New OHS Standard ISO 45001 Update Reply

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on the development of ISO 45001, a new standard aimed at providing organizations with an established framework for preventing ill health, preventing workplace injuries, and providing a healthy and safe workplace.

ISO 45001 is now in the final draft stage international standard (FDIS).  The ballot on the FDIS must be completed by January 25, 2018.  If it is successful, it could be published as an approved standard in March 2018. The new ISO 45001 standard will replace OHSAS 18001 as the primary standard for occupational health and safety. It is noted to be an improvement on OHSAS 18001, credited to the new standard’s risk-based approach. ISO 45001 will also align with the new ISO standards format, Annex SL, facilitating integration of ISO systems and enhancing their roles in operations and business strategy.

Organizations that are currently certified to OHSAS 18001 will need to transition to ISO 45001 within three years of its publication. Taking a systematic approach to data collection, process execution, and responsible party assignments during the transition will be key in achieving certification. Consider a data management and procedural excellence system like the EHS-DashboardTM to do so!

For answers to questions or help with the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, please contact Linda Swift at (508) 970-0033 x 1119, or at lswift@capaccio.com.

Management Systems Internal Audits – Going Beyond the Annual Physical Reply

EH&S Management systems standards are developed to proactively address and continually improve how to protect the environment and how to establish and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. The environmental management system, ISO 14001, and occupational health and safety management system, OHSAS 18001 – soon to be converted to the new ISO 45001, help to manage risks and take advantage of opportunities. Just as an annual EH&S audit can be related to an annual physical, internal systems audits can be related to the ongoing monitoring of your overall health. Working with a general practitioner to consistently improve a functional area of one’s health mandates a certain amount of effort. However, if this area is of highest risk to us, we will devote that time.

Commitment to internal auditing has huge potential for risk reduction and continual improvement, just as commitment to ongoing monitoring of your health. Part of this commitment is ensuring that your EH&S management system is functioning as intended to promote environmental protection and a safe and healthy workplace. Having an effective management system achieves this.

Management systems are most successful when all those affected in some capacity by the system embrace the procedures and best practices shared with them from the system – making the role of an internal auditor for management systems essential. They can act as another set of eyes to review operations and to act as the catalyst to best practices and improvement.

The internal auditor has the platform to point out an internal audit finding, such as emergency procedures not being executed as stated in documentation. They also have the responsibility to identify areas where there are opportunities for improvement, such as posting significant aspects in areas affected by those aspects to increase awareness.

In order to show continued improvement for an organization’s management system or an individual’s health, concrete evidence of steps taken to do so are very important. In a management system, objective evidence that procedures are being followed and are effective is a must-have. Internal audit findings are meant to take an organization’s EMS to the next level of best practices and demonstrate improvement of the system.

Having a management system, or working with a healthcare provider, won’t be of value if we simply carry on with business as usual. We cannot expect there to be improvements each time we have an annual appointment or audit without acting to correct or address issues identified. The value comes from embracing the guidance from the internal auditor or healthcare provider to see the most concrete improvements.

Embracing this guidance means continually improving the management system itself, and for this scenario, improving the preparation, execution, and documentation of internal audits. Managing audit documentation, corrective actions, and audit schedules in discrete, siloed, files leaves room for error and inconsistencies. Tools are now available to transform the way in which this is accomplished. A tool like the EHS-DashboardTM has the capability to schedule audits, log findings, communicate internally to address corrective actions, and store documentation, while simultaneously linking each piece together.

If you have questions about internal audits for management systems or how to implement tools to enhance your existing systems, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts. Linda Swift can be reached at lswift@capaccio.com or 978-621-6433 and Cristina Mendoza can be reached at cmendoza@capaccio.com or 774-249-2418.

New OHS Standard ISO 45001: Progress Towards Finalization Reply

Each year, nearly 2.2 million workers die as a result of an occupational injury or illness. This statistic is burdensome to organizations and society as a whole. To encourage a strong occupational health and safety program, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on the development of a new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Standard; ISO 45001. This standard aims to provide organizations with the framework to manage the prevention of work related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

ISO 45001 has been drafted to include many of the same concepts set forth in OHSAS 18001. The main differences between the two standards is that ISO 45001 has a much stronger focus on the context of an organization and requires top management to provide leadership in the development, management, and tracking of their company’s OHS Management System. It is expected that OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn once the new ISO 45001 standard is published. Organizations certified to OHSAS 18001 will need to transition to ISO 45001 within three years of its publication.

Currently the new OHS Standard is in its second draft. A preview of this version is currently available for review.  For the next four months, the OHS Standard will be undergoing the translation and ballot phase of the review process. If a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) is not required, the new ISO 45001 standard could be published as early as November 2017. If a FDIS is required, publication could be pushed back to the second quarter of 2018.

For more information please contact Bob King at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com or Katie Grasso at 508-970-0033 ext. 134 or kgrasso@capaccio.com.

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental System Standard Just Released Reply

The long awaited final version of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System standard has been released today.  The new ISO 14001:2015 standard, Environmental Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for Use, is available to download now from American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  Also, an updated Environmental Management Package that combines environmental management systems guidance standards is available for download from ANSI.

Some key changes relate to ensuring the environmental management system:

  • Integrates environmental management with organization’s overall strategic business planning
  • Strengthens the focus on leadership with greater specificity on management involvement
  • Includes proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
  • Improves environmental performance
  • Uses risk-based approach to environmental management
  • Demonstrates lifecycle approach when considering environmental aspects, including supply chain impacts/value assessment
  • Engages stakeholders
  • Includes a communications strategy
  • Follows ISO Annex SL format to facilitate integration with other ISO management systems standards.

Many companies choose to conduct a gap analysis to create an action plan for upgrading to the new version. CAPACCIO can assist with conducting a gap analysis, establishing an action plan, facilitating identification of solutions that appropriately address the new requirements, and providing resources to develop & implement documents and systems.

Please contact Lisa Wilk at 508-970-0033 ext. 112 or lwilk@capaccio.com or Linda Swift at 508-970-0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com for more information.