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ISO 45001

Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS)

If you are looking to ensure your business has the right Health and Safety procedures in place, so that your staff and visitors are safe, then you have come to the right place.

When your business holds the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification, you demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have a safe working environment and are serious about adhering to the correct Health and Safety rules and regulations.

What is ISO 45001

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for an occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS).

Organisations worldwide recognise the need to provide a safe and healthy working environment that reduces the likelihood of accidents and demonstrates that they are actively managing risks.

Ultimately, it is a fantastic management system that aims to reduce health and safety risks within the workplace that puts the protection of employees’ health at the forefront of all processes and planning.

The standard is flexible and can be adapted to manage Occupational Health and Safety in a wide range of organisations including, large organisations and enterprises, medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public and not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) and charities.

Since March 2018, ISO 45001 has been the internationally recognised standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems in the workplace. It replaces and expands upon the guidelines in its predecessor, OHSAS 18001.

The new standard has been created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the global non-governmental organisation that coordinates 165 national standards bodies, including the British Standards Institution (BSI).

ISO 45001 certification was developed to provide a global standard for the systematic protection of employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases. This is a world in which, each year, there are over 2.7 million deaths and 374 million non-fatal injuries resulting in 4 or more days of absence from work.

Organisations are not required by law to implement ISO 45001 or any other similar management systems for that matter, but they can help provide a structured framework for ensuring a safe and healthy workplace. ISO 45001 adopts a risk-based approach that ensures it is effective and undergoes continual improvement to meet your organisation’s ever-changing systems and processes.

The ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems does not focus on product quality, but rather on good Health and Safety Management practices that will result in a safe working environment preventing work-related accidents and injuries for both employees and visitors.

Why ISO 45001

Why would a business need ISO 45001 certification?

Any organisation in any sector that wishes to make its Health and Safety Management as effective as possible can achieve this by implementing ISO 45001 into the business.

ISO 45001 isn’t just about having a loose collection of Health and Safety measures in place. By implementing the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, your business sets consistent standards for a coherent Health and Safety Management framework. Within this, you can organise all its rules, policies, processes, plans and practices.

Positions your business as industry leaders

When you implement the most up-to-date Occupational Health and Safety standards, your organisation will be recognised worldwide as an elite business. The ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System is a level of excellence that is acknowledged internationally and will help set you apart from your competitors.

Improves both individual and organisational safety

ISO 45001 has been widely anticipated by the business community all around the world. This is because it addresses the personal health and safety risks to the individual of any process or use of machinery within an organisation. This relates both to their mental health and physical safety within your workplace.

Increases trust in your business

Demonstrating that you are actively facilitating continuous improvement for your employees’ morale, safety and performance will make people trust you and your business, and hold you socially accountable for your staff’s well-being. When you are transparent and promote your corporate social responsibility efforts, this impact how the public, future employees and prospective clients see your business.

Prevent risk and hazards

Implementing ISO 45001 helps your business prevent risks as opposed to reacting to them once they are identified by others. The internal auditing system provides an ‘early warning system’ to help you spot potential threats to health and safety.

Improves managerial oversight

ISO 45001 ensures responsibility and ownership lies with the safety management personnel or top-level management. By having the involvement of the top-level leadership and a clearly communicated process for identifying risks and hazards, the Occupational Health and Safety of employees is continually improved over time.

ISO 45001 Requirements

What are the requirements to gain ISO 45001 certification?

ISO 45001 is broken down into clauses which are a set of guidelines. Below is a high-level summary of what you require in place to meet the requirements of your Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

The requirements of ISO 45001 consist of 10 clauses, of which the first three only describe the standard. Clauses 4 through to 10 contain the elements of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and include:

Context of the organisation

This section includes the general processes and requirements for an occupational health and safety management system, including the needs of all interested internal and external parties and issues.


It is important that the senior management team demonstrate and evidence their involvement and commitment to the development and maintenance of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and become champions of the system, by providing the necessary resources to protect workers from harm.


Planning for and identifying risks is central to any ISO certification. ISO 45001 is based on the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ cycle, where planning is used to set the actions in motion for how the system will work. At various points in time, there will be the need to ‘plan’ again. This includes the periodic planning for achieving objectives that are set and reviewed and changed.


