Complying with regulatory standards is the first step towards protecting your employees from health and safety threats. However, this may just be a dip of your toe in the water if you don't follow up with a pre-emptive, assured and consistent health and safety management system.
ISO 45001 provides a framework for a proactive and efficient occupational health and safety management system.
In this article, Kate Armitage, Head of Quality at Qualsys has shared three actions to take now.
1) Integrate management systems
If you've already got an integrated business management system and certified to other standards using the Annex SL framework, you'll find ISO 45001:2018 has a familiar structure, approach and terminology.
However, if your business management system is currently siloed, here's a brochure explaining how Qualsys's software can be used to manage an integrated ISO 45001 and business management system.
2) Do your gap analysis
The best place to start is by downloading a copy of the Standard from the ISO website https://www.iso.org/news/ref2272.html . Do a gap analysis. Make a list of three to four key priorities and actions e.g.:
- Train leadership: Schedule leadership training
- Engagement: Schedule Lunch and learn sharing sessions
- Manage CAPAs / change: Implement integrated health and safety management system
- Identifying risks: Risk management software
3) Make employees aware of the changes
Leadership and the wider organisation are going to want to know what the new health and safety standard is about and how it impacts them.
- Don't go into lengthy detail about the clauses
- Share benefits e.g. marketing the brand, getting home safely.
- Focus on the why, not the what.
- Illustrate with examples
- Get employees to rate the training so you know what they loved about the training and how to improve for next time
- Adapt the training based on who you are talking to e.g.:
- Leadership: focus on timescales, costs, risks and bottom line impact
- Management: focus on team metrics
- Wider organisation: 3 actions, ask for advice and ideas
- Be clear you're project manager, but rely on their support and expertise to achieve the company goals
- Add a quote from the leadership team into your training materials to demonstrate leadership commitment and give the project social proof
- Do an employee survey and use those quotes in your training to demonstrate it's a collective project.
What you should do now
ISO 45001 will support your organisation to manage health and safety in a pre-emptive, collaborative and consistent process. Any change management process is likely to take time, so the earlier you can start preparing for the changes, the more efficient you can be. For more information about ISO 45001, please download our toolkit.