ISO 45002:2023

Occupational health and safety management systems — General guidelines for the implementation of ISO 45001:2018

A new ISO standard is now available – ISO 45002 – and it’s an important one for workplace safety professionals to be aware of.

The Goal of ISO 45002

As we all know, an organization is responsible for the occupational health and safety (OH&S) of its workers. This responsibility includes promoting and protecting their physical and mental health and for taking steps to protect others who may be affected by its activities. This is best achieved through an OH&S management system. ISO 45002’s main goal is to instruct businesses on how to implement one of these systems within their workplace.

In short, the standard gives guidance on the establishment, implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement of an OH&S management system that can help organizations conform to ISO 45001.

The OH&S management system approach that ISO 45002 addresses is founded on the concept of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). It can be applied to an OH&S management system and to each of its individual elements, as follows:

Determine and assess OH&S risks, OH&S opportunities and other risks and other opportunities that can influence the intended outcomes of the OH&S management system, establish OH&S objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the organization’s OH&S policy;
Implement the processes as planned;
Check: monitor and measure activities and processes with regard to the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives, and report the results;
Monitor and measure activities and processes with regard to the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives, and report the
Take actions to continually improve the OH&S performance to achieve the
intended outcomes.

The PDCA concept outlined above is an iterative process used by organizations to achieve continual improvement. This is intended to help companies implement the ISO 45001 standards effectively and to routinely maintain them as their workplace evolves.

How ISO 45002 Relates to Safety Sign Systems

As your company looks to implement processes to continually improve workplace safety in line with ISO 45001 OH&S management system objectives, the ability to accurately communicate residual risks to workers, subcontractors and guests becomes critically important. Safety sign systems, as outlined in ISO/TS 20559, are an important part of that. When hazards can’t be eliminated from an area or designed out of a process, intelligently designed facility safety sign systems are a means to communicate residual risk and reinforce procedures, safety training and the use of PPE.

The primary objective of safety signing systems is to support the provisions of a safe and healthy workplace or public area. Systems should be in place to alert to:

  • The nature of potential hazards in facilities and related to equipment, and how to avoid these potential hazards;
  • The location of essential safety equipment and fire equipment;
  • The accurate identification of materials and related safety precautions;
  • Evacuation paths that lead persons to a place of safety.