Companies need a strong, all-inclusive health and safety management system to improve their employee safety and minimise the chances of accidents or illnesses at their workplaces. An occupational health and safety (OHS) management system is not really effective unless it is structured well and adheres with the international regulations related to workplace safety.
ISO 45001 is the top international standard for OHS management systems and it defines regulations for organisations to address the work-related injuries, risks of illnesses, and fatalities. If you have an OHS management system already in place, it is time to strengthen it by transitioning to the ISO 45001 standard and make it more competent at addressing your work-related risks or employee health concerns.
Transitioning your current OHS management system is not that difficult if you have a thorough understanding of the standard and know how to bridge the gaps in it against the ISO 45001 compliance requirements.
Here are some helpful tips to prepare your OHS management system for the transition process and complete it faster to ensure your employee safety.
Getting a Designated OHS Team
If you have not considered it before, it is time now to get a dedicated team of health and safety personnel who are going to manage the workplace safety records. The records are needed over time for ISO 45001 compliance because a team can manage all records systematically and use them for the prevention of similar incidents or risks. The team should be responsible for handling all ongoing tasks needed for certification i.e. reviews and audits, incident reporting, risks management and staff training. A designated management team can make the process of pursuing certification simpler by providing all the necessary documentation that demonstrates the conformance of the OHS management system.
Collect Your Safety Data
To make your OHS management system compliant with the ISO 45001 standard, make sure your organisation performs well in the matter of employee safety. You need a systematic way to measure and track the safety performance of your OHS management system. This implies the collection of data regarding occupational safety across processes, teams or areas of your business. Some of the effective ways to gather data are outcomes of hazard assessments, reports of injuries, inspection forms, employee surveys, maintenance records, and training feedback.
Updating Your Health and Safety Policy
One of the prerequisites for ISO 45001 compliance is a well-defined and written OHS policy for your organisation. If there is already a generic policy established, you need to improve it to include the scope of ISO 45001 and demonstrate your commitment to the best safety and healthy working practices. The policy must be narrowed down to make it specific to your organisation’s needs and employee safety concerns. The presence of a definite OHS management policy is also helpful in providing training and making employees aware of the new practices.
Educating the Employees
The ISO 45001 standard concerns the employees and they must be involved in the implementation of your OHS management system to make it fully effective. It is hence necessary to educate all of your employees regarding the best practices and regulations of the standard so that everyone can adopt them. When the practices are accurately followed by employees all across your organisation, it assures the transition process. Training is therefore an integral part of the process and your dedicated management team needs to plan and budget the training procedures soon after you decide to get the ISO 45001 certification.
Inspections and Auditing
Proper inspections of your workplaces and auditing of the OHS management system is required to ensure that you have the most appropriate safety procedures or processes in place. ISO 45001 just like any other ISO standard emphasises a process approach and so you need to have a consistent process for assessing your workplaces and equipment, identifying hazards, and mitigating them. You also should have a systematic methodology for reporting the incidents and emergency action plans for responding to them.
While inspections make sure that your processes are effective enough in addressing safety risks, auditing by experienced management officials ensures that your OHS management system conforms to the ISO 45001 requirements.
With the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the world affecting the workplaces, a strict health and safety management system is the need of the hour for every organisation. The ISO 45001 standard is the prominent way to improve their employee safety management as the standard defines the most effective practices to address all forms of risks and employees’ concerns. Assuring workplace safety also helps a business to become more productive by reducing its operational downtime and enhancing employee performance.
Take a step forward to transition your existing OHS management system to the robust management framework defined by the ISO 45001 standard. Following these aforementioned tips are useful as they are advocated by OHS consultants who know the prerequisites for achieving compliance with ISO 45001.
We, at Compliancehelp, can help you quickly through the transition process. We have a team of eminent ISO 45001 consultants to guide you in every step. Feel free to contact us if you want to update your OHS management system and get it ISO certified.
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