A 10 Step Action Plan for Safety Management Implementation

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To thrive in today’s competitive global market, businesses need to ensure they manage all their Occupational Health and Safety risks. ISO 45001:2018 has been developed by a committee of Occupational Health and Safety experts who have set out best-practice advice and guidance.

ISO 45001:2018 emphasises risk and expects organisations to identify workplace hazards and address them, with the aim of improving your organisation’s OH&S performance. This makes ISO 45001:2018 one of the most valuable Health and Safety Management Systems available.

Download our FREE Guide on Preparing for ISO 45001:2018 Implementation and use our readiness checklist to guide your project.


The Health & Safety Management System 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
  • Management review
  • Continual improvement


If you are planning on implementing an Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Management System using the requirements of ISO 45001:2018, you will need to take steps towards ensuring your system is implemented right the first time. Although the steps we highlight below are not guaranteed to help you pass your audit, they will go a long way saving you time and keeping your project on track.

1. Get top management support

How will you go about achieving critical support from top management? Safety professionals and Risk Managers should understand the standard’s requirements and how it can positively impact the company’s bottom line. Armed with these insights, you can develop a strong business case for why your organisation should implement the standard.  

For guidance on the differences between OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 45001:2018, click here to read our blog Migrating from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001:2018?

2. Know the legal requirements  

Do you know all the health and safety laws applicable to your industry? Section 6.1.3 of ISO 45001:2018 outlines the requirements for knowing and maintaining your compliance, so that your implementation will succeed.

3. Define the scope of the OH&S Management System

Is your OH&S management system applicable to your entire enterprise or only one location of a multi-location company? This is critical for writing your OH&S Policy, that will guide your OH&S Management System.

4. Define processes and procedures

What processes and procedures need to be defined to control OH&S hazards? How will you identify them? What risk assessment do you need to do? What can be controlled through proper training and awareness?

5. Implement the OH&S processes and procedures

What do you need to do to put into place the processes and procedures from Step 4? How will you roll-out and manage the additional responsibilities that some employees will now have?

6. Train your employees 

How will you make your employees aware of the ISO 45001:2018 requirements? Will they attend training sessions and where? Who needs to be trained? It is important that everyone knows how they fit into the OH&S Management System structure and what is required of them.

7. Keep records

What do OH&S records tell you about your processes? Do you need to modify anything through your corrective action process? Do your employees understand what they need to do or is further training needed? Do you see areas for improvement and how can you take advantage of this?  

8. Conduct internal audits

Internal audits are the tools you use to check each of your processes. What are they telling you? Are your records adequate to show the process is working? Are there any problems that you need to fix with the corrective action process? Do some areas need more frequent audits?

9. Conduct a management review

Is your OH&S Management System functioning as expected? Is it properly implemented and effective? Are improvements being made and are adequate resources being supplied to the effort?

10. Corrective actions

Are there problems in your OH&S Management System you need to fix?  Use your corrective action process to find the root cause of the problem and address this cause with corrective action.

Download our FREE Guide on Preparing for ISO 45001:2018 Implementation and use our readiness checklist to guide your project!


Take the time to create a good project plan and ensure adequate resources are applied from the start. Having a project plan will help to make sure that implementation runs smoothly and prevent wasting time and resources.

Do you need assistance with training, Gap Analysis or developing a project plan?

Risk ZA can assist you with a number of consulting interventions, project planning, and bespoke Onsite and Public Training courses. For assistance, please contact our expert consultants on +27 (0) 31 569 5900 OR email info@riskza.com.

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ISO 45001:2018 – How to become an OHS Auditor

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ISO 45001:2018 has been heralded as a ‘game changer’ in the world of voluntary safety management standards. Earlier this year, ISO 45001 was approved by voters of countries from around the world, and has been praised by the American Society of Safety Professionals as a ‘watershed moment’. It is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational health and safety risks.

The addition of ISO 45001 to the suite of ISO management system standards reinforces that Occupational Health & Safety is a key area of business performance for organisations, and that OH&S is about a lot more than legal compliance. When it is well integrated into the management of an organisation, good OH&S management is an enabler and an asset for a business rather than a cost.

To assist you in understanding the requirements for an ISO 45001:2018 OHS Management System Auditor, we have created a free guide with points from ISO 19011:2018: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Key considerations in the new standard

  • Setting the organisational context. Organisations will have to look beyond their own health and safety issues and consider what society expects from them, in regard to health and safety issues.
  • Increased top management accountability in a number of areas.  
  • Worker engagement. Siloed management systems have hampered effective OH&S management, and in respect of ISO 45001 workers need the opportunity to contribute and participate in all aspects of the Health & Safety Management System.  
  • Communication and risk management. ISO 45001 requires that risks and opportunities be established with all workers as part of the planning and implementation process of an OHSMS and that consultation be ongoing.

Auditing of Occupational Health & Safety management systems forms an important part of the process to demonstrate continual improvement. Continual improvement is a core component of every ISO management system. ISO 45001 further refines this, and ‘preventive action’ now becomes a distinct concept of the system as a whole. This means organisations will need to adopt a systemic approach for measuring and monitoring OH&S performance and compliance on a regular basis, as an integral part of the management system function.

Auditors needed for ISO 45001 OHS Management systems

As more organisations move towards seeking validation of their management system against ISO 45001, the demand for auditors will continue to rise. Whether you are new to safety management systems or transitioning from OHSAS 18001, the journey towards becoming a competent ISO 45001 auditor begins by becoming familiar with:

  • The high level structure for management systems based on Annex SL and how this affects auditing.
  • The new requirements for understanding the organisation and its context and how they may be audited.
  • The new and enhanced requirements for leadership and worker participation and how this affects auditing.
  • Risk-based thinking in an OHSMS and how this extends to requirements for risks and opportunities and how these may be audited.
  • The changes from a procedural approach to a process approach and how they may be audited.
  • How to adapt your auditing technique to accommodate the new and amended requirements in ISO 45001:2018.
  • Migration time frames for ISO 45001 and their impact on existing OHSAS 18001 certified organisations.

How can Risk ZA assist you?

To encourage the internal and supplier auditing functions, Risk ZA has developed a practical 2 Day ISO 45001:2018 Auditing course. The course provides the theoretical and practical knowledge of OHS auditing required to determine the conformance of the management system arrangements and its performance; based on outcomes. Delegates complete practical exercises and other assessments which relate to the requirements of ISO 45001:2018, hazards and other significant factors which influence the organisations OHS performance.

Persons attending this course will be able to facilitate internal Occupational Health & Safety management system audits based on the ISO 45001:2018 Standard and the ISO 19011 Standard for management system auditing. Plan and facilitate audits, set and recommend corrective actions, follow up and close out audit findings.

This course is recommended for Occupational Health and Safety Practitioners, Line Managers, Supervisors, and Management.

Download our free guide

Uncover the tools necessary for an ISO 45001:2018 Auditor by downloading our FREE downloadable guide: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at info@riskza.com or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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