ISO 45001 risk and opportunities examples: Tips and ideas

10 October 2018

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ISO 45001 risk and opportunities examples: Tips and ideas

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In this article, we outline key ISO 45001 risk and opportunities examples that could benefit your business.

ISO 45001:2018 requires you to demonstrate that your business is identifying, assessing and monitoring health and safety risks and opportunities. Too often, health and safety managers are called upon after an incident has occurred. At this point, it's too late, so the standard ensures organisations are more proactive and systematic when it comes to identifying, assessing and monitoring health and safety risks and opportunities. 

ISO 45001:2018 replaces the previous OHSAS 18001 standard and all organisations are now required to have ISO 45001 compliance in place by September 2021.

Below are three examples to meet the new requirements in readiness for the upcoming deadline:

Tip 1: Beware the Dunning-Kruger effect

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

David Cant, Health and Safety Consultant says that when competence is lower, we tend to have more confidence. He says: "Decisions made by less skilled people can have serious consequences, simply because they do not properly understand that their knowledge and experience is incomplete."

This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

How to tackle it:

  • Invest in training. Health and safety training records can be managed using Q-Pulse Workrite.
  • Peer checks. Use Ideagen’s workflows to send risk assessment results / findings to the wider business to get a complete view.
  • Plan a thorough on-boarding process. Use Pentana Audit to ensure new employees the required training.

2) Implement a process

Before undertaking a new risk assessment, you need to think about your process. How are you going to categorise the H&S management system? What is the scope of your H&S risk assessment? Who needs to be involved?

Start by documenting your health and safety policy. Then you'll be ready to start a SWOT analysis and document each risk / opportunity in our Risk module.


Opportunity categories:

  • Technology
  • Training
  • Audits
  • Risk assessments
  • Open-door policy
  • Staff review meetings
  • Staff competency quizzes
  • Training matrix
  • HR check-ups
  • Whistle-blowing tool, such as Kiosk
  • Near-miss preventive actions, taking data from our Issue module
  • Well-being initiatives
  • Flexible working / stress management

Risk category examples:

  • Fatality / hospitalisation
  • Lost time accident
  • Minor injury or accident
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Incidents or injuries
  • Near miss
  • Unsafe conditions or unsafe acts

From the above categories, you can do both internal and external research on the risks and opportunities. Managing this process is a lot easier when using Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software.

3) Control business change

One trap organisations fall into is not embedding important health and safety considerations into a change process. A department changes a material, supplier, equipment or process, yet the appropriate assessments aren't carried out by trained personnel.

Ideagen’s integrated business management system software makes it easy to identify and assess changing risks and opportunities.

See one of our ISO 45001 risk and opportunities examples in action with Brussels Airlines and read how they achieved operational excellence with proactive risk management and improved quality and safety.

Written by

Alexander Pavlović

Alex produces targeted content to help Ideagen’s readers and customers navigate the complex world of quality, governance, risk and compliance.

Alex has worked with brands such as BT, Sodexo and Unilever and is passionate about helping businesses build a cohesive, collaborative culture of quality.

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