ISO 45001:2018 Clause 7.3 Awareness

ISO 45001:2018 Requirement

Workers shall be made aware of:
a) the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives;
b) their contribution to the effectiveness of the OH&S management system, including the benefits of improved OH&S performance;
c) the implications and potential consequences of not conforming to the OH&S management system requirements;
d) incidents and the outcomes of investigations that are relevant to them;
e) hazards, OH&S risks and actions determined that are relevant to them;
f) the ability to remove themselves from work situations that they consider present an imminent and serious danger to their life or health, as well as the arrangements for protecting them from undue consequences for doing so.

As per Annex A (Guidance on the use of ISO 45001:2018 standard) of ISO 45001:2018 standard it further explains

In addition to workers (especially temporary workers), contractors, visitors and any other parties
should be aware of the OH&S risks to which they are exposed.

1) Workers shall be made aware of the OH&S policy and OH&S objectives;

Making workers aware of the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) policy and objectives is a critical step in promoting a safe and healthy work environment. Here are several methods to effectively communicate the OH&S policy and objectives to workers:

  • Include OH&S policy and objectives as a part of the employee orientation process for new hires.
  • Conduct regular OH&S training sessions to educate employees about the policy and objectives.
  • Use interactive training methods, such as workshops, seminars, or e-learning modules, to engage employees effectively.
  • Develop clear and concise written materials, such as handbooks, manuals, or pamphlets, that explain the OH&S policy and objectives.
  • Ensure that these documents are readily accessible to all employees, either in print or electronically, such as on the company intranet.
  • Hold regular safety meetings or workshops to discuss the OH&S policy and objectives with employees.
  • Use these sessions to explain the significance of the policy, share examples, and answer questions from employees.
  • Utilize various communication channels to relay information about the OH&S policy and objectives, including email, company newsletters, bulletin boards, and internal communication platforms.
  • Use posters and visual aids to reinforce key messages in common areas or workstations.
  • Encourage senior management and leadership to lead by example and actively promote the OH&S policy and objectives.
  • Have leaders discuss safety at team meetings and emphasize its importance in the workplace.
  • Create a dedicated section on the company’s intranet or website where employees can access the OH&S policy, objectives, and related resources.
  • Provide links to relevant documents, training materials, and contact information for OH&S representatives.
  • Establish a feedback mechanism that allows employees to ask questions, report safety concerns, and provide input on the OH&S policy and objectives.
  • Ensure that employees feel comfortable speaking up about safety issues without fear of retaliation.
  • Periodically remind employees of the OH&S policy and objectives through email reminders, safety posters, or briefings at team meetings.
  • Connect these reminders to specific initiatives or events related to safety.
  • Encourage employees to integrate safety into their daily work routines and decision-making processes.
  • Recognize and reward safe behaviors and achievements related to meeting OH&S objectives.
  • Use workplace audits and safety inspections as opportunities to reinforce the importance of the OH&S policy and objectives.
  • Discuss findings and recommendations with employees to demonstrate a commitment to improvement.

By employing a combination of these methods and consistently reinforcing the message of safety, organizations can effectively make workers aware of the OH&S policy and objectives, fostering a culture of safety and reducing the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.

2) Workers shall be made aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of the OH&S management system, including the benefits of improved OH&S performance;

To make workers aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system and the benefits of improved OH&S performance, organizations should implement a comprehensive communication and education strategy. Here are steps you can take:

