ISO45001: 10 things you need to know (and how EMEX can help)

While oil-field safety records are increasing, the oil and gas industry still has one of the highest severe injury and fatality rates. Amputation and fractures rank among the most common injuries, with getting body parts caught in equipment, falls, being struck by objects, and fires/explosions the main causes.

The cost to both employers and the economy is vast - which is why there’s a new global solution on the cards.

New standard ISO 45001 is set for publication in February 2018, and will replace the existing OHSAS 18001. While the new standard will take both time and budget to implement for smaller businesses and international corporates alike - as well as the work associated with plugging the gaps in existing standards - there’s no denying that this highly-anticipated standard will help to decrease the ill effects of poor health and safety procedures in the workplace.

Here are ten things you need to know about the new ISO 45001 standard - and how implementing EHS software can make the transition smoother.

1. ISO 45001 uses the Annex SL structure

Annex SL, introduced in 2015, is an ISO tool that creates a common high-level structure that applies across all ISO management systems standards. All new and revised ISO standards use the common structure and terminology that Annex SL provides, making ISO 45001 easier than OHSAS 18001 to integrate with existing ISO management systems used by your business. Our software already makes it easy for businesses to implement other standards, such as ISO 14001 - and the similarities in structure will only serve to ease the burden of change.

2. New concept: “Context of the organisation”

One of three new concepts introduced by ISO 45001 is “context of the organisation”: linking management systems to your specific business environment and your health and safety performance strategies. It’ll include a focus on the risks that can be introduced by change and how to control them, ensuring that management focus more on the system as a tool to improve the working environment. The task is made easier with our EHS software which allows management to drill down and analyse data to make intelligent decisions about improving working environment.

3. New concept: Leadership

The new standard requires the demonstration of strong leadership, including encouraging staff, and assisting the company’s lower level management. Observational safety changes culture and is completed from the top down  and coupled with ease of access to data with EMEX’s dashboards makes leading the organisation to a safer environment easier.

4. New concept: Documented information

Many management standards refer to specific documented procedures...which often no longer exist in our ever more computer-based world. ISO 45001 does away with mandated procedures - but our EHS system keeps all records in one place, making it easy to find any documentation that’s needed.

5. New definition: “Risk”

With the meaning of the word “risk” varying from country to country, the new standard will clarify the definition so that it covers all sectors and industries across the globe. Our software’s hazard assessment functionality can be used to assess risk in the same way across multiple sites - even for businesses with a multi-country presence - for consistency.

6. New definition: “The Worker”

Across the globe, “the worker” is defined in different ways - and with different legal constraints. In ISO 45001, “The Worker” has a specific definition: the person who is working under the control of the organisation, including any contractors.

7. New definition: “The Work Place”

How is the work place actually defined? Is it your site only, or does it include situations where your workers are sent to work at other employers’ sites? ISO 45001 will clarify the definition - and if it includes multiple sites, you’ll be able to use our EHS software to monitor incidents from site to site, and inform the relevant team members at the location in question.

8. New requirement: Outsourcing

The new standard strengthens the requirements of OHSAS 18001 that relate to outsourced processes. It will clarify the process and outcome required when an outsourced supplier logs an operational health and safety incident. EMEX’s software can risk assess activity, processes, and buildings to ensure outsourced processes such as facilities management are continually assessed and checked through auditing and inspections.

9. New requirement: Procurement

Businesses will need to establish procurement controls - controls that ensure goods and services are procured in a way that complies with health and safety requirements. This will mean assessing risks, testing equipment, communicating usage requirements and precautions and more. Our software allows you to create checklists for such procurement processes, ensuring that processes are all fully compliant.

10. Focusing on the positives

While OHSAS 18001 focused more on reducing the negative impact of health and safety incidents, ISO 45001 has a more positive slant. It highlights the good things that can happen when a strong health and safety management programme is implemented, and the positive cultural change that can occur. This is driven by the new focus on ensuring employee participation and understanding organisational context - and with our reports, dashboards and worker profiles, you’ll find it easier to see how things are changing for the better.

Much of ISO 45001 is based on the contents of OHSAS 18001 - but there are some fundamental changes that will need to be implemented once the standard comes into force. While it might seem like hard work, you can’t put a price on keeping the workforce safe and better worker morale - especially when our software is there to make things even easier.

Like the sound of what we have to offer? Request a demo of our system to find out more.