Getting on with the ISO 45001 Transition

Internationally, there have been many attempts to identify the success factors for effective Health and Safety programmes and develop the relative management systems.

New Zealand business has primarily followed the AS/NZS 4801, 4804 and the OHSAS 18001 for measurement, application, and verification of management systems.

But with the withdrawal of the NZS 4801 programme and imminent removal of OHSAS 18001 programme, businesses face a systems verification dilemma.

Since the implementation of the HSW Act 2015, one national key audit process has been developed (the Safe Plus programme) and the internationally recognised ISO 45001 which was developed as an international standard by multiple business and trade unions.

With many common elements to the OHSAS 18001 and AS/NZS 4801 systems, organisations that retain either certification should be in a good position to transition to the ISO 45001 requirements.

Additionally, the base requirements for ISO 14001 (Environmental) and ISO 9001 (Quality) are shared in the system structure which allows business a head start to these additional standards if desired.

ISO 45001 Transition - Intesafety


Many businesses will ask: what’s in it for me? (WiiFM)

Given the imminent withdrawal of the previous audit standards and subsequent certification, ISO 45001 is the natural heir apparent.

Clients, stakeholders and other PCBU will be looking for a recognised certification to enable the company into an application for tender process or simply as fulfilling their PCBU obligation to ensure engaged PCBU have a measure of competence to undertake works.

For PCBU contractors, they have long known of the labyrinth of pre-qualification requirements from individual clients – some require certification under a specific pre-qualification programme, other PCBU a differing one. This has been a waste of PCBU resourcing that has required duplication of work and productivity loss.

While it cannot be guaranteed that the existing pre-qualification processes will be entirely removed once ISO 45001 certification has been confirmed, initial indicators are that national and local government agencies will be looking for ISO 45001 certification as a pre-requisite for tendering purposes.

What has changed?

Companies that already have either AS/NZS 4801 or 18001 are well placed for ISO 45001 transition.

An integrated H&S, HS&E or HSEQ that is fit for purpose and proportional to the company size and activity is important. The audit standards have additional focus in the following areas:

  • Context of the organisation – internal and external business factors that may provide risk and opportunities
  • Detailed scope of the management system
  • Senior management visibility in H&S matters, KPI established for all levels and adherence measured (SMART model)
  • Integration of health and safety requirements into business systems, rather than operating on the side
  • Increased worker participation
  • Greater focus on contractor management, including suppliers of product, plant, or equipment and how the Primary PCBU is managing them to verify
  • Better risk identification, analysis and controls, looking for safety in design, engineering out of risk, life cycle thinking
  • Requirement for better data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Improved focus on health surveillance
  • Qualifications of staff to manage business functions
  • Moving beyond compliance to integrate safety into all business functions

Our HSEQ Software Platform – InControl

At Intesafety, we’re proud of successfully producing integrated health and safety management systems specific to each business’ risks, that are compliant with the requirements of both AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001.

We are now developing our processes to include an HSE(Q) option for those companies that require ISO 14001 and 9001 compliant systems.

In association with our partner INX software, we can also provide an integrated HSEQ management software solution that has world leading HSEQ functionality, oversight and performance reporting capabilities.

Please call us to discuss your needs and how we can support your workplace HSEQ management systems development with ease.

ISO 45001 Transition - Intesafety

Written by Aaron Neighbours.

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