Publication Spotlight: Managing Safety The Systems Way – Implementing ISO 45001

Audit By Matthew Coombes

Managing Safety The Systems Way – Implementing ISO 45001 is an A5 handbook created specifically to help those who are looking to bring their organisation’s management of health and safety in line with the International Organisation for Standardisation’s ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems.

This publication is based on a previous iteration, Managing Safety the Systems Way – Implementing BS OHSAS 18001:2007, which looked at the BS OHSAS 18001 standard which ISO 45001 has replaced.

Why implement ISO 45001?

Bringing your health and safety management system into alignment with an internationally recognised standard can help in two major ways:

Reduce risk to occupational health and safety

The standard is heavily based on internationally agreed best practices in health and safety, which are designed to keep everyone safe within an organisation. Additionally, it includes an emphasis on “Plan, Do, Check, Act” which is often agreed to be an effective way of ensuring that what gets measured gets done, and everything gets measured.

By making your organisations management of health and safety align with the standard, you will have to reflect on all aspects of health and safety, which can ensure that you’re:
A) Actively engaging with H&S and trying to comply with legal requirements in your country
B) Measuring and taking account of performance on a macro scale

Stand out in international supply chains

Having a certification to show that your organisational management system is in line with the ISO 45001 standard can show potential suppliers and purchasers that your organisation is committed to improving health and safety.

An organisation with an effective management of health and safety is less likely to experience operational problems and less likely to experience events that may lead to temporary or permanent closure (such as, major incidents, major fines, fires, destruction of produce). This is particularly desirable to organisations looking to supply you or purchase from you, who would be negatively impacted by any failure in the supply chain.

If your organisation makes drinks, the distributor that sells your product, glass bottle maker who provide the vessels and supplier of base ingredients are all essential parts of your supply chain.

  • Without the distributor you have no way to generate income
  • Without the bottles you have no way to turn the drinks you’re producing into a product
  • Without the base ingredients you have no way to make your drinks

This goes both ways, each of the suppliers and purchasers of your product or service will have a vested interest in it’s continuity.

While compliance with ISO 45001 isn’t a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, and no major incident will ever occur, it’s certainly an indicator that the organisation has some understanding of the importance of health and safety.

How can this book help you to implement ISO 45001?

Managing Safety The Systems Way has been created by David Smith, who was the chairman of the international committee that produced the ISO 45001 standard, and Geoff Hunt who has over 30 years’ experience in occupational health and safety. It is designed with a consideration for helping those looking to implement the standard from the ground up, part way through implementation and as a tool for those managing an implemented ISO 45001 management system.
Some of the key features of the publication are:

  • The publication is a handbook (A5, 15cm x 21cm), it’s portable and perfect for taking with you to your organisation or visiting multiple sites.
  • It breaks up the ISO 45001 standard into manageable sections, providing an introduction to the standard and a helping hand throughout the process of implementation.
  • As part of the introduction, the authors have included a variety of example case study style organisations which are referred to throughout, this helps to additional context on how the standard applies to a variety of different operations, including offices, transport, construction engineering and more.
  • Managing Safety the Systems Way – Implementing ISO 45001 covers each section (clause) of the ISO 45001 standard in an appropriate level of detail for the subject being covered.
  • Each section contains a checklist so that you can tick off which parts of each section apply to your organisation’s operations, and which parts have been addressed. This enables you to measure your organisation’s performance as you progress through the book.

Managing Safety the Systems Way – Implementing ISO 45001 is available to purchase on the ACT website.

Looking for some assistance on implementing the ISO 45001 standard?

ACT’s expert consultants are available to help your organisation implement ISO 45001, maintain your certification or conduct an independent audit before your recertification. To find out more about our consultancy, please contact our team:

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