The Day of the Jackal was Over!

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Having seen implementation of ISO systems over the last 25 years ever since ISO 9001 in 1992, ISO 14001 in 1998, a safety management system with global recognition is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, the world didn’t see Occupational Health and safety the same way as Environment, quality, Energy. While there are many regional standards like OHSAS 18001 /ANSI Z 10 goes a very long way to bridge the requirements, ISO 45001 the occupational standard which was thought off over the last 6-7 years would help Safety standards get its place. The draft standards are released and voting to ratify and release as ISO 45001 Occupational Standard,now looks certain, (Barring a catastrophe) by II QTR 2018.

The new ISO 9001, 14001 standards revised in 2015 has given carte-blanche, that I am beginning to see certifications are withdrawn to companies post  audits. Companies are in mess and new norms are exposing the weakness that have been hiding in plain sight.  So the Day of the Jackal  is over! 

Even though, I am an Environmental Engineer by qualification,I strongly believe as I shaped my career over 33 years, that protecting people’s life and preventing injury and illness at work comes first, PERIOD. Yes,besides focusing on loss prevention to property  of the company matters significantly. “MAKING PROFITS” matter the most and is ultimate! So I see any effort of showcasing Environment, CSR, Sustainability, at the cost of providing a safe workplace is “HOGWASH”. 

So what are the changes we are looking at. I see new standards gives a lot of teeth to auditors to give value add bringing in improvements. Many companies, who had used ISO standards as separate entity in their business system, would find it surprising, that the new standards require an integrated approach to doing business. 

Specific to ISO 45001 as with any ISO management system, it calls for 1) Focused approach 2) People input on what is happening 3) Leadership and Inclusive engagement of all function 4) Customer needs 5) Process approach of Input—>Process—> Measurable outputs. 

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Elementary overview linkage to Annex SL !

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So here is simple guide to implement ISO 45001 when announced, as below, work this, thing should shape up better:-  The new standard,I would assume,would replace OHSAS 18001 or equivalent in 3 years from date of its publication. 

  • audit of system including assessment and assurance!
  • competence of people to carry out tasks safely
  • conformity to norms through compliance/conformance to requirements
  • consultation of all personnel to get one opinion alignment
  • continual improvement as journey of improvement never ends
  • contractor / Labor partner to align to values cohesion as one entity to results
  • corrective action for timely plan to address issues
  • documented information including record keeping
  • effectiveness vs Efficiency (Get effective things done efficiently)
  • hazard for potential harm awareness
  • incident reporting and investigation
  • injury and ill-health avoidance plans execution
  • interested party views beyond wall
  • legal requirements and other requirements to fulfill not lip service 
  • management system of PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) 
  • measurement even by proxy metrics and improve, what gets measured gets done
  • monitoring and course correction by data analysis
  • nonconformity avoidance
  • objective and Targets align to business metrics  
  •  opportunity for improvement, consultation, communication
  •  performance measurement, improvement
  • policy the leadership walk the talk engagement ownership
  •  risk, identification, mitigation 
  • Outsourcing, as required to build competence but responsibility remains cant be washed away! 
  • Performance measurement, evaluation, constant sharpen the saw
  • Participation by all, collective ownership
  • Procedure linkage to risk assessment as a mitigation tool
  • Risk ;the basics of any business management system, here occupational health & safety risks that can impact business! 
  • Top Management, Leadeship is the KEY! 
  • Worker is every one.
  • Workplace keep safe, healthy and productive.

Good luck and God bless



1545 Hrs. 


Author: Karthik B; Orion Transcenders. Bangalore.

Lives in Bangalore. HESS Professional of 30+ yrs experience. Global Exposure in 4 continents of over 22 years in implementation of Health, Environment, Safety, Sustainability. First batch of Environmental Engineers from 1985 Batch. Qualified for implementing Lean, 6Sigma, HR best practices integrating them in to HESS as value add to business.

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