ISO 45001 Clause 8 Operation

by adam tang


ISO 45001 is an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. Clause 8 of this standard, titled 'Operation', plays a crucial role in ensuring that organizations effectively implement and maintain their health and safety policies. This clause covers a wide range of operational aspects, from hazard identification and risk assessment to emergency preparedness and response. Understanding and implementing Clause 8 of ISO 45001 is essential for organizations looking to prioritize the health and safety of their employees. This article provides an introduction to ISO 45001 Clause 8 Operation and its importance in the context of occupational health and safety management.


ISO 45001 Clause 8 Operation

Establishing and Implementing Operational Controls

Clause 8 of ISO 45001 pertains to the implementation of operational controls within an organization's Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS). This clause focuses on ensuring that hazards are identified and risks are assessed, and appropriate controls are put in place to mitigate these risks and prevent accidents or incidents in the workplace.

The following are the key steps involved in establishing and implementing operational controls as per Clause 8 of ISO 45001:

  • Identify Hazards: The organization must identify all potential hazards in the workplace that could pose a risk to the health and safety of employees or other stakeholders.
  • Risk Assessment: Once hazards are identified, the organization must conduct a risk assessment to determine the likelihood and potential severity of harm that could result from those hazards.
  • Establish Controls: Based on the risk assessment, the organization must establish appropriate controls to mitigate or eliminate the identified risks. These controls may include implementing engineering controls, administrative controls, or personal protective equipment.
  • Implement Controls: The organization must ensure that the identified controls are effectively implemented in the workplace. This includes providing necessary training to employees, putting in place relevant procedures and protocols, and monitoring the effectiveness of controls.
  • Monitor and Review: It is essential for the organization to continuously monitor and review the effectiveness of the operational controls to ensure that they are still relevant and adequate in managing risks.
  • Record Keeping: The organization must maintain records of the identified hazards, risk assessments, and control measures implemented as evidence of compliance with ISO 45001 requirements.

By following these steps, organizations can establish and implement effective operational controls to protect the health and safety of their employees and prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Identifying Hazards and Assessing Risks

Clause 8 of ISO 45001 focuses on the operation stage of an occupational health and safety management system. This stage includes identifying hazards and assessing risks in the workplace to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for employees.

Identifying hazards involves recognizing potential sources of harm or danger in the workplace, such as dangerous machinery, hazardous substances, or unsafe work practices. Once hazards are identified, organizations must assess the risks associated with these hazards by evaluating the likelihood of an incident occurring and the potential consequences.

Risk assessment helps organizations prioritize actions to control and mitigate risks, ensuring that appropriate measures are implemented to protect the health and safety of employees. It is essential to involve employees in the hazard identification and risk assessment process, as they have valuable insight into the daily operations and potential risks in the workplace.

By effectively identifying hazards and assessing risks, organizations can proactively prevent accidents and injuries, promote a culture of safety, and comply with legal requirements related to occupational health and safety management.

Operational Planning and Control

Operational planning and control is a key component of the ISO 45001 standard. This clause (Clause 8) focuses on ensuring that organizations have processes in place to manage their operations effectively and safely.

The main objectives of operational planning and control include:

  • Identifying hazards and assessing risks associated with the organization's activities, products, and services
  • Implementing controls to eliminate or minimize these hazards and risks
  • Communicating relevant information to employees and other relevant parties
  • Monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of controls
  • Reviewing and continually improving operational processes

To comply with this clause, organizations must establish and maintain documented procedures for operational planning and control. This may involve conducting risk assessments, developing control measures, and setting objectives and targets for improvement.

Effective operational planning and control are essential for ensuring the health and safety of employees, contractors, and other stakeholders. By following the requirements of this clause, organizations can reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and health issues in the workplace.


ISO 45001


Emergency Preparedness and Response

Clause 8 of ISO 45001 focuses on the operational aspects of emergency preparedness and response. This clause requires organizations to establish, implement, and maintain processes for identifying potential emergency situations, planning and implementing actions to prevent or mitigate these situations, and responding effectively to emergencies when they occur.

Some key requirements of Clause 8 include:

  • Establishing emergency preparedness and response procedures that address the following:
    • - Identification of potential emergency situations
    • - Evaluation of risks associated with these situations
    • - Development of emergency response plans
    • - Allocation of resources for emergency response
    • - Training and drills for employees on emergency procedures
    • - Communication and coordination with relevant authorities and stakeholders
  • Conducting regular reviews and revisions of emergency response procedures to ensure their effectiveness and adequacy.
  • Implementing measures to prevent or mitigate emergency situations, such as installing fire alarms, emergency exits, and first aid kits.
  • Ensuring that employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities during emergencies and have the necessary training and resources to respond effectively.
  • Establishing communication channels for reporting emergencies and coordinating response efforts with external stakeholders, such as emergency services and regulatory agencies.

Overall, Clause 8 of ISO 45001 emphasizes the importance of being prepared for emergencies and responding promptly and effectively to minimize their impact on employees, the environment, and the organization's operations. By implementing robust emergency preparedness and response procedures, organizations can ensure the safety and well-being of their employees and stakeholders in the event of an emergency situation.

Continual Improvement in Operation Processes

Clause 8 of ISO 45001 focuses on the operation processes within an organization. This clause emphasizes the importance of continual improvement in these processes to ensure the effective implementation of the occupational health and safety management system.

Continual improvement is a key component of ISO 45001 and involves ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operational processes. This includes identifying opportunities for improvement, setting objectives and targets, implementing actions to achieve these objectives, and monitoring and evaluating progress.

Organizations are required to regularly review their operation processes to identify areas for improvement. This may involve conducting audits, inspections, and evaluations to assess the performance of the processes and identify any gaps or deficiencies.

Once areas for improvement have been identified, organizations should develop and implement action plans to address these issues. This may involve updating procedures, training employees, investing in new technology, or making other changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes.

Monitoring and measuring the performance of operational processes is also essential to ensure that the desired improvements are being realized. Organizations should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.

By continually improving their operation processes, organizations can enhance their overall performance, minimize risks, and ensure the health and safety of their employees. This commitment to continual improvement is central to the success of an organization's occupational health and safety management system.


 ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, is crucial for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Clause 8 of ISO 45001 focuses on operation, encompassing everything from hazard identification and risk assessment to emergency preparedness and response. As we come to the conclusion of this important clause, it is essential to reflect on the key takeaways and best practices for implementing and maintaining a successful operation under ISO 45001 standards. In this blog, we will explore the significance of Clause 8 in the overall effectiveness of an occupational health and safety management system and provide insights on how organizations can excel in this area.


ISO 45001