International Health and Safety Standards: A Catalyst for Enhanced Risk Management in New Zealand Organisations

25 June, 2024  |  News

While you’re busy ensuring your business flows smoothly, you need someone to take care of the more practical aspects. That’s where we come in. At IMPAC we’re educating professionals on the importance of maintaining health and safety standards. From specific international requirements to general domestic benefits, our guide will cover all the bases to mitigate your business risks. 


What is ISO?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a globally recognised body that develops and publishes standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.

While the aim of ISO is to reduce risks associated with business practices, sometimes people can find it inaccessible or hard to understand. That’s why we’re breaking down two key standards: ISO 31000 and ISO 45001.


ISO 31000 – Risk Management

ISO 31000 is the international standard for risk management. It provides guidelines, and principles for managing risk effectively which are crucial to any organisation, regardless of size, industry, or sector.


Principles of ISO 31000

The standard implements eight principles that are crucial to risk management. We’ve summarised them below: 

  1. Integration: Risk management should be an integral part of the organisation's activities. It needs to be incorporated into the organisation's structure, operations, and decision-making processes.

  2. Structured Approach: A systematic and structured approach to risk management is essential. This involves setting up a formal framework and processes for identifying, assessing, managing, and monitoring risks. 

  3. Personalisation: Risk management should be customised to the specific needs and context of the organisation. This means considering the size, nature, complexity, and external environment of the organisation. 

  4. Stakeholder Inclusion: Effective risk management requires the involvement of all relevant stakeholders. This includes employees, management, customers, suppliers, and any other parties who might be affected by the organisation's risks.

  5. Adaptability: Risk management must be dynamic and responsive to change. The organisation should regularly review and update its risk management processes to reflect changes in the internal and external environment. 

  6. Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Decisions related to risk management should be grounded in reliable and up-to-date information. This requires gathering and analysing data from various sources to ensure that decisions are informed by accurate insights.

  7. Human and Cultural Factors: Finally, the behaviour and culture of people within the organisation significantly impact risk management. Recognising the role of human factors, such as leadership, communication, and employee engagement, is crucial.

  8. Continuous Improvement: In a similar vein to principle 5, organisations should continually seek ways to enhance their risk management practices including embracing new opportunities to enhance their processes.


Benefits of Implementing ISO 31000

ISO 31000 empowers organisations to make informed and data-driven decisions. By providing a clear framework and methodology for identifying, assessing, and managing risks, ISO 31000 ensures that decisions are based on comprehensive risk analysis. This leads to more effective and predictable outcomes, reducing uncertainty and enhancing the organisation's ability to achieve its objectives.

Another primary benefit is that ISO 31000 helps protect company assets. By providing information on identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities, implementing ISO 31000 will help you take preventive measures to avoid losses or damages. This not only safeguards physical assets but also preserves intangible assets such as brand reputation and stakeholder trust. 

Finally, organisations that adhere to ISO standards are better equipped to meet the expectations of regulators and avoid legal penalties. This structured approach to compliance not only reduces the risk of non-compliance but also positions the organisation as a responsible and trustworthy entity.

One particular group who were able to reap the benefits of ISO 31000 implementation is La Poste, a major French public company. The adoption of ISO 31000 marked a significant shift for La Poste, enabling the group to systematically manage risks and align its operations with international standards. The creation of a risk and control committee fostered a global approach to managing common risks and improving efficiency and compliance. As a result, the company was able to launch new business initiatives and products with greater confidence and better supervisory management. 


ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management

ISO 45001 is the international standard for safety management. Its comprehensive framework is designed to increase workplace safety, reduce risks and enhance health and well-being to ensure the ideal work environment. 

If you’ve implemented health and safety guidelines before, you might be familiar with the previous standard, OHSAS 18001. Developed by the British Standards Institution, the OHSAS 18001 provided a recognisable framework for managing OHS risks. However, because it was not an ISO standard it was limited in global recognition. In response, ISO created the 45001 standard. In order to truly emphasise how revolutionary this change is, we’ve summarised some key differences and requirements under ISO 45001. 


