face training or provide sessions to make workers adept with risk management practices. They should be trained on the ISO 45001 requirements and how the OHS management should be implemented to achieve compliance. In other words, appropriate training of your workers can ensure they are accountable for the practices, and together with their participation, your organisation can assure absolute workplace safety.
5. Implementation & Review
The last step is ensuring that all resources and efforts including workers’ training work well, and you have an organised OHS management system in place. While everyone, including management representatives and employees, in your organisation is responsible for its implementation, the consultants are the ones to guide to you and prevent/correct any mistakes, so ask them to review your management system regularly. They can help to identify errors or any ISO non-compliance so that you can get them corrected quickly.
A system-based management approach is far better in protecting your workers and meeting your workplace goals. It is hence advised to get the ISO 45001 based occupational health and safety management system which can help your organisation to implement practices for all-round safety of your workers.
A systematic approach is required because it ensures continual evolvement and improvement of safety practices and helps to use feedback to introduce new practices. It can be easily integrated with other management systems which provide organisations with scope for better safety and security with informed decision making.
Do you need any help with the development and implementation of OHS management system and to get it compliant with the ISO 45001 standard? Our compliance experts can assist you. We, at Compliancehelp are a team of ISO consultants with years of experience helping businesses succeed at getting their management systems implemented and compliant with ISO standards. Feel free to contact us today!
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