ISO 45001 Certification Clauses In Malaysia To Protect Your Workforce

Understanding the ISO 45001 certification clauses in Malaysia is the first step when you decide to implement the occupational health and safety management system. 

Basically, ISO 45001 provides a framework to help businesses adopt occupational health and safety standards. Its purpose is to reduce accidents and incidents in the workplace that cause injuries and diseases. It will not only protect employees, but also reduce unnecessary costs in the long run.

ISO certification process

What Are The ISO 45001 Certification Clauses In Malaysia?

Now, let’s take a closer look at the structure of ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 Certification in Malaysia is basically split into ten clauses with clear and defined requirements that you must meet to get certified successfully. In this article, we will delve more deeply into each clause to explain what it is, how it works and how you can implement it in your business.

Clauses 1–3: Terminology and scope

The first three clauses of ISO 45001 certification in Malaysia provide information on the scope of the occupational health and safety standard, normative references, and terms and definitions. The details will help you gain a better understanding of the standard. 

Clause 4: Context of The Organisation

This clause outlines the purpose of the ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system. It also defines the scope and boundaries. More importantly, you must align the standard with your company’s strategic direction. Integrate the OH&S management system into your business functions rather than use it as a standalone discipline. 

To achieve the desired outcomes of your OH&S management system, your company must determine the internal and external factors. Internal factors can be the commitment and competence of your employees to implement the system. Besides, their willingness to participate and follow your guidelines is also one of the external factors.

External issues, on the other hand, can be legal and statutory requirements, economic and political conditions, competition and market conditions. Also, you must include the expectations of stakeholders and shareholders, as they may have either internal or external influence or even both. 

Clause 5: Leadership and worker participation

The top management plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of employees. This means that it has to demonstrate ownership of the safety management process, continually be aware of safety performance and take appropriate corrective action when it sees risk.

Also, top management must be committed to developing and maintaining a safety program that meets the organisation’s needs. The commitment must be real and not just lip service. 

An organisational commitment to safety must be demonstrated by senior management, as well as by each manager, supervisor, and employee. Given the purpose of creating a safety culture at the workplace, the top management must ensure everyone is actively participating in the safety program. For example, establish a health and safety committee to encourage a joint effort across the team.

Clause 6: Planning for the OH&S Management System

In this clause, you need to identify the objectives for your OH&S management system and how you can accomplish them. Of course, your primary goal is to eliminate or reduce workplace health and safety risks. Even so, you should turn this objective into practical steps. 


Firstly, you should consider the legal and statutory requirements, stakeholders’ expectations and needs, and operational requirements. You should then assess workplace safety and health risks by collecting related facts and data. It may include the data such as the frequency of occupational accidents happening each year and the average number of absent days every year.

Once you have gathered this information, you can develop plans to prevent health and safety issues. To simplify your mitigating plans, you can break them down into the following steps: 

  • What can be done to implement the plan?
  • What resources do you need? 
  • Who should be responsible for implementing the plan?
  • When is its completion date? 
  • How will you evaluate the plan?
  • How can you integrate the plan into your business activities?

Clause 7: Support

Your company needs to provide the necessary resources to develop, implement, maintain and improve the OH&S management system. The resources support includes human resources, financial resources, and infrastructure. 

Staff training, for instance, requires adequate resources to increase staff awareness and educate them with the necessary skills or knowledge to do their job safely. Also, training programmes will ensure that employees follow your company guidelines. 

Alternatively, the technology support such as information and monitoring systems to gather data and evaluate the effectiveness of the safety management system is also an essential resource. It can help you collect the information needed for risk assessment, risk responses, and continual improvements.

Clause 8: Operation

Your OH&S management system must have effective safeguarding measures and operational controls. These include the mitigation of risks, procurement, change management, and emergency preparedness and response.

Safeguarding measures are actions to keep people out of harm’s way. On the other hand, operational control measures are the actions to ensure that equipment and machinery are working safely. 

Both measures are used to eliminate or reduce risk. You may also use them as a response to the risk that is identified but cannot be eliminated or reduced.

Clause 9: Performance evaluation

One of the vital requirements of ISO 45001 is to monitor and evaluate the OH&S system’s performance. It helps to ensure that the system is working effectively. What you need to do is to assess the status of legal compliance and internal audit results.

Also, clause 9 of ISO 45001 certification in Malaysia requires that management review the system performance to ensure effective implementation. It is a critical step to allow actions for continual improvement of your OH&S system. 

Clause 10: Improvement

The final ISO 45001 clause describes how your company continuously improves the OH&S management system. 

Implementing an OH&S management system is not a one-off thing. Instead, you need to make sure it works effectively in the long term. Therefore, you need to deal with any non-conformance effectively and use a good corrective action process to stop non-conformities from reoccurring. 

The best way to identify and address the root cause of an issue is to involve the team in the corrective action processes. More importantly, it will ensure that the team responsible for preventing recurrences have complete information. Thus, they can be more cautious against the non-conformances, quickly address them and improve the OH&S management system’s performance. 

Besides, you can use this clause to create an open and transparent environment where suggestions and ideas are encouraged and welcomed. This clause also allows you to conduct comprehensive assessment programmes for your management system. These programmes help you identify current weaknesses in your system and determine how you can improve them.

Putting All ISO 45001 Clauses Together

The major challenge is to meet and apply the requirements of ISO 45001 certification clauses in Malaysia to your company’s policies and business activities. Without proper integration, it is difficult to ensure your OH&S management system structure is correct and effective in the long run. Having said that, you can use the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to evaluate and ensure the system works effectively. 

Concentrate on meeting the objectives and requirements of each ISO 45001 certification clause in Malaysia, and also apply them to your business activities. It will help your journey of obtaining the certification become much easier and smoother.

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