ISO 45001 SUPPORT: THE MAIN STEPS TO RESPECTING CLAUSE 7
Successful implementation of an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System depends on your organization having the right resources available to manage each task. This includes having competent staff with the appropriate training and support, as well as effective ways of informing and communicating with staff. Clause 7 on Support sets out how companies are to deal with identifying resources, determining competence, raising awareness, and documenting information. Here are those four steps in a nutshell.
Clause 7 on Support sets out how companies are to deal with identifying resources, determining competence, raising awareness, and documenting information. Here are those four steps in a nutshell.
Step 1: Identify resources
Clause 7 stipulates that organizations wishing to implement an ISO 45001:2018-compliant OH&SMS must first determine the resources needed for the plan and then work out exactly how they intend to supply these resources.
Step 2: Determine competence and train workers
The standard places workers at the heart of risk identification and makes them active participants in the creation of the management system. It is therefore only reasonable that it emphasizes the need to determine workers’ competence to identify serious or imminent risks. It goes even further in that it also requires that action be taken, where necessary, to develop worker competence by providing training or mentoring, or indeed by reassigning employees or hiring new people.
Step 3: Raise awareness
Organizations are responsible for developing a plan to inform employees and contractors about workplace safety, hazards and risks. Workers have to be informed of any elements in the health and safety plan that they are required to perform, and your company must make a plan to inform workers of the results of relevant health and safety investigations. However, it is not enough for your company simply to communicate to workers, ISO 45001:2018 also requires that you ensure communication is received, and that you assess whether or not it is effective. To achieve compliance, your organization has to make key decisions about what information to disseminate, when to do so, to whom and how.
Step 4: Document
Compliant organizations are required to determine what information needs to be documented to ensure the success of their OH&SMS. The term “documented information” is new to this standard (OHSAS 18001 spoke of the need to “document and record”) and has been chosen precisely to emphasize the fact that information can be in any format or media and can come from any source.
A specific element that must be thoroughly documented is worker competence. Companies have to create a plan to document competence evaluations along with any actions undertaken to increase worker competence. They must also maintain appropriate documented information as evidence of competence achieved.
Does that mean you can throw out your manual? It’s up to you! While the standard no longer requires the same documentation as OHSAS 18001, you can maintain relevant procedures or documentation from OHSAS 18001 if you feel it works for you.
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.