A new ISO standard is now available – ISO 45002 – and it’s an important one for workplace safety professionals to be aware of. ISO 45002 is designed to help small to mid-level businesses implement the ISO 45001 standards with proper risk assessments and analysis. In a sense, this is the “how” to the “why” we have all been waiting for. Within ISO 45002 is guidance and examples for organizations to implement ISO 45001. It also complements the safety sign system implementation technical specification, ISO/TS 20559.
Goal of ISO 45002
As we all know, an organization is responsible for the occupational health and safety (OH&S) of its workers. This responsibility includes promoting and protecting their physical and mental health and for taking steps to protect others who may be affected by its activities. This is best achieved through an OH&S management system. ISO 45002’s main goal is to instruct businesses on how to implement one of these systems within their workplace.
In short, the standard gives guidance on the establishment, implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement of an OH&S management system that can help organizations conform to ISO 45001.
The OH&S management system approach that ISO 45002 addresses is founded on the concept of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). It can be applied to an OH&S management system and to each of its individual elements, as follows:
- Plan: determine and assess OH&S risks, OH&S opportunities and other risks and other opportunities that can influence the intended outcomes of the OH&S management system, establish OH&S objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the organization’s OH&S policy;
- Do: implement the processes as planned;
- Check: monitor and measure activities and processes with regard to the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives, and report the results;
- Act: take actions to continually improve the OH&S performance to achieve the
- intended outcomes.
The PDCA concept outlined above is an iterative process used by organizations to achieve continual improvement. This is intended to help companies implement the ISO 45001 standards effectively and to routinely maintain them as their workplace evolves.
ISO 45001 Is Important
ISO 45001 was created to drive solutions that will help improve workplace safety around the world. Implementing and adopting an OH&S management systems approach means that a company can benefit from:
- Reduced work-related injuries and fatalities.
- Eliminated or minimized OH&S risks.
- Improved OH&S performance and effectiveness.
- Increased worker engagement through their participation in the certification process.
- Demonstration of corporate responsibility and meeting supply chain requirements.
- Protection and improvement of brand reputation.
Prior to the launch of this standard, it was stated by Kathy Seabrook, member of the U.S. Delegation to PC 283/ISO 45001 and Vice chair of the U.S. ISO 45001 Technical Advisory Group (TAG), that, "ISO 45001 will level the playing field for worker safety and health in organizations and their supply chains around the world. It will also create opportunities for organizations to create value, integrating safety, health, quality, environmental and asset (maintenance) management using a consistent risk-based approach.”
ISO 45002 Relates to Safety Sign Systems
As your company looks to implement processes to continually improve workplace safety in line with ISO 45001 OH&S management system objectives, the ability to accurately communicate residual risks to workers, subcontractors and guests becomes critically important. Safety sign systems, as outlined in ISO/TS 20559, are an important part of that. When hazards can’t be eliminated from an area or designed out of a process, intelligently designed facility safety sign systems are a means to communicate residual risk and reinforce procedures, safety training and the use of PPE.
The primary objective of safety signing systems is to support the provisions of a safe and healthy workplace or public area. Systems should be in place to alert to:
- The nature of potential hazards in facilities and related to equipment, and how to avoid these potential hazards;
- The location of essential safety equipment and fire equipment;
- The accurate identification of materials and related safety precautions;
- Evacuation paths that lead persons to a place of safety.
You a Vantage Point Inside the Standards
Here at Clarion Safety, our involvement in the standards community has been at the leadership level in ANSI and ISO for over 30 years, and that includes being a part of the ISO 45001 development process. In fact, in addition to her other ANSI and ISO standards credentials, Angela Lambert, our Director of Standards Compliance, is a member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 283, responsible for the ongoing development of ISO 45001, as well as related standards, like ISO 45002. As part of our commitment to you, we’re happy to provide standards news and insight here on the Clarion Safety blog and in our Safety Resources section of our site.
If you have any questions or concerns when it comes to workplace and machinery safety and risk, feel free to contact our team of safety professionals today!
This blog was originally posted in November 2021 and has been updated with the latest news and insight.