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  • Writer's picturePhil Potter

ISO 45001:2018 Clause 10 Improvement

10.1 General

Your organization will determine opportunities for improvement and implement necessary actions to achieve the intended outcomes of its OH&S management system.

For example, if the evaluation of your objectives shows you are not achieving the desired results you may wish to set up an improvement project to:

  1. Determine if it is a useful objective or whether you need to develop some more useful and relevant ones, and then:

  2. Develop your improvement program.

Perhaps even have an objective to have a certain number of effective projects per year.

The goal is to raise awareness of hazards and risks and to reduce injuries by having a well-documented and communicated system.

Why Investigate Accidents & Incidents?

  • To determine the true and accurate circumstances which led up to and contributed to the event

  • To prevent the event occurring again with potentially greater repercussions

  • To identify any new hazards

  • To identify and choose suitable controls.

Our aim is to reduce the cost in pain, suffering, disruption to work, and loss of earnings of injured workers. We also wish to reduce the costs of workplace injuries, accidents and incidents. Therefore, we need to investigate fully and accurately the circumstances and causes of all injuries, accidents & incidents.


10.2 Incident, Nonconformity and Corrective Action

Your organization will establish, implement and maintain a process, including reporting, investigating and taking action, to determine and manage incidents and nonconformities.

When an incident or a nonconformity occurs, the organization shall:

1) React in a timely manner to the incident or nonconformity and, as applicable:

  • Take action to control and correct it

  • Deal with the consequences

2) Evaluate (with the participation of workers and the involvement of other relevant interested parties) the need for corrective action to eliminate the root cause of the incident or nonconformity. This is so that it does not recur or occur elsewhere, by:

  • Investigating the incident or reviewing the nonconformity;

  • Determining the cause(s) of the incident or nonconformity;

  • Determining if similar incidents have occurred, if nonconformities exist, or if they could potentially occur;

4) Determine and implement any action needed, including corrective action, in accordance with the hierarchy of controls and the management of change.

5) Assess OH&S risks that relate to new or changed hazards, prior to taking action.

6) review the effectiveness of any action taken, including corrective action.

7) make changes to the OH&S management system, if necessary.

Corrective actions shall be appropriate to the effects (or potential effects) of the incidents or nonconformities encountered.

Your organization must retain documented information as evidence of:

  • The nature of the incidents or nonconformities and any subsequent actions taken;

  • The results of any action and corrective action, including their effectiveness.

Your organization must communicate this documented information to relevant workers, and, where they exist, workers’ representatives, and other relevant interested parties.

Investigating Accident & Incident Reports
Investigating Accident & Incident Reports

Reporting and investigating incidents without delay can enable hazards to be eliminated and associated OH&S risks to be minimized as soon as possible.

Because of this, l recommend that your incident reporting and investigation is completed as soon as practicable.

Once completed, all staff should be notified of the incident as this may be preventive knowledge for other departments, branches or sites.


10.3 Continual Improvement

This is a new requirement compared to AS 4801:2001, where continual improvement was only referenced in Section 4.6 Management Review.

Your organization will continually improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the OH&S management system, by:

1) Enhancing OH&S performance

For example improvement projects implemented to improve employee awareness of hazards

2) Promoting a culture that supports an OH&S management system

Including management walk-arounds and safety meetings for all workers

3) Promoting the participation of workers in implementing actions for the continual improvement of the OH&S management system;

Including employees in improvement projects, setting up teams of workers to develop their own improvement projects after they have been in a team.

4) Communicating the relevant results of continual improvement to workers, and, where they exist, workers’ representatives

This includes safety meeting and/or safety committee and the safety noticeboard.

5) Maintaining and retaining documented information as evidence of continual improvement.

For example, the improvement projects documentation, Change Improvement Corrective Action Reports that have been completed.



Till next time,

Also coming soon is my video blogs relating to Integrated Management Systems and associated topics - keep an eye out for them, commencing end of October 2019.

If you have enjoyed these blogs, we have an eBook coming that combines all of the ISO 45001:2018 clauses. Keep an eye out for this in the coming weeks, as you can download it for free.


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