What is a Health & Safety program?
A Health & Safety program is a summary term for all of the policies and procedures that organisations put in place to meet their Health & Safety (H&S) obligations. These H&S procedures aim to improve an organisation’s ability to identify hazards and control risks in the workplace, minimising risk to their employees from workplace injury and illness.
The main component of a Health & Safety program is a Health & Safety policy – a mission statement for an organisation’s management of and accountability for H&S issues. It will also encompass an organisation’s H&S records, and procedures such as how to identify hazards in the workplace, how risks will be controlled or reduced, and how workers will be trained.
Because no one business is the same, a custom H&S program must be developed and cannot necessarily be easily applied to other organisations. This is why getting the right H&S advice is so vital.
What is ISO 45001?
Some businesses go one step further with their Health & Safety arrangements and implement ISO 45001 – the International Standard for Health and Safety Management.
ISO 45001 has been developed by a committee of Occupational Health & Safety experts who have set out best-practice advice and guidance, as well as taking into account other international standards in the area such as OHSAS 18001 and the International Labour Organization’s ILO-OSH Guidelines. It also takes into account various national standards and the ILO’s international labour standards and conventions. This makes it one of the most valuable Health and Safety Management Systems available.
It provides a framework for:
- Employee participation and consultation
- The assessment, evaluation and resolution of organisational risks, opportunities and hazards
- The management of legislative change
- Setting and achieving H&S objectives
- The management of resources
- Staff training and awareness
- Managing both external and internal communication
- Effective control of documents and records
- Effective operational control
- Managing the impact of change
- Managing procurement
- Managing emergency preparedness and response
- Monitoring, measurement, analysis and performance evaluation
- Internal and external auditing, in order to maintain certification
- Management review
- Continual improvement.
How does ISO 45001 add value to a Health & Safety program?
Businesses considering adding to their existing Health & Safety program by implementing an ISO 45001 certified Management System may experience the following benefits:
- ISO 45001 is certifiable, so it guarantees to customers and other interested parties that a high-quality Health & Safety Management System is in place and that it continues to be operated correctly through an annual auditing program
- It may result in the winning of tenders which require certification to ISO 45001
- It introduces a culture of H&S which permeates the whole organisation, rather than being a system which operates independently of core processes
- Being an internationally-recognised standard, it might result in the reduction of insurance premiums
- It enables consideration of the needs and expectations of all stakeholders
- It uses a worldwide-proven approach which synchronises with other ISO Standards, permitting integration wherever possible
- It encourages and ensures strong leadership of the H&S Management System from senior management
- It ensures the determination of organisational H&S roles and responsibilities
- It determines and facilitates implementation of requirements for legal compliance
- It introduces processes for the monitoring of non-conformances and their correction, allowing future non-conformances to be prevented.
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