Overall, the elements to be considered during the transition include the following:
1) Define the context of the organization. This is a new standard and requires special awareness because it acts as the basis for your new Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OH&SMS). Many other standards of ISO with HLS (High-Level-Structure) also require the context to be defined, but every ISO standard has its scope and the context of the information be different; for example, ISO 9001 will cover the issues related to product quality and customer satisfaction. Although the standards have different scopes, the same process for the context of an organization can be defined – only the different issues will be analyzed and solved.
2) List all interested parties. Although it pertains to the same clause as the Context of the organization, it is something new in the standard and should be considered carefully. Listing all the interested parties and their expectations need to be identified and will help the organization to adjust its strategic direction.
3) Review the scope of the OH&SMS. The transition is a good moment to consider to increase the credibility of your organization defining your existing scope of the OH&SMS by obtaining Occupational Health and Safety Management System Certification.
4) Demonstrate leadership. The requirements are similar to those in the previous version for management commitment, but the new version puts greater emphasis on leadership. Demonstrate leadership through taking accountability for the OH&SMS, providing resources, and establishing an OH&S Policy and objectives.
5) Align OH&S objectives with the company’s strategy. Your OH&SMS must be compatible with your management process and the strategic direction of the company, the objectives must aim and be clear in the same direction as other activities to achieve the goal of the company. Also, one of the requirements in ISO 45001 is to create plans for achieving the objectives.
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6) Assess risks and opportunities. According to the new standard with the High-Level-Structure, the risks and opportunities must be addressed and resolved as early as possible without any delays to improve the manufacturing process. They focus on the ability of an organization to achieve intended results, but also on other parts of the system, such as the context of the organization, compliance obligations, and occupational health and safety hazards. Once the risks and opportunities are identified, the organization needs to develop plans and procedures for addressing them without any delay.
7) Identify and evaluate OH&S hazards. The transition to a new version of the standard is a great chance to evaluate and analyze your occupational health and safety hazards. Although is a good opportunity to review the effectiveness of the existing controls and make necessary improvements.
8) Determine the compliance obligations. The regulatory requirements for complying with OHSAS 18001 need to be determined to implement ISO 45001. In addition to these requirements for compliance of ISO 45001 certification, it includes interested parties and their needs and expectations to be observed as compliance obligations.
9) Control documented information. This new term refers to both procedures and records. Besides aligning your old procedures to the new clause of the standard, the transition process should be implemented for improving your existing documentation. Organizations now have more liberty after digitalization in deciding how to document and manage their documented information avoiding any misuse and manipulation; one of the alternatives is to use e-documentation and avoid the paper form as much as possible.
10) Operational control. The new version requires better control of the management processes, including operating, implementing and analyzing, and improving controls of processes according to the criteria. The new standard brings additional changes in the operational controls to the management, outsourcing, procurement, and contractors.
11) Performance evaluation. This means that you need to determine the goals of an organization to monitor and comply with the standard requirement. The main motto is to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of your OH&SMS in an organization.
12) Measurement and reporting. The new standard strongly emphasizes the importance of measurement and reporting, especially regarding the above-mentioned performance evaluation. Besides, internal audit and management evaluation are very useful tools for determining the performance of the OH&SMS in an organization, and they also need to be aligned and designed accurately with the new standard. Although the techniques for conducting the internal audit there are changes in the input elements of the management review and requirements to be audited during the internal audit.
Our methodology of smart transition
Considering all the above-mentioned factors, our module of smart transition shall include the following steps. These are the suggested steps to be followed in the transition and their order, for a successful transition to the new version standard:
1. Initial gap analysis: This will be done to analyze the existing degree of conformity of the current OH&SMS implemented within the client organization. The thorough diagnosis shall reveal the areas that are either missed-out or are feeble to demonstrate the conformity to ISO 45001:2018. A detailed gap analysis report shall be generated and explained to the operating stakeholders of the OH&S system within the organization.
2. Filling the identified gap: A detailed explanation of gaps will be given to the operating stakeholders of the OH&SMS. Additional procedures and forms might be required to be developed, based on the findings of the gap analysis. In all cases, the synchronization will be done through the appropriate documentation of the manual which provides links to other documentation and activities performed as per ISO 45001 standard.
3. Preparation of documentation: Additional procedures and forms, if needed, have to be developed. However, we shall document the appropriate OH&S manual (or amend an existing IMS manual if that exists). This manual shall be the core document to guide how the organization caters to the requirements of ISO 45001 Certification.
4. Implementation of processes and procedures: Based on the observed coverage of the old OH&S management system and the reported gaps, the newly created documents have to be ensured for thorough implementation. We shall guide the operators on such implementation activities.
5. Conclusion of complete transition: This is done through the internal audit which verifies all elements of ISO 45001 standards and identifies the residual areas that still do not conform to the new standard. The areas will be identified as nonconformities.