ISO 45001:2018 – reviewing Policies

ISO 45001:2018 – reviewing Policies

Central to any health and safety management system (HSMS) is the company OH&S Policy. This Policy may be an inheritance from previous systems and previous stakeholders. Where does such a policy juxtapose with the new ISO 45001:2018 standard? Integrally, pivotally, and as part of the overall plan.
One of the factors for success described in ISO 45001:2018 requires OH&S policies to be compatible with the overall strategic objectives and direction of the organization, ipso facto towards compliance with the Standard. So inherently the Policy must reflect the Standard. It should define the actual intentions and direction of the organization to prevent work-related injury and ill-health and to provide a safe and healthy workplace. It should express commitment of top management toward supporting these intentions and towards continually improving performance.
The author has witnessed many existing policies that are hackneyed, recycled policy statements, followed by a terse explanation of the organization, and then followed by arrangements which are laudable but seldom achieved. This will fall far from the mark for the international standard… (of course, there are also good policies out there too!).
Although the owner of an existing policy may baulk at a total re-write, Policy Statements should certainly reference key principles including continual improvement of OH&S performance and the achievement of objectives. The whole document might need to be overhauled, incorporating the lexicon of the Standard, describing the context in which the arrangements lay and ensuring consistency and co-ordination with other policies e.g. procurement and environmental policies.
There is a requirement within the Standard to conduct internal audits periodically to ensure HSMS align to the OH&S policy, and a requirement for top management to review the extent to which the OH&S policy and the OH&S objectives have been met. What an opportunity to embrace principles of the Standard by involving workers in the process, and by advertising the new policy as part of the new HSMS.

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Our Proof-Check system offers compliance assurance to give you peace of mind that you are duly diligent in managing your occupational health and safety risks. Your consultant will examine all aspects of health and safety relevant to your organisation, offering helpful advice and guidance along the way. We take time to talk, discuss and have safety conversations – this is not a scary impersonal audit.

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Our audits are comprehensive examinations of your Health and Safety management systems. They can offer peace of mind of the effectiveness of the procedures you have in place, and offer effective solutions and calls to action where non-conformances are identified.

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