Understanding Context of The Organization in ISO 45001

Understanding Context of The Organization in ISO 45001

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Determining the Context of the organization is a new requirements in ISO 45001 and, has already been incorporated in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

Context of the Organisation is about understanding the entire environment in which the organisation operates. The Context can be external or internal. Utilizing SWOT Analysis and PESTLE Analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors) are two methodologies which can be useful determining context.



Firstly, the organization needs to determine in internal and external issues which have the ability to affect the outcomes of its Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Management System. The internal or external issues can be positive or negative. They can include conditions, characteristics or changing circumstances which can affect the OH&S management system.

External issues can be:

  • PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) etc. factors.
  • New competitors, contractors, suppliers, partners etc.
  • Latest knowledge about products and their ability to affect OH&S.
  • Key drivers and trends relevant to industry.
  • Relationships with external interested parties.
  • Changes in any of the above factors.

Internal issues can be

  • Organizational structure, and roles.
  • Policies and objectives.
  • Capabilities in terms of Resources such as capital, human and technological.
  • Information systems.
  • Relationship as well as perception of workers.
  • Contractual relationships such as outsourced activities.
  • Working conditions and organizational culture.
  • Working time arrangements.
  • Changes in products, processes, equipment.
  • Changes in any of the above factors.

Secondly, the organization has to determine the Interested Parties in addition to workers, and their needs and expectations which are relevant to its OH&S Management System.

Interested Parties can be legal and regulatory authorities, parent organizations, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors, workers representatives, workers organizations such as trade unions and employers’ organizations, customers, medical or other community services, media, business associations and NGO’s, occupational health & safety organizations and practitioners.

Some needs and expectations are incorporated in to the laws and regulations and are therefore mandatory. Then there are some voluntary requirements which the organization may have subscribed to. The organization addresses the needs and expectations through the planning and implementation of its OH&S Management system.

Thirdly, the organization has to define the Scope of its OH&S Management System by defining its boundaries and applicability.

To determine the scope, the organization has to consider the Issues relevant to it. Then it has to consider the interested parties and their needs and expectations. After that it has to take in to account the planned or performed work related activities. The boundaries can include the whole organization or a specific part of the organization. The scope shall not be used to evade its legal and other requirements. Those activities have to be considered that can affect the OH& S performance of the organization. The scope has to be maintained as documented information.

Fourthly, the organization must establish, implement, maintain and continually improve an OH&S management system according to requirements of ISO 45001 and establish one or more processes that fulfil the requirements of this standard and implement those processes, control them and achieve the intended outcomes. The organization shall also integrate and incorporate the requirements of this standard into its business processes such as design and development, procurement, training and education, human resources, sales and marketing.



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