ISO 45001:2018 risks and opportunities: Tips, examples and ideas

ISO 45001:2018 requires you to demonstrate your business is identifying, assessing and monitoring health and safety risks and opportunities. 

"Health and safety managers are too often called upon after an incident has occurred. At this point, it's too late. A person or people have been injured or are already unwell," says Kate Armitage, Head of Quality Assurance at Qualsys. "ISO 45001:2018 requires organisations to be more proactive by systematically identifying, assessing and monitoring health and safety risks and opportunities."

Below are three tips for managing risks and opportunities to meet the new ISO 45001:2018 requirements. 


Tip 1: Beware the Dunning-Kruger effect

Dunning Kruger Chart

David Cant, Health and Safety Consultant (Follow @DavidGCant on twitter) says that when competence is lower, we tend to have more confidence. He says: "Decisions made by less skilled people can have serious consequences, simply because they do not properly understand that their knowledge and experience is incomplete."

This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. 

How to tackle it: 

  1. Invest in training. Health and safety training records can be managed using Training Records Manager by Qualsys.
  2. Peer checks. Use Qualsys's workflows to send risk assessment results / findings to the wider business to get a complete view.  
  3. Plan a thorough on-boarding process. Use Audit Manager to ensure new employees the required training. 

ISO 45001 with Qualsys's software

2) Implement a process 

Kate Armitage, Head of Quality Assurance at Qualsys, is known across the governance, risk and compliance industry for her love of processes. "Before undertaking a new risk assessment, you need to think about your process. How are you going to categorise the H&S management system? What is the scope of your H&S risk assessment? Who needs to be involved?"

"Start by documenting your health and safety policy. Then you'll be ready to start a SWOT analysis and document each risk / opportunity in our Risk Manager module."


Opportunity categories:

  • Technology 
  • Training
  • Audits 
  • Risk assessments
  • Open-door policy
  • Staff review meetings 
  • Staff competency quizzes 
  • Training matrix 
  • HR check-ups
  • Whistle-blowing tool, such as Kiosk  
  • Near-miss preventive actions, taking data from Issue Manager
  • Well being initiatives
  • Flexible working / stress management 

Risk category examples: 

  • Fatality / hospitalisation
  • Lost time accident
  • Minor injury or accident
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Incidents or injuries
  • Near miss
  • Unsafe conditions or unsafe acts 
From the above categories, you can do both internal and external research on the risks and opportunities. Managing this process is a lot easier when using Qualsys's integrated business management system software. 


3) Control business change

One trap organisations fall into is not embedding important health and safety considerations into a change process. A department changes a material, supplier, equipment or process, yet the appropriate assessments aren't carried out by trained personnel. 

Qualsys's integrated business management system software makes it easy to identify and assess changing risks and opportunities. 


What to do now: 

Sign up for "The role of technology in managing ISO 45001:2018 health and safety" webinar.

Health and safety webinar



Topics: Software, ISO 45001

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