The ISO 45001 Standard

ISO 45001 is the most widely recognised occupational health and safety standard in the world. It integrates with occupational health management systems to provide a comprehensive approach to workplace safety, enhancing business reputation and providing access to ISO 45001 certified tenders.

The ISO 45001 standard is designed to improve staff wellbeing and reduce the risk of harm to employees, the public and contractors by improving workplace safety. It was created by the International Organization for Standardization and requires organisations put in place processes, systems and controls to reduce the risk of work-related accidents and ill-health.

What is ISO 45001?

Launched in March 2018, the ISO 45001 standard is an internationally recognised standard for health and safety management systems. It demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to controlling its health and safety risks and eliminating work-related accidents.

The standard provides a systematic approach to engaging employees and contractors in preventing injuries and ill health, and ensures you are compliant with legal and contractual requirements. ISO 45001 is suited to different sectors and types of organisation – including SMEs, charities, corporates and public sector – that are committed to workplace health and safety.

Our ISO 45001 consultant services

The ISO 45001 standard provides a best practice approach to improving health and safety in your workplace and ensuring you remain legally compliant with relevant health and safety legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. UKAS accredited ISO 45001 certification is increasingly a requirement of working with large organisations, especially in fields such as construction, building, facilities management, development, agriculture, manufacturing and maintenance sectors.

Our ISO 45001 consultants have helped hundreds of UK organisations achieve UKAS accredited SO 45001 certification. Our ISO consulting services range from initial assessment and impartial advice to the full implementation of a health and safety management system.

Find out about our ISO consultants and our fixed-price ISO 45001 certification services.

What is an occupational health and safety management system?

ISO 45001 provides a framework for improving any organisation’s health and safety performance by detailing requirements for 11 key success factors for any health and safety management system.

  • Top management leadership, commitment, responsibilities and accountability.
  • Top management involvement in developing, leading and promoting a culture in the organisation that supports the health and safety management system.
  • Communication.
  • Consultation and participation of employees and contractors.
  • Allocation of resources to implement and maintain the health and safety management system.
  • Alignment of health and safety policies with the overall strategic objectives and direction of the organisation.
  • Processes for identifying hazards, controlling risks and taking advantage of improvement opportunities.
  • Continual performance evaluation and monitoring of the management system to improve health and safety performance.
  • Integration of the health and safety management system into the organisation’s business processes.
  • Health and safety objectives that align with the policies and take into account the organisation’s hazards, risks and improvement opportunities.
  • Compliance with its legal requirements and other requirements.

Learn more about our ISO consultancy services, ISO audits and full ISO outsourcing services.

Interested in other ISO standards?
    • ISO 9001 – Quality management standard that demonstrates an organisational commitment to product and service quality.
    • ISO 14001 – Environmental management standard designed to reduce waste and lower an organisation’s environmental impact.
    • ISO 17025 – Testing management standard the demonstrates testing integrity and independence.
    • ISO 22301 – Business continuity management standard that reduces the impact of disruption on organisational activities.
    • ISO 27001 – Information security management systems standard designed to reduce IT and IS risks and lower data threats.
    • ISO 50001 – Improve energy efficiency across operations, premises, transport and industrial processes.

Find out more

ISO 45001 can help any size or type of organisation that wants a simple and clear system for protecting the health and safety of its employees and contractors. It will enhance your reputation as a responsible employer and demonstrate compliance with health and safety legislation.

The more significant the hazards present in the environment that you operate in, the more that you will benefit from ISO 45001. Suppliers to high-risk sectors will often find themselves needing to demonstrate their compliance with a wide range of policies and procedures. Having ISO 45001 allows you to leapfrog many complex questions on contracts and tenders.

Our ISO 45001 consultants can help you maximise the benefits of a quality management system and we guarantee ISO 45001 certification through our consultancy services.

Here are four key ways that ISO 45001 standards certification can help.

1. ISO 45001 enables you to increase your sales by expanding your customer base by meeting the requirements of certain customers.

Large organisations cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to health and safety. To help manage risks, these organisations are increasingly likely to insist that their suppliers are ISO 45001 certified or similar. Often, suppliers are expected to have ISO 45001 as a prerequisite to winning contracts and tenders. If you undertake any work on behalf of a customer on one of their sites, you will significantly help them by having safe systems of work that are legally compliant. Equas clients have won significant new business that they would not have otherwise acquired without the ISO 45001 standard.