Organisations shall determine and provide the necessary resources to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. These cover human resources, natural resources, infrastructure and financial resources. This is a very powerful requirement covering all OHSMS resource needs.


Organisations will need to plan how to implement change in a manner that does not introduce new (unforeseen) hazards or increase the Occupational Health and Safety Management System risks, whilst also identifying the opportunities for improving OHSMS performance that the change may enable.

Performance evaluation

Reviewing the performance of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System is key to making sure the system is a success. This will involve completing internal audits, documenting meetings, and gaining customer feedback on your business performance.


How you evidence improvements within the business can vary. You may have a register where you document all the complaints and issues with suppliers etc. Reviewing the effectiveness of issues is important as they help to make improvements and thereby reduce/stop these issues from happening again.

Achieving ISO 45001 in just five steps...

Achieving the ISO 45001 certificate is easier than you might think. At Synergos, we support all our clients from start to finish, guaranteeing a positive outcome. From developing your management system to being formally certified, and everything in between, our experienced consultants are there every step of the way.

We can help you to develop your Occupational Health & Safety Management System, implement it into your day-to-day business operations, prepare for your stage one audit, and be on hand to assist in making any amendments before completing your stage two audit. And we’ll continue to support you during your annual audits going forward.

How to get ISO 45001

Establish your ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System, gaining buy-in from the entire business. This includes examining your current procedures, carrying out risk assessments, identifying risks and opportunities, and developing controls.

UKAS is the national accreditation body for the United Kingdom and is appointed by the government to assess and accredit businesses against internationally recognised standards. It’s vital that the certifying body a business chooses to carry out its ISO audits is UKAS accredited, to evidence that the business is seriously committed to quality.

A UKAS accredited body has proven it complied with best practice and will deliver a competent and impartial service based on internationally recognised standards. Any customer or client looking for ISO 45001 certification from a supplier will typically want to see that the certification is UKAS accredited to ensure it’s credible.

Before the stage one audit, businesses must review their OHSMS to ensure that no vital information has been missed, cross-referencing against the standards laid out in ISO 45001.

It’s important during both the development of the OHSMS and the preparation for the stage one audit that everyone within the organisation is brought on board as the procedures, policies, and processes will affect everyone — and it’s the responsibility of the teams delivering managing day-to-day operations to keep documents up-to-date to ensure that an audit will be passed. 

An auditor from a UKAS accredited certification body will attend the site that is undergoing ISO 45001 implementation to carry out each of these audits. During the stage one audit, the auditor will check for preparedness for the stage two certification audit.

Audits can often seem daunting, but the stage 1 audit offers a clear view of how your ISO 45001 OHSMS is working within the business, and where improvements can be made in the case that any area does not meet what is specified in the framework. The feedback provided is invaluable in helping you not only grow and improve as a business but to go on to achieve your ISO 45001 certification. 

During the stage two audit, the auditor will return to comb through all the work you have done so far, expecting all recommendations from the stage one audit to be rectified. At this stage, this should just be a check that everything is in place, as the stage one audit will have highlighted any areas that do not meet the ISO 45001 criteria for the business.

If the stage two audit is successful, the business will receive its ISO 45001 certification.

The UKAS accredited certification body will return annually to ensure that the Occupational Health & Safety Management System still meets the specified standard and that the business still meets or exceeds the defined criteria. This ensures that Health and Safety is consistently maintained and delivered.

Gaining ISO 45001 accreditation should not just be for the sake of the certificate itself, but for continuous improvement and dedication to Health and Safety within the business. Therefore it’s vital that all the work that has gone into achieving the certificate does not go to waste, and that adherence to the OHSMS is maintained year-round.

You Can Put Your Trust in Our Team

You can put your trust in us, as we’ve worked hard to build a solid reputation helping clients like you achieve their business goals. Working across a wide range of business sectors, we collaborate with you to ensure a great outcome for everyone.

We guarantee*
we will get you through ISO 45001 certification or we will refund 100% of all monies paid to Synergos Consultancy.

*subject to our terms and conditions

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