Safety Management Systems & ISO 45001

Everything you need to know about Safety Management Systems

Plus, how ISO 45001 can give your safety management system an added boost!

Let’s explore safety management systems and see how they can help you to proactively manage and improve safety performance within your organisation.

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What is a safety management system?

That’s a great question! Put simply, a safety management system is a comprehensive framework and set of processes implemented within an organisation to effectively manage safety risks and ensure a safe working environment.

It encompasses policies, procedures, practices, and tools. All of which aim to identify, assess, control, and monitor hazards and risks associated with an organisations operations, activities, and facilities.

But, that only scratches the surface, so if you want to discover more, keep reading!  

Future Industrial case study

Chapter 1

What should I look for in a safety management system?

people looking at laptop

In your search for a safety management system, it's important to think just beyond compliance. For a start, it’s crucial to have a clear focus on building a sustainable EHS culture. When you have a clear safety management system in place you demonstrate a commitment to employee well-being and safety.

There are many aspects to consider when developing (or upgrading) your safety management system. You need to think about:  

  • Creating a mobile-friendly system 
  • How you’re going to store documents safely  
  • The importance of real-time data 
  • And much more!

If you want to make an informed decision  about selecting the right safety management system for your organisation, this informative blog can help get you started in the right direction.

Chapter 2

What you need to know about ISO 45001

ISO 45001 grqphic

ISO 45001 is an important consideration when you’re developing or evaluating your organisation’s current a safety management system. Before you can figure out how ISO 45001 fits into your overarching strategy, you first need to  understand ISO 45001. Join us in this two-part blog series all about ISO 45001. In part one, you will learn what ISO 45001 is, as well as how it differs from OHSAS 18001.

By reading this article, you will gain insights into the benefits and opportunities offered by ISO 45001 and understand its significance in better protecting your employees and your business. When you adopt the ISO 45001 standards your organisation is deciding to put the well-being of its employees first because the primary purpose of ISO 45001 is to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

This article dives into the first 5 ISO 45001 clauses. It illustrates the scope of each clause so you can gain valuable information for developing or refining your organisation’s safety management system.

Everything you need to know!

Requirements of ISO 45001

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If you want a clear overview of the ISO 45001 requirements that you can save for easy reference, we’ve got the perfect resource for you.

ISO 45001 requirements call to action

Chapter 3

4 ways to be proactive about safety management


You’ve spent the time to fully comprehend what you should be looking for in a safety management system. Now let’s see what proactive safety management can look like in this short video.

After watching, you should have a much clearer idea of how to empower members of organisation from your employees to management, and even the safety team to identify warning signs before incidents occur. Give us a couple minutes of your time, because proactive safety saves lives.

Chapter 4

The difference between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001

5 men wearing yellow construction hats high fiving

After watching the short video above, we hope you have a clear view of how important it is to embrace a proactive approach to safety. That’s why in 2021, ISO 45001 overtook OHSAS 18001 as the new benchmark for building a health and safety management system.

So, the key question is – what’s the difference between the two?

To ensure that you fully understand the distinction between the two and to get an idea of just how easy a transition can be, take a look at our blog post about the difference between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001.

Chapter 5

The 6 most important ISO 45001 clauses

employees manage safety documents

When the gold standard of safety management systems was updated from OSHAS 18001 to ISO 45001, one key change was added with more in-depth clauses. With 10 different clauses (each with multiple sub-clauses), gaining a full view of the standard can feel overwhelming – especially when you’re first getting started.

While it’s important to understand and implement each clause, sometimes it’s easier to consume information in smaller pieces. So, we’ve simplified things so you can get a clear view of the steps you need to take by outlining the 6 most important ISO 45001 clauses.

Watch our short video

ISO 45001 clause 5

The journey to ISO 45001 certification can sometimes feel like you’ve got a mountain to climb.

We’ve made a short video for you that breaks down clause 5 and it’s four subclauses.

With the right tools and knowledge, you’ll start to feel more confident in embarking on your journey to certification.