  • Include OH&S in Employee Orientation. Incorporate OH&S principles and the importance of individual contributions to the system during the onboarding process for new employees.
  • Provide ongoing training and education sessions that focus on the role of employees in maintaining a safe workplace.
  • Explain how their actions and decisions can impact the overall effectiveness of the OH&S management system.
  • Share specific examples and case studies of how individual actions or the lack thereof have affected workplace safety and the organization’s OH&S performance.
  • Highlight instances where proactive contributions led to improved safety outcomes.
  • Create visually appealing materials such as infographics, posters, and safety scorecards that illustrate the direct link between employee actions and the overall performance of the OH&S system.
  • Use graphics to show the benefits of improved OH&S performance, such as reduced accidents and healthier work environments.
  • Implement a recognition program that acknowledges and rewards employees for their contributions to safety and for actively participating in OH&S initiatives.
  • Share success stories of employees who have made a significant impact on safety.
  • Maintain open and transparent communication channels, such as safety newsletters or bulletin boards, to regularly update employees on OH&S performance and achievements.
  • Discuss how their efforts have contributed to these successes.
  • Encourage employees to participate in safety committees or teams where they can directly contribute to improving the OH&S management system.
  • Emphasize that their input is valuable and can lead to positive changes.
  • Establish feedback mechanisms where employees can report safety concerns, near misses, and suggestions for improvement.
  • Show how their feedback is taken seriously and how it contributes to a safer workplace.
  • Share key OH&S performance metrics with employees and explain how their actions impact these metrics.
  • Regularly update them on progress toward OH&S goals.
  • Ensure that senior leadership demonstrates a strong commitment to OH&S.
  • Leaders should regularly communicate the organization’s dedication to safety, which reinforces the importance of individual contributions.
  • Train supervisors and managers to recognize and acknowledge employees for their safety contributions.
  • Encourage supervisors to provide specific feedback

3) Workers shall be made aware of the implications and potential consequences of not conforming to the OH&S management system requirements

Workers should be made aware of the implications and potential consequences of not conforming to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system requirements for several important reasons:

  • The primary purpose of an OH&S management system is to ensure the safety and well-being of employees. When workers understand the potential consequences of not conforming to these requirements, they are more likely to take safety precautions seriously, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Failure to comply with OH&S regulations can lead to legal consequences for both the organization and individual employees. By educating workers about these requirements and potential legal implications, the organization can promote compliance and avoid legal trouble.
  • Workplace accidents and injuries can result in significant financial costs for an organization. This includes medical expenses, workers’ compensation claims, fines, and legal fees. Making workers aware of the potential financial impact of non-conformance can motivate them to prioritize safety.
  • Accidents and injuries can lead to productivity losses due to employee absenteeism, reduced morale, and downtime for investigations and cleanup. Workers who understand the consequences of non-conformance are more likely to follow safety procedures, reducing the likelihood of disruptions.
  • Workplace accidents can damage an organization’s reputation and brand image. News of safety violations and incidents can erode trust with customers, investors, and the public. Educating workers about the importance of conforming to safety standards can help protect the organization’s reputation.
  • A safe work environment contributes to positive employee morale. When workers feel that their employer prioritizes their safety, it can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty. Conversely, a disregard for safety can have a negative impact on morale.
  • Worker awareness of OH&S requirements encourages them to actively participate in the continuous improvement of safety processes. They may identify potential hazards and suggest improvements, contributing to a safer workplace.
  • Organizations have an ethical responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. Communicating the potential consequences of non-conformance helps reinforce this ethical commitment.
  • Engaged and informed employees are more likely to be proactive in identifying and addressing safety concerns. When workers understand the implications of non-conformance, they are more likely to engage in safety initiatives and report safety issues promptly.
  • Fostering a culture of compliance with OH&S management system requirements starts with educating employees about the importance of these standards. Workers who are aware of the implications of non-compliance are more likely to support and uphold the culture of safety.

In summary, making workers aware of the implications and potential consequences of not conforming to OH&S management system requirements is essential for ensuring a safe and compliant workplace, protecting the organization’s interests, and fostering a culture of safety and responsibility among employees.

4) Workers shall be made aware of incidents and the outcomes of investigations that are relevant to them

To ensure that workers are aware of incidents and the outcomes of investigations that are relevant to them, organizations can implement a range of communication and information-sharing strategies. Here are some effective ways to achieve this:

  • Regular Safety Meetings and Toolbox Talks:
    • Conduct regular safety meetings or toolbox talks to discuss recent incidents, near misses, and safety concerns.
    • Use these meetings as an opportunity to share investigation findings, lessons learned, and actions taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.
    • Encourage open discussions and questions from workers to enhance their understanding of the incidents and their relevance.
  • Incident Reporting and Tracking System:
    • Implement an incident reporting system that allows workers to report incidents and near misses easily and confidentially.
    • Ensure that workers are informed about how to use the reporting system and that their reports are taken seriously.
    • Provide regular updates on the status of investigations and any corrective actions being taken.
  • Safety Alerts and Bulletins:
    • Issue safety alerts or bulletins when significant incidents occur, outlining the details of the incident, its impact, and the actions being taken.
    • Distribute these alerts via email, bulletin boards, or other internal communication channels to ensure that workers receive timely information.
  • Documentation and Reports:
    • Maintain clear and comprehensive incident reports and investigation documentation.
    • Share investigation reports with relevant workers, making sure to highlight key findings, causes, and recommendations.
    • Consider creating easily understandable summaries of complex reports for broader distribution.
  • Training and Workshops:
    • Provide training sessions or workshops on incident awareness and investigation outcomes.
    • Use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate the importance of safety and how incidents can impact workers and the organization.
  • Safety Committees and Representatives:
    • Establish safety committees or designate safety representatives who can serve as conduits for information between management and workers.
    • Ensure that these committees or representatives are actively involved in incident discussions and investigations.
  • Visual Aids and Signage:
    • Use visual aids, posters, and safety signage to remind workers of safety rules, incident reporting procedures, and the importance of adhering to safety guidelines.
    • Update these materials regularly to include information on recent incidents and investigations.
  • Technology and Intranet:
    • Utilize technology such as an internal company intranet or a mobile app to share incident information, investigation outcomes, and safety updates.
    • Make incident-related documents and resources easily accessible to all workers.
  • Feedback Channels:
    • Encourage workers to provide feedback on safety procedures and incident reporting processes.
    • Act on worker feedback and suggestions to improve safety practices and communication.
  • Recognition and Rewards:
    • Recognize and reward workers for their contributions to incident reporting and safety improvement.
    • Positive reinforcement can motivate workers to stay engaged in safety initiatives and investigations.
  • Language and Accessibility:
    • Ensure that incident information and investigation outcomes are communicated in a language and format that all workers can understand.
    • Consider the needs of diverse workers, including those with language or literacy barriers.
  • Follow-Up:
    • Conduct follow-up discussions or training sessions to revisit incident outcomes and reinforce safety measures.
    • Monitor progress on implementing corrective actions and share updates with workers.

By employing a combination of these strategies, organizations can effectively inform workers about incidents and the outcomes of investigations, promote a culture of safety, and empower employees to actively participate in maintaining a safe workplace.

4) Workers shall be made aware of hazards, OH&S risks and actions determined that are relevant to them

Making workers aware of hazards, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) risks, and the actions determined to mitigate them is essential for maintaining a safe workplace. Here are steps to achieve this:

  • Conduct thorough hazard assessments and risk analyses for each job or work area. Document identified hazards and assess their severity, likelihood, and potential consequences.
  • Develop Job Safety Analysis documents that outline the specific hazards associated with each job or task. Include detailed descriptions of the hazards, potential risks, and recommended control measures.
  • Provide comprehensive safety training to all workers, including new hires and existing employees. Tailor training programs to specific job roles and tasks, highlighting relevant hazards and risks. Emphasize the importance of recognizing hazards and taking appropriate actions.
  • Develop OH&S manuals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) that detail the hazards and risks associated with various job functions. Ensure that these documents are readily accessible to workers and regularly updated.
  • Maintain Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used in the workplace. Train workers on how to access and interpret SDS information to understand chemical hazards.
  • Use clear and standardized safety signage and labels to indicate hazards and required precautions. Ensure that signage is visible and understandable to all workers.
  • Hold regular safety meetings or toolbox talks to discuss hazards and risks specific to the work being performed. Encourage workers to share their experiences and insights regarding safety concerns.
  • Identify the PPE required for each job or task and ensure that workers are trained on its proper use. Display PPE requirements prominently in work areas.
  • Clearly communicate risk levels associated with different tasks or processes. Use standardized risk matrices or scales to convey the severity and likelihood of risks.
  • Conduct regular workplace inspections with the involvement of workers.Encourage workers to report hazards and unsafe conditions they encounter during inspections.
  • Establish a mechanism for workers to report hazards and safety concerns. Ensure that reported concerns are addressed promptly, and workers are informed of the outcomes.
  • Develop and communicate emergency response plans that detail actions to be taken in the event of specific hazards, such as fires, chemical spills, or medical emergencies. Conduct drills and training exercises to ensure workers are prepared for emergencies.
  • Use visual aids, such as posters, diagrams, and infographics, to illustrate hazards and safe work practices. These aids can serve as quick references for workers.
  • Encourage supervisors to actively engage with their teams regarding safety. Supervisors should provide guidance on recognizing hazards and taking necessary precautions.
  • Promote a culture of open communication regarding safety. Encourage workers to report hazards and provide feedback on safety procedures.
  • Regularly monitor and assess worker compliance with safety procedures. Recognize and reward safe behavior and address non-compliance.
  • Maintain records of safety training, hazard assessments, incident reports, and corrective actions. Make these records available to workers who want to review them.

