ISO 45001 PLANNING: 6 KEY TERMS TO EXPLAIN CLAUSE 6
Clause 6, Planning, is crucial to ISO 45001 standard as it relates to the establishment of the strategic objectives and guiding principles for your Occupational Health and Safety Management System as a whole. Your organization’s OH&S objectives reflect how your system will deal with the risks it identifies.
Here are the six key terms you need to master to understand this important clause:
ISO 45001:2018 defines a hazard as “a source with a potential to cause injury and ill health”, including “sources with the potential to cause harm or hazardous situations, or circumstances with the potential for exposure leading to injury and ill health.”
In other words, what features of your processes have the ability to harm individuals? Are workers using dangerous machinery that could lead to injury? Do you use chemicals that could affect worker health and wellbeing?
ISO 45001:2018 expands its definition of worker wellbeing. It includes the hazards present in less obviously dangerous jobs and workplaces such as offices where, for example, repetitive strain injury and back pain from ill-adapted workstations are common problems. It also widens the scope from purely physical safety to acknowledge the importance of workers’ psychological health - the dangers of burnout, harassment, bullying or stress-related illness, for example.
The standard states that risk is “the effect of uncertainty” and that “an effect is a deviation from the expected — positive or negative”.
So, while a hazard is the part of your process that could potentially affect your workers’ wellbeing, the risk is the likelihood that harm will occur. As a result, if you are looking at two situations that require the deployment of a particularly dangerous piece of machinery, for example, one of which occurs twice a day, the other twice a month, the more frequently occurring hazard will carry the greater risk.
Central to ISO 45001:2018 is risk-based analysis - a positive way of thinking that embraces both threats and opportunities. The philosophy behind risk-based thinking is that resources should be used proactively and efficiently. It involves looking outside and inside both at the threats that may have an impact on the organization and also the opportunities it could take advantage of. Both risks and opportunities must be analyzed, ranked and addressed.
Where OHSAS 18001 emphasized prevention, with corrective action to be taken as needed, ISO 45001:2018 makes a significant change to the standard by replacing preventive with ongoing proactive action. This reduces the need for corrective actions. Organizations are expected to identify major risks, determine when they might occur, and specify exactly who will be taking proactive preventive action. You must have a detailed plan.
Clause 6 also stipulates that objectives must be thoroughly documented and that organizations must develop a written plan for achieving their documented objectives. The plan must include the identification of people responsible, a timeline for implementation, and key performance indicators for progress and success.
Migration to ISO 45001:2018
From the publication of the standard (March 12, 2018), organizations already certified to OHSAS 18001 have three years to migration to ISO 45001 (until September 30, 2021). It will take most organizations around one year to migrate fully; and since ISO 45001 requires both senior management leadership and employee consultation, it is wise to begin as soon as possible.
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in certification. Building on our auditing and training experience, Bureau Veritas is providing a range of e-learning courses and IRCA trainings to support your organization in migration to ISO 45001 smoothly and with minimal fuss.