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How to address and implement OH&S opportunities in ISO 45001:2018?

Sidney Vianna

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For example:

  • New types of Personal Protective Equipment - PPE.
  • Deployment of technological solutions to reduce hazards, such as robotic equipment for high risk and/or repetitive work.
  • Outsourcing of work with high risk to external sources which have better resources to deal with such hazards.
Hello !

Safetyofficergroup7, in ISO 45001 annex, § A.6.1.1 gives examples of OH&S "opportunities" :

"Planning is not a single event but an ongoing process, anticipating changing circumstances and continually determining risks and opportunities, both for the workers and for the OHSMS.

Undesired effects can include work-related injury and ill health, noncompliance with legal requirements and other requirements, or damage to reputation.

Planning considers the relationships and interactions between the activities and requirements for the management system as a whole.

OH&S opportunities address the identification of hazards, how they are communicated, and the analysis and mitigation of known hazards. Other opportunities address system improvement strategies.

Examples of other opportunities to improve OH&S performance:
a) inspection and auditing functions;
b) job hazard analysis (job safety analysis) and task-related assessments;
c) improving OH&S performance by alleviating monotonous work or work at a potentially hazardous pre-determined work rate;
d) permit to work and other recognition and control methods;
e) incident or nonconformity investigations and corrective actions; f) ergonomic and other injury prevention-related assessments.

Examples of other opportunities to improve OH&S performance:
- integrating OHS requirements at the earliest stage in the life cycle of facilities, equipment or process planning for facilities relocation, process re*design or replacement of machinery and plant;
- integrating OHS requirements at the earliest stage of planning for facilities relocation, process re-design or replacement of machinery and plant;
- using new technologies to improve OH&S performance;
- improving the OHS culture, such as by extending competence related to OHS beyond requirements or encouraging workers to report incidents in a timely manner;
- improving the visibility of top management’s support for the OHSMS;
- enhancing the incident investigation process(es);
- improving the process(es) for worker consultation and participation;
- benchmarking, including consideration of both the organization’s own past performance and that of other organizations;
- collaborating in forums that focus on topics dealing with occupational health and safety.

Yes "risks and opportunities" and its determnation-assessment-control process shall be documented (see especially the end of § 6.1.1 and § But ISO 45001 does not induce any particular way of evaluating the opportunities that arise... everyone is free to use his own method(s) to decide or not the actions he could launch to improve his activities.

Note: ISO 9001 is less demanding than ISO 45001 or 14001 about opportunities. Indeed ISO 9001 has no requirement for evaluation, process or documentation of the (risks and) opportunities.

Best regards.
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