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ISO 45001 – Clause 6.1.1: Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities

Compliance Management, ISO Standards, Management Systems, Occupational Health & Safety

The Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) of ISO 45001, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard was published in late November with the final version published on 12th of March 2018. The final standard was published with only very minor changes to the FDIS version. This is the ninth in a series of blogs, in which we describe what the implementing company must do in order to meet the requirement of the draft standard. We will look at clause 6.1: Actions to address risks and opportunities.

Clause 6: Planning

This clause provides guidance on how to plan for the OH&S management system, including identifying and assessing the risks and opportunities associated with the organization and its workers, and the actions necessary to deal with these risks and opportunities.

ISO 45001


Clause 6.1: Actions to address risks and opportunities


Clause 6.1.1 General

Planning is an integral part of all elements of an OH&S management system. Effective planning is concerned with prevention by identifying, eliminating and controlling hazards and risks. This is particularly important when dealing with health risks, which might only become apparent after a long gestation period. Planning should be a collaborative effort involving personnel throughout the organization. This co-operation is eminently suitable for demonstrating and gaining commitment to continual improvement and promoting a positive health and safety culture throughout the organization.

Planning for the OH&S management system is an ongoing process and is undertaken in order:

  • To determine the risks that can affect the OH&S performance of the organization;
  • To manage these risks;
  • To identify opportunities to improve OH&S performance and the OH&S management system.

When planning for the OH&S management system, the organization should take into account the following:

  • The organization and its context (clause 4.1);
  • The needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties (clause 4.2);
  • The scope of the OH&S management system (clause 4.3).

Planning should be proportionate to the level of risk identified.

While the organization should consider all potential risks to its OH&S performance it should focus on those hazards which are most likely to occur and/or have the greatest impact.

The company should concentrate on those opportunities that can realistically be acted upon, with priority given to those that are most likely to improve performance.

Examples of opportunities to improve OH&S performance include the following:

  • Identification of hazards, how they are communicated, analysed and controlled;
  • Enhancing the inspection and auditing functions;
  • Introduction of job safety analysis and task-related assessments;
  • Modification of working processes including the alleviation of monotonous and repetitive work;
  • Implementation of permit-to-work processes;
  • Incident or nonconformity investigations and corrective actions;
  • Implementation of ergonomic and other injury prevention-related assessments;
  • Integration of occupational health and safety considerations at the earliest stage in the design life cycle of plant and equipment;
  • Integration of occupational health and safety considerations at the earliest stage in planning for facilities relocation, and/or process redesign;
  • Introduction of new technology;
  • Improvement of the occupational health and safety culture of the organization;
  • Enhancing the visibility of top management’s support for the OH&S management system;
  • Enhancing the incident investigation process;
  • Improving worker consultation and participation;
  • Benchmarking of the organization’s OH&S performance against that of other organizations;
  • Collaborating in forums that review issues relating to occupational health and safety.

The organization must maintain documented information on:

  • Risks and opportunities;
  • The process and actions needed to determine and address its risks and opportunities to the extent necessary to have confidence that they are carried out as planned.
ISO 45001 , ISO Standard Update , Management System Updates , Occupational Health & Safety
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