What does ISO 45001 mean for safety engagement?

1 December 2019 · SaferMe team

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In March the highly anticipated ISO 45001 standard was released and as organisations look to integrate the new standard into their work – or at least understand the best practices it brings – there are questions arising about what it means for one of safety’s biggest challenges: driving safety engagement.

Key themes of ISO 45001
What differentiates ISO 45001 from previous safety management standards at a high level is its shift to a more process-driven, dynamic system that involves all interested parties in safety. (Read more here on ISO website.)
In terms of engaging workers with safety – there are several important takeaways:

  • Prevention of harm through empowering workers with information is at the heart of the standard
  • Worker consultation and participation in the system: all workers must be included, not just management
  • Active involvement of senior management: promoting and protecting the health and safety of workers is the fiduciary responsibility of the leadership – this includes subcontractors and outsourced operations

What does this mean for your organisation?
To be successful with safety engagement, and with ISO 45001, your organisation must have an effective and efficient process for identifying and communicating safety hazards, your workers must actively participate in the system, and your EHS management system must be integrated with other key business processes. The same goes for incident, near-miss, safety observations, inspections and other safety management reporting.

How can you achieve this?
Continuous proactive hazard identification is imperative. Workers, including subcontractors, must be made aware of any hazards or risks that are relevant to them and should have the ability to remove themselves from a situation that they consider to be dangerous. The effective flow of information between all staff and along the supply chain is fundamental.

This means that digital transformation of safety is paramount to driving better safety engagement and to aligning with ISO 45001. Workers need systems and tools in place to be able to easily contribute to and benefit from safety data and processes. The health and safety processes should be documented in a simple, accessible and user-friendly way, and continuously analysed and improved.

Senior management are accountable for eliminating any barriers to health and safety reporting and participation. Removing barriers, and terms such as “user-friendly” and “easily” should be at the core of all changes you make – because focusing on these means you’re focusing on workers themselves. This is the correct path to lead you to better safety outcomes, to improved productivity and to realising the wider benefits of a digital transformation of safety.

How can SaferMe help?
We can play a key role in helping you succeed with the digital transformation of your safety processes and provide a technical backbone to your efforts to comply with ISO 45001. These efforts help to transform safety from a cost center to a driver of shareholder value.

Our practical mission is mobilizing safety data to make people safer.  Our safety software delivers web & app-based tools which work proactively to keep employees and contractors safe – using a combination of data sharing, premium danger data, proximity alerting and easy-to-use mobile apps.

Engagement is a central theme to what we do – because workers who are engaged with safety are 7 x less likely to have a lost time safety incident (LTI) than non-engaged workers.

In addition, near-miss reporting, observations, audits, inspections and toolbox talks  can be progressed to the next level of efficiency and simplicity. We also integrate with existing safety databases and software so your can fit the solution to your needs.

Start your safety transformation journey today: Talk to one of our friendly team to get some assistance

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