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How ISO 45001 Documentation should be structured?

Author: John Mills
by John Mills
Posted: Nov 11, 2019

It is the hardest step in the process of implementing a management system such as ISO 45001 documentation for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. The good news is that even though preparing an ISO 45001 Documentation can be demanding and time-consuming, that is not the toughest part, because it can be done in a fairly straightforward way by using a structured approach.

Generally, there are two types of documentation,

Primarily, there is in the language of the standard, the "documented information" that is to be "maintained." This means ordinary ISO 45001 documents that are subject to review, revision, and update. They are mostly, but not exclusively, found in the Plan clauses of the standard (clauses 4, 5, and 6). Examples are the policy statement, responsibilities & authorities, OH&S objectives, and registers of risks, opportunities, legal and other requirements.

And second are there is documented information that is to be "retained." These are records providing evidence of activities performed. The documented information records the actions that are planned and carried out and their results.

Structure of Occupational Health and Safety Management System documentation are as follows:

  • Level 1: The Level 1 ISO 45001 documentation presents policy information which is communicated by top management to provide the basis of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. And this policy information must be aligned with the strategic direction of the organization. In terms of volume, this level has the least amount of content which covered ISO 45001 manual and policy, but can be said to be the most important. The Level 1 documentation will make references to level 2 ISO 45001 documents, where further detail will be found.
  • Level 2: The Level 2 ISO 45001 documentation provides the detail of the OH&S risks and opportunities faced by the organization. And also the level 2 documentation will include what actions are to be taken to eliminate the risks and leverage the opportunities. As well as it includes action plans incorporated into the day-to-day business processes as operating criteria or as OH&S objectives. In addition, for the potential OH&S emergencies identified, an emergency plan must be documented, detailing the actions to be taken in the event of each specific emergency.
  • Level 3: The Level 3 ISO 45001 documentation will consist of detailed work instructions are determined to be necessary to mentioned. These will be referenced from the Level 2 ISO 45001 documents and will apply to specific operations where their necessity is determined by factors such as level of risk, complexity, competence, or legal obligation. Also it is very important to incorporate these actions into the organization’s normal business processes.
  • Level 4: The Level 4 ISO 45001 documentation consists of the records generated as outputs of the planned actions discussed above. The results from the various performance evaluation processes that are undertaken to monitor the system’s performance, such as monitoring and measurement of operational controls, compliance with legal and other requirements, achievement of OH&S objectives, and internal audits, as well as records of incidents, nonconformities, and actions taken.
  • One of such globally verified and popular complete set of readymade ISO 45001 documents for both small and large size organizations is offered, which taking care of saving time and cost in the process of documentation for achieving ISO 45001:2018 certification.


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    We are ISO consultants and industry leader in the global market for selling online ISO documentation kits as well as ISO system awareness and auditor training kits. With a presence in more than 36 countries,

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    Author: John Mills

    John Mills

    Member since: Aug 30, 2013
    Published articles: 40

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