5) Workers shall be made aware of the ability to remove themselves from work situations that they consider present an imminent and serious danger to their life or health, as well as the arrangements for protecting them from undue consequences for doing so

Organizations and workers have rights and responsibilities when it comes to addressing work situations that are considered to present an imminent and serious danger to life or health. Here’s how organizations can remove workers from such situations while protecting them from undue consequences:

    • Establish clear and documented policies and procedures for workers to follow when they believe they are facing imminent and serious danger. Ensure that these policies comply with relevant occupational health and safety (OH&S) laws and regulations.
    • Encourage workers to report unsafe conditions or situations promptly.
    • Provide multiple reporting channels, such as supervisors, safety committees, or designated safety officers.
    • When a worker reports an imminent and serious danger, take immediate action to assess and address the situation.
    • Remove the worker from the hazardous situation until it is safe to return.
    • Investigate the reported danger and document the findings.
    • Determine the root causes and potential solutions to prevent future occurrences.
    • Protect the confidentiality of the worker who reported the danger.
    • Ensure that there is no retaliation or adverse action taken against the worker for reporting the hazard.
    • Collaborate with occupational health and safety (OH&S) representatives or committees to assess and address the danger.
    • OH&S representatives can provide valuable insights and ensure compliance with safety regulations.
    • Comply with all relevant laws and regulations that protect workers who refuse to work due to imminent and serious danger.
    • Familiarize yourself with the specific legal protections available in your jurisdiction.
    • Seek legal counsel to ensure that your organization is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
    • Legal experts can provide guidance on managing such situations effectively.
    • Educate workers about their rights and responsibilities in reporting imminent and serious dangers.
    • Train supervisors and managers on how to handle such reports in a legally compliant and sensitive manner.
    • Implement necessary corrective actions to eliminate the hazard or mitigate its risks. – Involve workers in discussions about the appropriate solutions to prevent future dangers.
    • Regularly review and update safety policies and procedures based on lessons learned from incidents.
    • Continually seek ways to improve safety and prevent similar situations from arising.
    • Maintain detailed records of all actions taken, including the hazard report, investigations, corrective actions, and communications with workers.
    • Ensure that workers are trained and prepared for emergency situations. – Develop and practice emergency response plans to address imminent dangers effectively.
    • If necessary, engage with relevant government authorities, such as occupational safety and health agencies, to address persistent or severe safety concerns.

    By following these steps, organizations can prioritize the safety and well-being of their workers while complying with legal requirements and protecting workers from undue consequences for reporting imminent and serious dangers.

    Documented Information required


    1. OH&S Policy (Documented Information):
      • The OH&S policy is a key document that communicates the organization’s commitment to OH&S.
      • It should be documented and made available to all relevant parties within the organization.
    2. OH&S Objectives and Targets (Documented Information):
      • The documented OH&S objectives and targets should be available to employees to ensure they are aware of the organization’s goals regarding OH&S performance.
    3. OH&S Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities (Documented Information):
      • Documented information outlining the roles, responsibilities, and authorities for OH&S within the organization.
      • This document should define who is responsible for what in terms of OH&S management.
    4. OH&S Management System Procedures (Documented Information):
      • Procedures related to OH&S management should be documented and made accessible to relevant personnel.
      • These procedures may include those for incident reporting, hazard identification, risk assessment, and more.


