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New ISO 45001 Safety Standards Incorporate Leadership, Culture and Engagement

The new ISO 45001 standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S) incorporates the same IS0 Annex SL management system included in ISO 9001 and now required in 16 standards that include a strategic focus on all stakeholders and a systematic approach to fostering awareness, capability, buy-in, and inspiration. 

The creators of the recently announced ISO 45001 standard believe that it “has become one of the most eagerly awaited standards in the world and is set to drastically improve levels of workplace safety,” according to the recent IS0 announcement. The standard replaces the current ISO standard 18001, which according to ISO technical committee members is widely followed whether or not organizations take the extra steps necessary to display the ISO certification. The new ISO 45001 standard, which replaces 18001 in three years, incorporates the new ISO Annex SL standard which includes a systematic approach to management and a strategic focus on people that are now applicable to 16 standards highlighted below.
The ISO article announcing the new standard says one of the biggest changes in ISO 45001 is the inclusion of the new Annex SL, a management system standard developed by ISO to be shared by all ISO standards involving management practices, including ISO 9001 quality management systems and 15 other standards. Annex SL includes a requirement to address the needs of “all interested parties” or stakeholders, including the need for leadership that creates a defined culture and which implements communication and development to ensure that everyone is aware of the goals and required behaviors and actions related to the requirements of many standards. 
Dr. Ron McKinley, Co-Founder of the International Center for Enterprise Engagement (ICEE) at the Healthcare Management Institute at the University of Texas Medical Branch, believes it is significant that these and many new standards “now incorporate a systematic approach to engaging all stakeholders and utilizing an auditable approach to ensuring people are aware, capable, and inspired to contribute to organizational success, whether as a customer, a distribution partner, employee, vendor, community member, or constituent. This framework can be applied to any type of organization.” 
According to ISO Annex SL, based on guidelines created in 2011, all management systems standards should include the following elements, several of which specifically address people issues:
Normative references
Terms and definitions
Context of the organization
Performance evaluation
The ISO announcement says that the “main change is that ISO 45001 concentrates on the interaction between an organization and its business environment, while OHSAS 18001 was focused on managing OH&S hazards and other internal issues. But the standards also diverge in other ways:
ISO 45001 is process-based – OHSAS 18001 is procedure-based
ISO 45001 is dynamic in all clauses – OHSAS 18001 is not
ISO 45001 considers both risk and opportunities – OHSAS 18001 deals exclusively with risk
ISO 45001 includes the views of interested parties (stakeholders) – OHSAS 18001 does not. 

The ISO author explains: “These points represent a significant shift in the way health and safety management is perceived. OH&S is no longer treated as a “stand alone” but must be viewed within the perspective of running a sound and sustainable organization.:

A New Focus on People 

According to the March edition of ISO Focus magazine, “In order for an OH&S system to be strong and healthy, everyone in the organization must feel that he or she shares some responsibility for maintaining a safe environment. This includes employees all the way up to executives. Company-wide engagement is one of the key benefits of ISO 45001. The new standard recognizes the value of worker consultation in the development of better OH&S practices and places greater emphasis on employees actively participating in the development, planning, implementation and continual improvement of the OH&S management system. Top management must take an active role, promote a positive culture and communicate what needs to be done and, more to the point, why it’s important. Senior leaders need to demonstrate that they are actively involved and taking steps to integrate the OH&S management system into the overall business processes. 
Explains Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) in the United Kingdom: “ISO 45001 means more focus on leadership and worker participation, as well as ensuring the system takes into account the ‘world’ the organization operates in and the internal and external factors affecting it – known as its context. It means that top management must take a visible, directing role and be actively involved in the system’s implementation and ensuring its integration with other business systems.” 
According to Jones, the system needs to be proportionate to the organization’s risk profile and complexity. For example, in smaller organizations, effective worker participation can be more direct and straightforward to achieve, without the need for formal committee structures and so forth. And there may be additional drivers for improvement, he says. “ Client organizations will increasingly require demonstration of good OH&S from those supplying their goods and services, so that they can ensure they are compatible with their own system.”
Sofka Ane  Brændgaard, LEGO’s Senior Integrated Management System Manager says, “We want to achieve certification to ISO 45001 because especially the new chapters regarding leadership commitment and defining the interested parties match perfectly with our company and our approach to all our stakeholders. We have already implemented this into our management reviews.” She asserts that LEGO will use ISO 45001 the same way it uses all other standards. “We see ISO standards as a tool for us to focus on processes and to bring the right value for our customers and consumers.” The ISO article says that “the company engages employees in many ways, including the creation of a proactive safety committee that raises awareness of issues such as ergonomics hazards and an internal blog where employees report safety risks, with improvements made in response to their reports and suggestions.” 

Standards Mitigate Risks 

Lego executives believe that “Being certified according to ISO 45001 will demonstrate that we take the health and safety of our employees, and all those working on behalf of LEGO Group, seriously, and this is fully in line with our LEGO brand framework and our Partner, People & Planet promises, ” says Brændgaard. “We are a low-risk company and we do not compromise with health and safety, and ISO 45001 is one of the tools we will use to ensure the best possible work conditions.”
“For us it will be a significant improvement working with three standards with the same high-level structure and the same approach,” explains Brændgaard. “To be certified according to all three standards makes it easier for us, because we basically have an integrated management system where we do not distinguish between the standard, and the quality, environment and health and safety processes are all merged into our business processes.” 
The ISO standards involved input from union leaders as well. In the ISO report, Jan Toft, a health and safety consultant to the Danish Metal Workers Union, affirms that “‘dialogue, collaborating, finding areas of shared interest, are all at the heart of better working conditions…Motivated, engaged workers are innovative, they contribute to efficiency improvements.” He believes that the ability to “see the interconnectedness of things is relatively new, and it’s been at the heart of ISO management systems since they were first developed at the end of the 1980s. By recognizing that no part of the business operates in isolation, management system standards are designed to work together.” The article reports that Rasmussen “takes a holistic view that would have been anathema to 19th-century mill owners. Involving workers in discussions with senior management not only creates good working relationships, it actually makes the products better.” 

Other Standards Requiring the Annex SL Framework

According to Wikipedia, here are the following standards currently incorporating the Annex SL framework, and whether or not they are required to be in compliance with the standard. Practitioners who master Annex SL can apply these principles in all of these standards:
  • ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems - Requirements

  • ISO 15378:2017, Primary packaging materials for medicinal products — Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015, with reference to good manufacturing practice (GMP)

  • ISO 14001:2015, Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 14298:2013, Graphic technology - Management of security printing processes

  • ISO 18788:2015, Management system for private security operations - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO/IEC 19770-1:2017, Information technology - IT asset management - Part 1: IT asset management systems - Requirements

  • ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 21101:2014, Adventure tourism - Safety management systems - Requirements

  • ISO 22301:2012, Societal security - Business continuity management systems - Requirements

  • ISO/IEC 27001:2013, Information technology - Security techniques - Information security management systems - Requirements

  • ISO 30301:2011, Information and documentation - Management systems for records - Requirements

  • ISO 37001:2016, Anti-bribery management systems - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 37101:2016, Sustainable development in communities - Management system for sustainable development - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 39001:2012, Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 44001:2017, Collaborative business relationship management systems - Requirements and framework

  • ISO 45001:2018, Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements with guidance for use

  • ISO 55001:2014, Asset management - Management systems - Requirements

Article Sponsor:
C.A. Short Company
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The bottom line in business is that ENGAGED People Are Everything!
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C.A. Short Company
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