ISO 45001 in 45 Minutes - Clause 4 Context of the Organisation

07.11.19 01:41 PM Comment(s) By Nicholas Graham

So what is the Context of the Organisation

Thanks for joining us as we take 45 minutes to go through ISO 45001:2018. In this module we will go through Clause 4 - The Context of the Organisation.

Clause 4 is made up of the following sub-clauses:

  • Clause 4.1 - Understanding the Organisation and it's Context. Here we examine internal & external issues which could impact the Organisation and its OHS Management Systems ability to achieve its intended outcomes.
  • Clause 4.2 - Understanding the needs and expectations of workers and interested parties. Here we identify the workers and interested parties, what their needs and expectations are, and decide if we will adopt them as requirements in our OHS Management System. 
  • Clause 4.3 - Determining the scope of the OHS Management System. After considering issues raised in Clauses 4.1 and 4.2 , we determine the boundaries of our OHS Management System. 
  • Clause 4.4 - OHS Management System. Here we ensure that the OHS Management system is established, implemented, maintained and improved, including its interrelationship with the business processes. 

ISO 45001 in 45 minutes


Part 1: Clause 4 – Organisational Context


4.1. Understanding the Organisation and Context


In order to understand an organisation and its context, you will need to identify the internal and external issues that affect the organisation and its management system in order to achieve the outcomes of the management system.


Internal Issues include:

1. Old infrastructure – such as added maintenance and whether it is unsafe

2. Unskilled staff – this will affect the performance of the organisation

3. Absenteeism/ ill health – the resources

4. Poor compliance relations – will have a negative compliance outcome

5. Good worker relations – will leverage a positive outcome


External issues include:

1. Social Issues – (alcoholism) will affect the health and safety of the organisation

2. Recession – this will affect the financial budget

3. Competitive market – influence the financial performance and affect OHS budget

4. Access to new technology – Opportunity to improve performance


Intended Outcomes

1. Prevention of injury and ill health

2. Compliance

3. Safe healthy workplace

4. Improved OHS performance 

5. Eliminating hazards and reducing risks



4.2 Needs and Expectations of Workers and Interested Parties


In order to this, there are 3 steps to follow:

1. Define interested parties/workers

This would be to categorise them into employees, contractors, suppliers, visitors, shareholders. Regulators and local communities

2. Define their needs and expectations

Workplace health and safety compliance and the prevention of injuries and ill health

3. Define if needs and expectations will become compliance requirements

i.e. if not already a legal requirement, you may adopt as a requirement



4.3 Define the Scope of your OHS Management System


1. After considering the issues identified in 4.1 and 4.2 above, define the SCOPE of your OHS management system.

2. You will also need to take into account the current and future work

3. Scope statement must be documented with its applicability to your management system. (will it include your geographic area)

Here is an example of SRM’s Scope statement:

SRM is a SHEQ consulting, auditing, training and software compliance company with branches in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. This OHS management system will apply to all our activities, products and services rendered by all three branches, nationally and internationally.



4.4 Interrelationship of processes


How is your management system is going to interact with your business process?

You will need to:

1. Establish, implement, maintain and improve the OHS management system 

2. Including the processes and interactions



Overview of Clause 4


1. Procedure followed – OHS Manual 

2. Inputs - Discovery Register (follow our HIRA series for more information)

- O­­­­rganogram to be inserted into the manual

3. Process - 4.1 Organisation Context with internal and external issues

- 4.2 Needs of workers and interested parties

- 4.3 Scope (to be documented in the manual)

- 4.4 Interrelationship of processes (to be included in the manual)

4. Outputs - OHS Organisation Register

- Interrelationship of processes


Join us for the video below, explaining the process in greater detail 

Please feel free to contact SRM / Mango to find out how we can be of assistance with ISO 45001 
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