Preparing For ISO 45002 – The How to Guide

By Clarion Safety Systems | 3rd Nov 2021

A new ISO standard is in development – ISO 45002 – and it’s an important one to watch for workplace safety professionals. ISO 45002 is being designed to help small to mid-level businesses implement the previously released ISO 45001 standards from 2018 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 will be guidance and examples for organizations to implement ISO 45001, and it will also complement the safety sign system implementation technical specification, ISO/TS 20559.

What ISO 45002 Is Looking to Achieve
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.

The OH&S management system approach that ISO 45002 will be addressing, 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.

Why 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.”

How ISO 45002 Will Relate 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.

Standards Insiders
As we receive more information on ISO 45002’s development, we’ll provide new insider updates to keep you in the know. 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 here at Clarion Safety, is a member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 283, responsible for the ongoing development of ISO 45001. Through that effort, Angela has recently accepted a role to be part of a working group that’s helping with the drafting process of ISO 45002.

In the meantime, 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!