Things You Need To Know About ISO 45001

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is one of the key considerations for any modern manager or HR professional. Ensuring the safety of your employees — and any visitor to your workplace — is a critical consideration. That’s why standards such as ISO 45001 have been created, in order to help establish best practice within this area and create a means of international quality control.

But what is ISO’s meaning? How does it work to benefit your business on a day to day basis?

Securing ISO certification can serve your business in a number of ways — for ISO 45001 specifically, it can help create a workplace that’s substantially safer than it may be at present. So let’s take a look at some of the key discussion points around ISO certification.

What is ISO certification?

 “ISO certification” covers a broad range of quality management certifications related to the workplace and industry around the world. Overseen by the International Organization for Standardization, its purview covers a significant range of topics, from manufacturing standards to workplace safety. Many (though not all) of these certifications intersect with one another and can be mutually beneficial, depending on the industry you work in.

 ISO certification is generally voluntary, but is intended to be in line with best industry practices and the best relevant legislation around the world. Compliance and certification is a mark of quality for your organisation both internally and externally, showing a clear demonstration that you are committed to exceeding legal requirements and hitting new levels of best practice within your chosen field.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is an international standard designed to improve OH & S within your workplace, in turn making it a safer working environment for your employees. Broadly speaking, this includes considerations such as risk management, taking appropriate safety precautions and ensuring that all levels of staff are committed to doing the same. It’s also important to ensure that all of the relevant legislation within a given state or country is being adhered to, to maximise safety and minimise risk.

The benefits of ISO 45001

 The primary significance of ISO 45001 is connected to worker protections and ensuring safety while on the job. At present, worker safety laws and working conditions vary wildly from country to country. This is for a variety of reasons; the age of the industry within a given country, cultural practices and the strength of labour unions are all a few contributing factors.

It’s a voluntary standard — but ISO 45001 certification is nonetheless a way for companies to demonstrate that they are committed to providing a safe working environment for all employees, and that all employees will actively participate in maintaining these standards. It helps ensure that worker safety is prioritised, even in countries that don’t necessarily have the same protections enshrined in labour law.

How does ISO 45001 differ from other certifications?

ISO 45001 was released in 2018 as an update to the prior OHSAS 18001. Though the two standards have similarities between them, ISO 45001 has been reworked to look at new ways that companies can consider risk within the workplace. This standard was created by consultation and feedback across more than 70 countries to improve worker safety worldwide.

ISO 45001 is somewhat unique in being considered a universal standard. Though other certifications can intersect with it quite effectively, it’s important to note that it’s not necessary or even possible to be certified for every ISO standard. The organisation covers an incredibly broad range of industries and manufacturing techniques, so not all will be relevant to your company.

How do companies benefit from ISO 45001 certification?

There are a number of different benefits to opting for ISO 45001 certification. First and foremost, it’s an immediate way to increase workplace safety and ensure that your workers are working in an environment that’s compliant with the relevant legislation and best practices. It’s also a certification that involves all of your employees, helping give them ownership over maintaining safety on a day-to-day basis, too.

This has a number of flow-on benefits — it demonstrates your commitment to safety to prospective clients, which can make them more likely to work with you, both now and into the future. Additionally, demonstrating that you have a certification can also help you reduce your insurance premiums. A safer workplace means fewer claims, and in turn, lower premiums — all of which are ideal for businesses who are looking to save money.

How can my business get certification for ISO 45001?

So, what is ISO certification in Australia, and how can you get it? The length and complexity of obtaining certification for ISO 45001 varies from company to company. Australia has relatively high standards around workplace safety, so many organisations are already either compliant or near-compliant but do not yet have the requisite paperwork to demonstrate this. Many choose to pursue it on an informal basis, using the published standard as a guideline for their own workplace.

Once you have reviewed the standard and put it into practice to the best of your understanding, it’s simply a matter of getting the appropriate auditor to inspect your workplace.

The team at GCC Certification can assist with this process — if you’re already largely compliant, the team here can usually help you get appropriately certified within 45 days. However, some companies require a significant amount of work in order to bring themselves up to speed with the standards required by ISO 45001. In these instances, we’re able to provide feedback around what changes need to be made to your business and how you can handle any complications that might arise.

To find out more about getting ISO 45001 certification, or about our ISO 45001 training courses, get in touch with the team at GC Certification — we’ll be more than happy to talk you through the process.