    1. OH&S Training Records (Records):
      • Records of OH&S training provided to employees, including the content covered, date of training, and attendees.
      • These records demonstrate that awareness training has been conducted.
    2. Employee OH&S Awareness Acknowledgments (Records):
      • Signed acknowledgments or records that employees have received and understood OH&S policies, procedures, and other relevant information.
    3. Communication Records (Records):
      • Records of internal and external communications related to OH&S, including meeting minutes, memos, emails, and reports.
      • These records demonstrate that OH&S information is effectively communicated throughout the organization.
    4. Records of OH&S Promotional Materials (Records):
      • Copies or records of any promotional materials used to raise OH&S awareness within the organization.
      • This could include posters, brochures, or other materials designed to educate and inform employees about OH&S.
    5. Records of OH&S Inductions and Orientation (Records):
      • Records of OH&S inductions and orientations provided to new employees.
      • These records should include the topics covered and the date of the induction.
    6. Records of OH&S Meetings and Training Sessions (Records):
      • Minutes or records of OH&S meetings, toolbox talks, safety committee meetings, and OH&S training sessions.
      • These records demonstrate ongoing efforts to raise awareness and improve OH&S within the organization.
    7. Records of OH&S Consultation and Participation (Records):
      • Records of consultations and participation activities involving employees in OH&S matters.
      • These records demonstrate that the organization actively involves employees in OH&S decision-making processes.
    8. Records of OH&S Awareness Surveys or Assessments (Records):
      • Records of surveys or assessments conducted to gauge employee awareness and understanding of OH&S within the organization.
      • These records can help identify areas for improvement in the awareness program.

    Example of procedure for awareness of workers for OH&S

    Objective: To ensure that all workers are well-informed about OH&S policies, procedures, hazards, and their rights and responsibilities regarding workplace safety.


    • Management: Responsible for establishing and overseeing the OH&S awareness program.
    • Supervisors: Responsible for ensuring that workers under their supervision are aware of and adhere to OH&S requirements.
    • Workers: Responsible for actively participating in OH&S awareness activities and adhering to safety policies.

    Procedure Steps:

    1. Policy Development:
      • Develop an OH&S policy statement that emphasizes the organization’s commitment to safety.
      • Define the organization’s objectives, responsibilities, and commitment to continual improvement in OH&S.
    2. Communication of Policies:
      • Distribute the OH&S policy to all workers and ensure that it is prominently displayed in the workplace.
      • Explain the policy and its importance during orientation for new employees.
    3. OH&S Training:
      • Develop a comprehensive OH&S training program tailored to the specific needs of different job roles.
      • Include topics such as hazard identification, emergency procedures, safe work practices, and reporting of incidents and hazards.
    4. Orientation and Onboarding:
      • Conduct an OH&S orientation for all new employees as part of their onboarding process.
      • Provide information about the organization’s OH&S culture, reporting procedures, and safety rules.
    5. Regular Safety Meetings:
      • Schedule regular safety meetings or toolbox talks to discuss specific OH&S topics.
      • Encourage open discussions, questions, and the sharing of safety concerns.
    6. Hazard Identification:
      • Implement a hazard identification system that allows workers to report hazards and unsafe conditions.
      • Ensure that workers understand how to report hazards and that their reports are taken seriously.
    7. Incident Reporting and Investigation:
      • Establish clear procedures for reporting and investigating workplace incidents.
      • Ensure that workers are aware of how to report incidents and understand the investigative process.
    8. Emergency Response Training:
      • Provide training on emergency response procedures, including evacuation, first aid, and the use of safety equipment.
      • Conduct regular drills to reinforce emergency response preparedness.
    9. Safety Signage and Labels:
      • Display safety signage and labels throughout the workplace to remind workers of hazards and safety precautions.
      • Ensure that signage is clear, visible, and easily understood.
    10. Continuous Improvement:
      • Encourage workers to actively participate in the identification of safety improvements.
      • Periodically review and update OH&S procedures based on lessons learned and changes in regulations.
    11. Record Keeping:
      • Maintain records of OH&S training, incident reports, safety meeting minutes, and hazard assessments.
      • Ensure that workers have access to relevant OH&S documents and resources.
    12. Promotion of a Safety Culture:
      • Foster a culture of safety by recognizing and rewarding safe behavior and contributions to OH&S.
      • Encourage workers to take ownership of their safety and the safety of their colleagues.
    13. Compliance Monitoring:
      • Regularly assess compliance with OH&S procedures and regulations.
      • Address non-compliance through corrective actions and further training if needed.
    14. Review and Audit:
      • Conduct periodic OH&S reviews and audits to assess the effectiveness of the awareness program.
      • Make improvements based on audit findings and feedback from workers.
    15. Documentation and Reporting:
      • Report on OH&S performance and achievements to management and relevant authorities as required by law.

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