• Phil Potter

ISO 45001:2018 Clause 8.1.1 General Aspects of Operational Planning and Control

Clause 8 of ISO 45001: 2018 is where you detail in your system how you undertake your operations.


There are four sections in clause 8.1 (Operational Planning and Control) and I will deal with one section per blog, the first one starting with clause 8.1.1 - General:

Your organization will plan, implement, control and maintain the processes needed to meet requirements of the OH&S management system, and to implement the actions determined in Clause 6, Planning.


You will do this by:

  1. Establishing criteria for the processes; define your safety outcomes, what information does your team need to ensure safe operations? You could link these to your objectives.

  2. Implementing control of the processes in accordance with the criteria; how do you check that these controls have been implemented? Using inspections and audits.

  3. Maintaining and retaining documented information to the extent necessary to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned; this can include SWMS, safety procedures, safety bulletins, and site specific plans.

  4. Adapting work to workers. It is key to determine (as discussed in earlier blogs) the literacy levels of workers, and looking at how work can be modified to suit skill levels.


At multi-employer workplaces, your organization will coordinate the relevant parts of the OH&S management system with others. In Australia, the head contractor or principal contractor is ultimately responsible for safety on the site.


Key questions you have to ask yourself regarding your operational safety system:

• Do you have two way communication with your workers about safety?

• How often does management undertake safety walk arounds?

• Are there any new work methods or equipment that has become available that has the potential to make your operations safer?

• Are procedures for identifying hazards in the workplace effective?

• Are safety procedures followed?

• Do you encourage your workers to report hazards?

• Is there a feedback mechanism in your system to ensure that hazards are controlled, eliminated, and reduced and that all workers are made aware of the hazard?

• Do you regularly inspect and maintain your equipment to identify safety problems?

• Do you fix or rectify identified hazards in a timely manner?

• Are there hidden safety hazards lurking in your workplace?

• How often do you undertaken inspections or audits of your high risk operational activities?

Your system does not have stand-alone elements in it, they are all interlinked, especially, training, communication, inspections and audits and of course follow up and close out of hazards.

Check out the hazard reporting form and other useful safety and QHSE (IMS) documentation in our free resources.

Till next week.

Regards, Phil.