The international standard EN ISO 45001: 2018 for Health and Safety at Work

The international standard EN ISO 45001: 2018, defines the specifications that must be met by an Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OCD), which provides a framework for the management of Occupational Health & Safety issues, for the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions in an organization.

The implementation of an Occupational Health & Safety Management System that meets the requirements of the standard EN ISO 45001: 2018, contributes to the continuous improvement of the performance of an organization in matters of Health & Safety at Work, the fulfillment of the legal requirements of Health & Safety at Work and achieving the respective objectives.

The standard EN ISO 45001: 2018 can be applied to any organization regardless of its size or type of activities, without requiring specific performance criteria by the organization that applies it and without setting restrictions on the structure of the Management System Health & Safety at Work.
The EN ISO 45001: 2018 standard does not address issues such as product safety, asset safety and environmental impacts, which may arise or be related to Occupational Health and Safety risks.
Finally, the requirements of the standard EN ISO 45001: 2018 must be applied and met in their entirety by the Occupational Health & Safety Management System and without exceptions, so that the declaration of compliance with this standard is valid.

The structure of the standard EN ISO 45001: 2018 follows the guidelines Annex SL of the International Organization for Standardization and is therefore compatible with other standards such as EN ISO 9001: 2015, EN ISO 14001: 2015, EN ISO 27001: 2013.
This provides the ability to easily integrate its requirements into existing Quality Management Systems / Environmental Management Systems / Information Security Management Systems.
The contents of the standard EN ISO 45001: 2018 are divided into ten paragraphs as follows (High Level Structure):
1. Object
2. Standard references
3. Terms and definitions of concepts
4. Organization operating framework
5. Leadership and employee participation
6. Design
7. Support
8. Operation
9. Performance evaluation
10. Improvement
The first three paragraphs provide general information on the EN ISO 45001: 2018 standard and Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, including basic terminology for Occupational Health and Safety.
The next seven paragraphs describe requirements for the different functions of an Occupational Health & Safety Management System and its various stages of implementation.
These requirements are inspired by a logical set of application according to the systematic Plan – Do – Check – Act approach that repeatedly ensures the continuous improvement of the Occupational Health & Safety Management System.
The categorization of the requirements of the paragraphs of the standard based on the P-D-C-A improvement cycle approach is presented step by step as follows:
– Design of SDYAE that includes: the understanding of the operational framework of the organization, the identification and evaluation of risks and opportunities from the operational framework, the definition of actions to address risks and opportunities, the recognition of legislative and other requirements, the definition the scope of application of the Occupational Health & Safety Management System, the definition of OSH policy, the targeting of OSH, the recognition of the processes and resources required to achieve the objectives of OSH policy, the definition of roles and responsibilities within the SDYAE, the definition of the type and scope of control of contractors / subcontractors, the definition of change control, the definition of how to deal with emergencies. These requirements correspond to paragraphs 4-8 of the standard.
– Implementation of SDYAE, as designed in the previous phase with emphasis on eliminating risks and reducing the risk of OCD. The relevant requirements correspond to paragraph 8 of the standard
– Control of the results of the implementation of the SDYAE which includes: monitoring, measurement and evaluation of the performance of the SDYAE in relation to the target and the policy of the OSYAE, the internal inspections, the control of compliance with the legislation and the review of the results of the SDYAE by the administration. The relevant requirements correspond to paragraph 9 of the standard
– Implementation of actions for the improvement of SDYAE, through the investigation of OSH incidents, the treatment of non-compliances, the treatment of internal and external inspections, the implementation of good practices and improvement proposals. The relevant requirements correspond to paragraph 10 of the standard
We note that in all the above stages of implementation of the requirements of the standard the leading role of the supreme management is necessary, as well as employee participation and consultation. The diagram of the relationship between the paragraphs of the standard and the improvement cycle P-D-C-A is shown in the following figure:

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BSc in Computer Science, University of Crete, and MSc in International Marketing, University of London. She is experienced in auditing Management Systems and has been working for more than a decade in international group of companies, specializing in the sector of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Communication.
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