Safety Management

Using ISO 45001 to Get Safety Onto Your Business Agenda

ISO 45001 is an excellent opportunity to make safety a higher business priority

Selling new concepts to executives can be a big hurdle. However positive the concept might be, convincing stakeholders to make changes in operations can be difficult. How do you get decision-makers on board?

ISO 45001 has many advantages that management should readily grasp, if the concepts are explained in the language of the c-suite. Look at these three ways to approach the c-suite and make the case for ISO 45001.


An effective way to introduce ISO 45001 is to demonstrate how the standard aligns with existing corporate practices and concepts. ISO 45001 applies proactive risk management, which is a business practice that all company leaders are familiar with. Financial and operational risks are continually managed by these same anticipatory methods. For example, financial risks are considered before making investments, and are carefully monitored as part of daily business processes.

When risk-based thinking is second nature, it becomes integrated into the company culture. Safety and health management will be an organizational goal of the company, as risk assessment is incorporated top-down into operations.


If your company is following ISO standards for quality (ISO 9001) or environmental management (ISO 14001), you can stress the compatibility of this standard. As with these other standards, ISO 45001 applies Annex SL, a process structure approach to consider organizational objectives and ways to prevent undesirable outcomes. There should be no difficult transition period for incorporating ISO 45001, as it is aligned with your current operations.


The new standard isn’t one that dictates complex safety rules. Instead, it allows the organization to plan what is necessary to protect workers. Even the framework of ISO 45001 follows the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) format that is flexible, allowing organizations to plan objectives, implement appropriate controls, monitor and respond accordingly. The entire system is one of continual improvement in performance. This means your SMS will have a better use of resources, and allow the management of safety and health risks to be more consistent.

With accountability built-in, the new standard will reduce costly workplace accidents and injuries, downtime and OSHA penalties. ROI is demonstrated in these economic gains, but with an enhanced risk-based safety culture, implementing ISO 45001 may also show improvements in the health and image of the company.


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