2. Reduce workplace accidents and reduce cost

ISO 45001 can enable you to reduce your risk of accidents and in turn reduce business disruption and employee absence. Providing a safe working environment where everyone feels secure and confident in carrying out their duties, has a positive effect on productivity and morale. If your organisation is certified to ISO 45001 by a SSIP approved UKAS-accredited certification body, it will automatically satisfy the requirements of all other SSIP schemes. This means that if you pay the registration fee to join any one of the schemes you will not need to undergo an initial assessment audit or any annual surveillance audits.

3. Reduce your operating risk

The Health and Safety Executive are becoming less tolerant of organisations that breach health and safety law. Furthermore, employees are ever more likely to seek compensation for accidents at work. Having a robust health and safety system certified to ISO 45001 will reduce the likelihood of prosecutions and insurance claims. This will in turn lead to lower insurance premiums and reduce the likely frequency of visits by the Health and Safety Executive.

4. Strengthen your brand image

In a competitive environment, organisations can differentiate themselves through demonstrating that they operate responsibly and professionally. Being certified to ISO 45001 increases the likelihood that customers and other third parties will have a positive image of your organisation and your brand.

ou need to make a decision about whether to use a UKAS-accredited or non-UKAS accredited certification body. You need to ensure you are satisfying your current and potential customers’ requirements for UKAS certification.

1. Decide how you will operate and maintain your management system documents and records, such as PC, local server or specialist health and safety management system software such as our Activ software system:

  • The extent of the legislation that applies to your business and the health and safety requirements of your customers. If this is large, then implementing ISO 45001 will significantly improve the control you have in these areas and the potential reductions you can achieve in insurance costs and permit charges.
  • How well you exploit your ISO 45001 certification in your marketing and PR materials.

2. Commence the Project:

  • Ensure you have buy-in from key colleagues.
  • Carry out a Gap Analysis of your current system against the certification requirements.
  • Plan the project including resources and timescales.
  • Appoint a Certification Body.

3. Project Implementation:

  • Project manage to ensure key milestones and deadlines are met.
  • Complete risk assessments covering all the activities covered by your system scope.
  • Complete a legal compliance assessment.
  • Create appropriate documents to control your significant health and safety risks (e.g. permits to work, operating procedures; safe working instructions).
  • Train your employees in the policies, procedures, risk assessments and control measures that are relevant to them.
  • Carry out an Internal Audit and close out any significant actions identified.
  • Complete your first Management Review meeting.

Undergo a certification audit by a UKAS-accredited certification body. This audit will be split into two visits. The first visit will review your system documentation (referred to as a Stage 1 audit). The second visit will audit your records, interview employees and assess whether you have effectively implemented your system (referred to as a Stage 2 audit).

Our ISO 45001 consultant team carry out independent ISO 45001 audits prior to applying for certification.

There is a strong link between having a robust health and safety management system and superior long-term business performance. The return you make on your investment in implementing and maintaining an ISO 45001 certified Health and Safety Management System depends on a number of factors:

  • The extent of the legislation that applies to your business and the health and safety requirements of your customers. If this is large, then implementing ISO 45001 will significantly improve the control you have in these areas and the potential reductions you can achieve in insurance costs and permit charges.
  • How well you exploit your ISO 45001 certification in your marketing and PR materials.

If you are currently certified to OHSAS 18001, you will be able to transfer to ISO 45001 provided you make changes to your existing system so that it complies with the new requirements in ISO 45001. You will have to transition to ISO 45001 by March 2021.

Please contact us if you would like advice and support on how to amend your current Health and Safety Management System to comply with the requirements of ISO 45001:2018.

We want to ensure that our customers achieve the key benefits of investing in becoming ISO certified, particularly with respect to:

  • Winning tenders with government bodies and blue-chip organisations
  • Reducing their risk status with regulatory bodies
  • Lowering insurance premiums and improving productivity

For this reason, we strongly recommend that organisations achieve certification with a UKAS-accredited body. Whilst we remain impartial on the certification body our customers use, we always strongly advise them against using a non-accredited body. Non-accredited certification or “self-certification” is highly likely to be rejected by potential customers.

For more details on the potential consequences of not selecting the UKAS-accredited route to certification, click on the links to the articles below.

Case Studies

For more information, see our Case Studies:

How can ISO in a Box™ help you?

We can help you achieve ISO 45001 certification whatever your industry sector. If you need to meet the requirements of other standards alongside, we specialise in building integrated systems.

Contact us now to find out how to achieve ISO 45001, discuss your requirements or to obtain a fixed-price quotation with guaranteed certification.