The time for debate and discussion for the new ISO standards is almost over as deadlines are fast approaching for the 2015 standards and 45001 around the corner to bring health and safety in line with the modern suite of standards, with Annex SL – The Higher Level Structure – at the core.
So what should you be doing in 2017 to get certification with the new standards?
Annex SL is the framework for management standards. This scheme was designed to allow businesses, which wanted certification to more than one standard, a way of combining the standards to reduce the burden of implementation and ongoing management. In the past, it had proved difficult for ISO to align their various standards, but now there are 10 high-level principles that can be applied to individual ISO standards. Since 2012, current ISO standards have either been launched or revised against Annex SL.
The deadline for transitioning to the new iteration of this environmental management system is September 2018. Since compiling the documentation for certification typically takes about a year, that makes September 2017 the last realistic time period for health & safety or environmental leaders to start the process.
For companies looking to cut costs and waste, cater to customers looking for a green (and 14001-friendly) supply chain and minimise risks, there is certainly a business case for transitioning to ISO14001:2015 now.
In the past, some companies could get away with having an auditing consultant come in and adjust their documentation once a year. However, a bare minimum approach of a few folders of documentation on a shelf isn’t enough for the new standard. While this new standard will be more work initially, HSCE managers will quickly see the 2015 standard is a fantastic tool for integrating environmental thinking and risk management into day-to-day operations for real bottom line and process benefits.
For more details on what this means for your business, see our past blogs on 14001:
Still the benchmark for quality and probably the most recognised standard in the ISO suite. As with 14001, the deadline for transitioning to the 2015 standard is the 15th September 2018. Fortunately there are not too many changes although the ‘Leadership’ of an organisation may have to be more involved than with previous standards. Leadership involvement is a good thing as for the standard to be truly part of an organisation processes it requires investment by the company and its workers. This investment should pay dividends. The standard is flexible enough for a company to make it their own and ensure it focuses on the customer and what they want. Too many large companies forget this and sometimes find themselves concentrating on margins or supply chains without considering how these effect the end product. The 2015 standard also has the benefit of aligning itself to the other standards so bolting on another management system has never been easier!
As many health and safety managers know, the new version of 45001 isn’t due until at least 25 October 2017. Companies with an 18001 certification expiring will have to transition to 45001 by 2019. However, given the enhancement to internal processes as well as external reputation that 45001 brings, organisations are encouraged to start planning their transition as soon as possible.
Companies that also certify under ISO9001 or ISO14001 would be wise to look at the requirements of all three systems together and find opportunities to streamline efforts.
Perhaps the most significant high-level change in ISO45001 is it is truly a cross-organisational system. To be successful, an organisation will need to involve every level of executive, manager and staff. EEF’s own HSCE lead Mike Denison sat on the UK BSI HS1 committee which consulted on the new standard so he was able to get an inside look at the changes coming so he could advise manufacturers. His blog outlines how the changes to ISO45001 will affect different job roles in an organisation.