Development and acceptance of globally recognised ISO 45001 has been one of the most significant moments for health and safety professionals in Australia. This standard provides an effective framework from which OSH objectives can be effectively managed while providing global foundation of health and safety standards for all workers.
In this article we will briefly touch on key steps of implementation; a valuable podcast conducted with an Australian-based compliance and safety expert and director of the online training organisation ‘Auditor Training Online’ Jackie Stapleton. She provides her thoughts on the development and transition to ISO 45001 in Australia. For more detail, you can hear that interview HERE.
Jackie resonates the thoughts of many other professionals in the industry “ISO45001 is well overdue and it’s one of the most significant standards to be developed in decades.”
AS/NZS 4801 was published back in 2001, and together with the ‘quasi-international British standard 18001 and was not detailed enough. ISO45001 is internationally recognised and it aligns nicely with other ISO standards, such as ISO9001 and ISO14001 which makes it much easier for organisations to integrate their systems. Integrating systems with common terms, definitions and common structure is more effective, according to Jackie. Also automation of audit processes by using ISO45001 checklist, such as the one that we have generated in iComplied, is more efficient, transparent and flexible.
According to Jackie. businesses that are already certified to AS/NZ 4801 and OHSAS18001 will be most affected by the new changes as they will need to start their transition to integrate the new standard and understand what is required of them. Certifications bodies will also need to know what this means for them and what the transition process is, as such they are strongly advised to get acquainted with the regularities as it is important to stress that ISO45001 is a brand new standard, a separate competency requirement, and not just an upgrade to an existing standard such as the one for ISO90001.
Based on the most recent information Standards Australia has decided to accept the new standard and publish this under their own banner as AS/NZS ISO 45001:20XX, with a preface for Australia and New Zealand. British Standards and the International Accreditation Forum have already committed to a 3 year transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 and while it is still unknown as to how long the transition from AS 4801 to ISO 45001 would be, logic would follow to align the same.
To ensure that this implementation has been carried out in a timely manner and not left to be rushed to a last minute, like may have seen the case to be with ISO9001, many conscientious organisations are advised to innovate and automate their systems to more efficiently conduct well defined 5 Step Action Plan aimed at smooth implementation. Automation through an online cloud based tool such as iComplied, will not only save WHS managers valuable resources but it will also help them with integration of quality and environmental components in their auditing processes.
- Understand the real purpose of ISO 45001
In order to effectively implement this standard it is important to understand how your organisation can be familiarise themselves on all the requirements and align these with their objectives and improvement of workers health and safety and find out what it really means for them. ISO45001 will also have different business implications for different businesses and organisations that will prosper will be the ones who learn to leverage it better than their competitors.
- Examine and compare it to your current system
Standards and systems that are already in place need to be carefully examined and compared to the ISO 45001. For organisations that are already using the ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 the core language and definitions have already been adopted and this transition can be made much smoother. iComplied can assist here with the incorporated checklist library containing the ISO standards and as such speed up the process of locating the checklists and execution of the audits in an App.
- Start engaging with the stakeholders
For safety professionals,this could lead to both an organisational and a cultural change, therefore it is important to get different perspectives while encouraging leadership and safety oriented culture. iComplied allows the companies to encourage the internal communications between different users in the system and elso to engaged external consultants for ultime bottom line improvement from quality compliance management and increased transparency and credibility.
- Determine priorities and establish goals
The implementation of the standard is not effective if the organisation has not mapped out it’s goals and objectives first as these will be imperative to the success of the implementation. These priorities and goals can be measured and aligned over time. iComplied allows its users to benchmark and track the compliance of ISO 45001 over a period of time and as such helps organisations with strategic decision making by identifying where the compliance issues are and what is causing them.
- Improve tools of compliance
With the transition to the new global standard, the overall improvement should also be reflected in the choice and implementation of an automated software that will align with and support organisation’s priorities and objectives. iComplied can centralise all your data in one system, and automate ISO audits that were previously done in Excel.
If you’d like to learn more about paperless compliance for your ISO 45001 needs, iComplied offers an easy-to-use mobile platform at a reasonable price so that the upfront time and money needed to switch over to this new and improved method for conducting internal audits is minimal.