Some Key Requirements of ISO 45001

  1. Establishing Context of Your Organisation: Understanding the landscape in which your organisation operates is crucial. ISO 45001 encourages going beyond mere compliance by considering legal obligations, stakeholder expectations, and the unique context of your organisation.

  2. Leadership and Worker Participation: For a truly effective OHS Management System, leadership and commitment from top management are essential. ISO 45001 demands that leaders actively champion and drive the OH&S initiatives, fostering a culture where safety is a shared responsibility.

  3. Creating a Support System: To implement and maintain an effective OH&S Management System, you need the right resources. This includes trained and competent personnel, adequate infrastructure, and effective communication channels. 

  4. Improvement: Finally, the core goal of ISO 45001 is to improve businesses. It does this by encouraging a proactive approach to improvement. Based on performance evaluations, take decisive actions to address non-conformities, prevent incident recurrence, and drive continual improvement. By fostering an environment where improvement is an ongoing pursuit, you not only comply with ISO 45001 but also build a safer, more resilient organisation.


Benefits of Implementing ISO 45001

The key benefit of implementing ISO 45001 is first and foremost, its positive effect on managing occupational health and safety risks. The direct effect of this is that implementing ISO 45001 ensures companies comply with legal and regulatory requirements. 

Of course, with an increase in safety, many companies see an increase in improved employee morale. A strong commitment to health and safety can boost employee morale, engagement, and productivity.

Finally, adopting ISO 45001 demonstrates a commitment to high standards of health and safety, enhancing the organisation's reputation and building trust with stakeholders. 

These benefits aren’t just anecdotal. A large-scale study was conducted on the effects of ISO-45001 adoption. The findings were significant with ISO-45001 certified companies displaying better performance in terms of productivity and profitability.


Benefits of International Standards for New Zealand Organisations

Implementing ISO 45001 enhances workplace safety and reduces incidents, aligning perfectly with the requirements of New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Act.

Specifically, sections 36 to 44 of the Act mandate the duty of care that organisations must provide to ensure the health and safety of their workers. By adhering to these standards, businesses not only meet but often exceed these legal obligations, effectively mitigating risks and avoiding costly legal penalties.


The Role of +IMPAC

When it comes to leading health and safety training in New Zealand, +IMPAC stands at the forefront. With a reputation built on excellence and a commitment to creating safer workplaces, we offer comprehensive training solutions tailored to meet the needs of modern organisations. Whether you are looking to enhance your understanding of risk management with ISO 31000 or aiming to improve occupational health and safety with ISO 45001, +IMPAC has you covered with our comprehensive courses. 

Our course ‘Introduction to ISO 31000 Risk Management’ provides a detailed exploration of risk management, ensuring students recognise the principles and foundation for managing risk and appreciate the importance of effective integration. 

Our Introduction to ISO 45001 implements an awareness of the health and safety management standard. After completion, students will understand the correct use and application of the ISO 45001 standard document alongside relevant clauses which they can then apply to their workplace. 

For those looking to understand and apply the skills needed to be a successful Occupational Health + Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) auditor and support your business to achieve ISO 45001 accreditation, consider our highly practical CQI and IRCA Certified ISO: Lead Auditor course.

All of our courses are developed to ensure students gain: 

  • In-Depth Knowledge: Understand the intricacies of ISO standards and how they apply to your organisation.

  • Practical Skills: Learn how to develop, implement, and manage effective risk management and OH&S systems.

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Equip yourself and your leadership teams with the tools to make informed, data-driven decisions that improve safety and efficiency.



While you're focused on driving your business forward, let IMPAC handle the intricacies of health and safety compliance. With our expert-led courses, we provide the essential knowledge and skills to ensure your organisation excels in risk management and occupational health and safety.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to elevate your business. Visit our website to explore our comprehensive training options and enrol in our next course. Join the many New Zealand organisations that have already reaped the benefits of our expert training and commitment to creating safer, more productive workplaces.