Chapter 6

Your guide to growing safety engagement in your workplace

man and woman in high viz jackets looking at a clipboard

We’ve compiled everything that you need to know about improving safety engagement in your workplace into one handy guide.

This guide is a must-read for safety professionals, managers, and anyone interested in creating a safer and more engaged workforce. Start growing safety engagement in your workplace today!

Get the guide to gain insights on: 

  • Common barriers to engagement and how to overcome them 
  • Effective strategies for improving employee engagement in safety 
  • The role of technology in enhancing safety engagement and explore future trends 
  • Plus, a whole lot more!


Growing safety engagement guide


Chapter 7

How to choose the right safety management system for your organisation?


With numerous digital EHS solutions available, it's vital that you have the required knowledge to make an informed decision.

It’s why we’ve created a video explaining how you can gain valuable insights on choosing the right safety management system for your organisation.

Here are the five key points that you need to consider!

Ready to put your knowledge to the test...

How well do you know ISO 45001?

two workers in orange construction hats on a lift in a warehouse looking at an iPad

The road to ISO 45001 certification can often feel like it produces more questions than answers.

Take our interactive quiz to find out what you know and more importantly, what gaps you might need to address.

Downloadable Guide

Your safety programme starter pack

a man wearing a white construction hat looking at machinery

Want to fill in any gaps in your ISO 45001 knowledge? This comprehensive guide is a valuable resource to help you enhance your existing safety practices and achieve ISO 45001 compliance.

Unlock the full potential of your safety programme with this valuable resource.

By downloading this guide, you'll benefit from the expertise and guidance provided to optimise your safety programme and create a safer work environment.

Download your guide to get:
  • The 7 elements of ISO 45001 easily explained and clearly laid out  
  • Practical insights and actionable steps to strengthen your safety practices 
  • Best practice tips for leadership involvement and employee participation  
  • And so much more!

Safety programme starter pack guide

Chapter 8

What a safety management system can do for your shipping company

a cruise ship and a haulage ship

Are you in the shipping industry and want to enhance safety practices and foster a culture of safety within your organisation?

Our blog post details how safety management systems for shipping companies need to achieve compliance with international shipping standards, including the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code), and how a robust safety management system can help you build a safety culture from top to bottom.

Take a closer look at what enhancing safety practices and fostering a culture of safety could mean for your organisation’s EHS culture.

Chapter 9

The top 3 benefits of ISO 45001 certification

ISO files

Regardless of your organisation’s industry, there are many benefits of achieving ISO 45001 certification. If you’re still weighing up whether ISO 45001 certification is a journey that your organisation should undertake, you’ll want to read this blog.

Understanding ISO 45001 and its benefits can help you protect your employees, improve your organisation's safety protocols, and differentiate yourself as an industry leader.

Our blog post dives into the top 3 benefits that can be achieved from ISO 45001 certification in more detail.

Chapter 10

ISO 45001: Understanding its positive impact

Now that you have a better understanding of the upsides of ISO 45001 certification, it’s important to dive deeper into understanding these positive impacts further.

You can access our blog, ‘ISO 45001: Understanding Its Positive Impact’ which includes a clip from a previous webinar that explores these benefits in more detail.

You can also follow along in the previous blog as we examine some of the benefits of ISO 45001 and the extensive advantages that certification can bring for organisations.

Case Study

How Future Industrial Services created a proactive approach to safety

man wearing high viz on a construction site

Future Industrial Services, a leading hazardous waste management and industrial cleaning company, successfully scaled their business using a digital EHS solution.

By standardising procedures across all sites, gaining visibility into safety metrics, and mitigating risks faster, they adopted a proactive approach to safety.

This not only ensured effective protection for their employees and clients but also led to a significant reduction in accidents and an increase in employee engagement.  

Downloadable Guide

ISO 45001 – benefits and pitfalls of certification

Benefits and pitfalls of ISO 45001 accreditation guide

This guide will help you to get to grips with the potential upsides (and downsides) that come with ISO 45001 certification.

