ISO 45001: Five important things for successful implementation

ISO 45001: Five important things for successful implementation

By kframe
In January 17, 2019

ISO 45001 will help any organizations not only to manage their OHS risks and to also improve their OHS performance by developing and implementing effective procedures and objectives, but also to reduce workplace hazards and incidents and to reduce the cost of insurance premiums. Also, it focuses on the creation of a healthy and more safe culture and helps to create improved staff morale, in the meantime respecting legal and regulatory requirements. By implementing these practices, the organizations obtain a good reputation as well.

ISO 45001 Key Changes

ISO 45001 replaces the OHSAS 18001 protocol also it makes it easier to implement and integrate to the management system, providing high value for end users. Operators will recognize most of the requirements in ISO 45001 when they are already applying OHSAS 18001, However, they should know few changes from OHSAS 18001 that need preparation in order to migrate and comply with ISO 45001.

Key changes affect:

  • The Organizational Context(Chapter 4.1) The organization should recognize both external (technological, legal and economic other social factors) and internal (knowledge, culture, values and performance) issues that introduce new clauses for systematic determination and to help monitor the business context.
  • The needs of interested parties & worker participation (Chapter 4.2)The standard requires to understand the needs and expectation of stakeholders appropriate to the business and also to consider consultation and worker participation.
  • Leadership(Chapter 5.1) This clause requires more dedication, commitment and involvement from the management in identifying safety risks and work-related issues, and integrating OHS requirements into its business processes.
  • Hazards Identification – Risk Management(Chapter 6.1) Organizations should manage and take actions to address any risks or opportunities that may affect the ability of the management system to deliver the intended results.
  • Objectives and performance(Chapters 6.2) it focus on objectives as guidance for improvements and to help evaluate the performance.
  • Documented information(Chapter 7.5) All documented information (both records and documents), which includes electronic and process information, should be managed and controlled.
  • Outsourcing, Procurement & Contractors Management(Chapter 8) Outsourced processes that has the potential to impact OHS Management system should be managed and controlled. The OHS risks that surfaced should be controlled and maintained.
  • Continual Improvement(Chapter 10.2) The standard requires the business to change by taking proactive measures as part of risk management and the continual improvement.

Key role of the representative

The organization has to assign a “management representative”, who has the authority and responsibility to do the following:

  1. Make sure that processes of the OHS management system are maintained and established.
  2. Report to top management and to supervisors on the performance of the management system, including needs for improvement dangerous situations so that preventive and corrective action can be implemented.
  3. Report concerns to authorities as required without the threat of discipline, dismissal, or other such measures.
  1. The persons assigned these roles should have sufficient access to be competent, and have encouragement from top management authority and resources to inform management of the current situation and performance of the OHS management system and whether the OHS management system conforms with the requirements of ISO 45001.


Acquiring certification to ISO 45001 is not a requirement, however the implementation of the new standard is recommended for the company, as it is a very useful tool to showcase that the company meets these criteria. Companies who are already certified to OHSAS 18001, will be able to use some of the tools and systems they have already acquired from the previous standard although it is a very different standard, they will be able to implement the new one.

A three-year transition period from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 which will start by the time the new standard is published for use exact date is 12 March 2018.  The company will have an assessment by their certification body, tested with the new standard.

Recommended actions for successful implementation

Before the operator starts the transition to the new protocol ISO 45001, the organizations certified with OHSAS 18001 should first carry out a complete gap analysis, to make sure and to verify the elements that they already have and to identify those that it is needed to be focused on.

ISO 45001: Five important things for successful implementation

  1. First of all, conduct an analysis of company’s context which will highlight the external and internal factors that affect the business and are also relevant to OHS.
  2. The operator needs to understand the needs before deciding the actual scopes and should aim for implementation of the standard.
  3. Identify resource gaps which need to be clearly addressed before the implementation of the ISO 45001.
  4. Clarify the OHS policies and concentrate on the set requirements.
  5. Planning ahead and then communicate to other employees the best way to achieve the implementation of the new standard.

These actions can be managed and guided by an Occupational Health & Safety Manual, containing important information, which also would demonstrate the company’s polices relevant to OHS, scopes and aims of the standard and assessments for safe approaching of risks and standards.


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