ISO 45001

What is ISO 45001 - the health and safety management standard

The goal of the ISO 45001 standard is the promotion of good health and safety practises and the reduction of occupational injuries and diseases.  Given the increase in interest and focus over the last few years, hopefully unsurprisingly, this would also include promotion and protection of physical and mental health.


Interestingly, or perhaps otherwise, the health and safety equivalent to BS 5750 and BS 7750 was never published as a British Standard but as OHSAS 18001 in 1999.  Where OHSAS was an abbreviation of Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series.    Yet again the standard was adopted by International Standards Organisation and this time renamed ISO 45001 in 2018. 

How long does ISO 45001 take to get?

Many organisations, particularly those in the construction and manufacturing sectors, will already have robust and effective health and safety practises.  They couldn’t do their job, or win government or blue-chip contracts, without them.  Indeed, many of these practises may already be certified with organisations like; CHAS, Safe Contractor, Construction Line, SSIP and others.   In which case certification to ISO 45001 is likely to be quicker and easier.


A company of typically 30 to 50 staff operating from a single office might take somewhere between five and nine months to get certified.  If a company already has registration to a health and safety scheme like CHAS or Safe Contractor the timeline is likely to be short circuited.

What is the process for obtaining ISO 45001?

The stages in obtaining registration to ISO 45001 are likely to include:


  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Understanding the company’s core and non-core activities and any associated health safety risks
  • Understanding the ISO 45001 requirements
  • Understanding the company’s legal obligations with regard to health and safety
  • Examining your current system to determine gaps
    • Working to plug any gaps
    • Developing your legal register
    • Developing policies, procedures, processes, risk assessments, method statements and toolbox talks
  • Training staff in any new systems and processes
  • Undertaking a full and comprehensive audit of the system
  • Reviewing in detail the implementation process and the result of the audit in a management review meeting
  • Appointing the UKAS accredited certification body
  • Undertaking the stage one and two assessments

Who needs to be involved in the process?

The people that will need to be involved in an ISO 45001 initiative are likely to depend on the activities that you undertake, but as a general rule is likely to include:


  • The senior management team in order to develop and commit to the organisations health and safety objectives and targets
  • Relevant heads of departments; particularly those operational departments where there may be significant health and safety risk but also marketing, sales, and facilities
  • For construction and manufacturing companies it may also be necessary to include people like contracts managers, project managers, site managers, engineering managers, manufacturing managers and any associated staff involved in supervision
  • It may also be necessary to include the department heads of supporting activities; IT, HR and purchasing in order to understand how supporting activities assist in delivering company objectives and target

What happens after ISO 45001 certification?

Given the focus on health and safety in some sectors, particularly manufacturing and construction, as well as a legal imperative, there is a moral imperative, to maintain and improve health and safety systems.  This will mean:


  • Setting health and safety objectives and targets
  • Investigating and learning from near misses, accidents and incidents (nonconformances)
  • Creating and sharing “Safety Alerts” as a result
  • Undertaking management system audits
  • Potentially, undertaking project and site audits / inspections particularly for construction companies
  • Undertaking audits to check processes all continuing to deliver as expected and to ratchet improvement
  • Regularly reviewing the legislative landscape to ensure you continue to comply with the law
  • Holding and documenting health and safety focused management review meetings
  • Updating the management system as needs dictate


These activities are those that you would focus on internally.  The accredited certification body would also want to check, at least once a year, that your systems and processes 1) remain robust and are 2) driving improvement.

How can Statius help?

Health and safety is often an emotive subject.  Clearly most organisations are going to know the technical detail of their work; they are sometimes less familiar with the intimate intricacies of health and safety law.  Our job is to ensure you comply with the law but without overburdening the organisation.  We focus on simple and practical solutions.


Statius can help with a number of ongoing health and safety management system support activities, for instance:


  • Undertaking site visits for construction companies
  • Assisting with independent accident and incident investigations
  • Undertaking supplier visits for construction or manufacturing companies
  • Undertaking internal audits
  • Reviewing and analysing accident, incident, near miss statistics
  • Undertaking and updating the legal register
  • Undertaking a formal legal compliance review
  • Updating policies, processes, practises, safe systems of work, toolbox talks
  • Providing training
  • Undertaking management system audits
  • Chairing the management review


We are more than happy to provide as little or as much support as you need.  We have provided 24/7 assistance on large construction sites, we have helped companies defend their positions with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  More usually we provide planned ongoing support be that a couple of days a year or a couple of days a month.