We’ll unravel the evidence for benefits – scientific and anecdotal – and consider how the cost, time and effort can be reduced.

Download the guide to gain insights on:

  • 3 EcoOnline customers from different industries reveal their experiences of certification

  • The key pitfalls to avoid and how to drive continuous improvement

  • Plus, a concise glossary of all the relevant standards 

journey to iso 45001 certification

Chapter 11

How to become ISO 45001 certified

Two men on construction site reviewing the work

Welcome to part 2 of this two-part blog series! In part 1, we explored the differences between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 including modifications to clauses.

Read on to discover the other modifications, as well as eight essential steps to follow to help you become ISO 45001 certified. In addition, you will find a helpful overview of the mandatory documents and records needed for ISO 45001 certification.

Whether you’re already familiar with occupational health and safety management systems or new to the topic, this article provides valuable information for organisations of all sizes.

Chapter 12

Our simple ISO 45001 audit checklist

a checklist with tick boxes

A checklist is a great way to get an immediate clear picture of where your current safety management system is and what you need to do in order to achieve ISO 45001 certification.

We’ve created this handy ISO 45001 checklist to help you get started.

Take a step back and get an overall perspective of where you are on your certification journey.

iso 45001 certification

Case Study

How United Living created a more proactive approach to safety

Workers reviewing work on a building site

With over 1100 employees and a national supply chain network of over 2000 resources supporting their projects, United Living needed to achieve ISO 45001 certification.

What initially seemed a daunting task due to -manual systems was made easier by switching to a digital solution. The pivot to a proactive approach to safety enabled a whole host of benefits, including significant time and cost savings.

Chapter 13

How software can help you achieve ISO certification

Two women on a work site looking at an ipad

Remember, technology can not only simplify and streamline your ISO 45001 certification process, but it can help you to maintain it in the long run.

We’ve written a useful blog that includes five ways that health and safety management software can simplify your ISO 45001 certification process.

You’ll be able to gain insights into the key benefits of adopting a digital safety management system, including: 

  • Centralised information 
  • Streamlined communication 
  • Standardised processes 
  • Real-time data insights 
  • Continuous improvement
Take the first step towards a digital safety system and unlock the future of safety in your organisation.
Chapter 14

Transform safety with digital safety management

Man holding an iPad in a warehouse

If you're struggling with managing health and safety using outdated manual processes, this blog post is a must read.

It can be a challenge to make the senior leadership team see your struggle, while also realising the value of transitioning to a digital safety management system.

That’s why we’ve put together a blog post that highlights the top five areas that impact the decision making of senior leadership. Plus, we’ve provided practical tips on how to really demonstrate the value of a digital system.

You can also discover real-life success stories from EcoOnline's customers who have unlocked the benefits of a digital safety management system for their organisation.

See how you can achieve it with yours. 

Chapter 15

ISO 45001: Making sure your digital EHS platform aligns

An open laptop, clipboard, and orange construction hat on a desk

With the right digital solution, you can unlock the potential of key areas including worker participation, competence, contractor safety, and hazard identification.

Understanding these requirements and the corresponding functionalities will enable you to make an informed decision when choosing an EHS platform for your organisation. Ultimately helping you to achieve ISO 45001 certification and improve your safety processes.

Making sure your digital EHS platform aligns isn’t a nice thing to have, it’s crucial.

Chapter 16

How to make a business case for a digital safety management solution

Two workers reviewing work in a warehouse

By now you’ll know all the benefits that ISO 45001 certification brings. You’ll also know how to avoid the pitfalls of certification and how to drive lasting change in your workplace.

But do you know how to bring all this knowledge together for making a business case to the key decision makers within your organisation?

If you’re unsure, fear not, as we’ve compiled the perfect blog to show you how to succeed.

Making a business case for a digital safety management solution is essential for levelling up your safety management system.    

Still want more information on safety management systems?

Good news. Our experts are more than happy to chat about your specific goals and needs.


ISO 45001 website page