Integrating ISO45005 into your Existing OH+S System

ISO45005

ISO45005 Certification: How will it Benefit your Business?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally transformed the world of work disrupting typical operational practices across all sectors of business. It has become clear that continual and reactive improvements within the workplace are integral to protecting employees and business operations against the unpredictability of the pandemic. As a result, businesses have had to significantly adapt their typical working practice. But for many, this task of combatting the risks associated with COVID-19 have been and continue to be a daunting endeavour.

ISO45005 aims to make implementing a framework to tackle COVID-19 risks accessible to all organisations no matter their size or sector. The guidance provided is also suitable whether organisations are beginning new operations, resuming operations, or has been non-operational throughout the pandemic. If you already have ISO standards in place, it follows the same familiar framework to help organisations incorporate ISO45005 more easily.

Like other ISO standards, ISO45005 follows the Plan Do Check Act (or PDCA) cycle to ensure the processes implemented to tackle COVID-19 are always active and repeated. This systematic approach ensures the effective coordination of resources and efforts to ensure that organisations are constantly improving in their response to the uncertain nature of the pandemic.

Implementing ISO45005 will benefit your business in 3 key ways, as outlined within the document:

  • It will provide an essential guideline for your organisation to take effective action to protect your workers and other interested parties against the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • It will allow you to demonstrate to all interested parties that your business is addressing COVID-19 risks using a systematic approach.
  • It will enable your business to establish an operative framework that enables you to adapt in a timely manner to the volatile situation.

Can ISO45005 Integrate into your Existing OH&S system?

ISO45005, following the same PDCA cycle format as ISO45001 has been specifically designed to integrate seamlessly into your pre-existing occupational health and safety system. Therefore, your organisation can ensure it is prioritising preventing the spread of COVID-19 without the added pressure of completely overhauling your existing OH+S practices. However, tackling the novel risks associated with COVID-19 inevitably means that some of your existing OH+S processes may require alteration.

Let us consider a real example and look at how implementing ISO45001 may alter your pre-existing ‘Emergency preparedness and response’ processes (Clause 8.2, ISO45001). When planning for these events, it is now essential that organisations focus on mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 through new measures such as, social distancing. Therefore, when considering your pre-existing processes, it is crucial that you are evaluating and adapting these as necessary after simulation testing and/or the occurrence of real emergency situations to ensure you are prioritising minimising the spread of COVID-19.

In practice, however, with emergency situations where individuals may need to be evacuated from the workplace such as, fires it is hard to enforce these new social distancing measures. Thus, when planning for these exercises, it is vital that you ensure additional safety controls and measures are also in place if these guidelines cannot be maintained. For example, individuals that play a key role in providing assistance to others in emergency situations should take immediate hygiene measures following emergency events such as, handwashing and sanitising.

As with all unexpected circumstances, the key is to react in a timely manner and to bring your team on board to any adaptations to your procedure required. With flexible software like Jomo247, it is easy to track existing procedures against new standards, or to update your procedures to meet new requirements or in response to unexpected change, without requiring intensive training for your staff. 

 

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