ISO 45001 TERMS AND DEFINITIONS - WHAT'S NEW IN CLAUSE 3?
You may be tempted to skip the definitions in Clause 3 of ISO 45001. You definitely shouldn’t. While many definitions are shared with other ISO standards, some are starkly different – and even provide the key to understanding the rest of the standard. Let’s look at a few.
Workers and workplace – not just your employees, in your office
“Workers” (3.3) might seem like an odd, almost archaic term. But it’s been chosen for a reason. It refers to a person performing work or work related activities under the management of the organization. That can be anybody: employees, trainees, contractors and freelancers. Similarly “workplace” (3.6) refers to the place where a person goes for work purposes – not just your office!
A new definition of risk
A risk in ISO 45001 is defined as an effect of uncertainty. 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. However, it’s important to understand that risk can also be positive – it refers simply to deviation from the expected. In ISO 45001, “risks” and “opportunities” refer to risks to OHS, or opportunities for OHS and other risks and opportunities for the management system.
Participation vs consultation
Worker participation and worker consultation are sufficiently important in ISO 45001 to merit separate definitions. Whereas participation refers to involvement in decision-making, consultation refers to seeking views before making a decision. Both may involve the same bodies – safety committees or Works Councils, for example – but the mechanisms used to reach a decision are different.
Documented information – do you need a manual?
What exactly is documented information? It’s described as “both the information that must be controlled and maintained by an organization and the medium on which it is contained”. It can be in any format and media and any source. This can be anything from a traditional health and safety manual to a digitalized workplace wiki… and everything in between!
Stakeholders and interested parties
Interested parties, in line with other ISO standards, becomes the preferred term to be used, although stakeholders remains an admitted term. They include anyone affected (or perceived as affected) by a decision or activity, including customers, owners, banks, unions, etc.
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.