On March 12, 2018, the new Health and Safety Management System Standard, ISO 45001, was officially launched globally. The burden of occupational injuries and diseases is significant; both for employers and the wider economy, resulting in loss from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance claims.
ISO 45001 can be categorised as an International Standard which specifies requirements to be followed for the occupational health and safety management system (OH&S) of a business or company, including specific guidance on its use. It can help create a global foundation of worker safety standards and inspections that can be used by all global supply chains, for all industries and cover contractors and subcontractors in every country that supply products into these supply chains. This helps businesses improve their OH&S performance in order to prevent workplace injury and health issues.
The global ISO 45001 standard is applicable to businesses of all sizes, industry and operational scope. The standard enables a business to integrate certain health and safety aspects through their respective OH&S system, such as employee wellbeing. However, this is not to say that businesses cannot be legally asked to address all such issues. ISO 45001 is the future replacement to OHSAS 18001 and will become the ISO standard for occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS)
ISO 45001 is intended for use by any organisation, regardless of its size or the nature of its work and can be integrated into other health and safety programmes such as worker wellness and wellbeing. It also addresses many, if not all, legal requirements in this area. The standard applies to all organisations; any organisation which has employees working on its behalf, who may be affected by day-to-day business operations, is required to use a systematic approach in managing workplace health and safety.
Even though the International Standard requires organisations to address and control OH&S risks, it also forces them to employ a risk-based approach when it comes to the OH&S management system. This helps ensure that it is not only effectively implemented but also improved dynamically to meet an organisation’s operational "context".
This risk-based method can be seamlessly integrated with an organisation’s other day-to-day business risks and therefore, allows for the integration of ISO 45001 with an organisation’s overall management systems or those to ISO 9001 or 14001.
Implementation of the standard will help businesses to significantly improve their OH&S performance in the following ways:
The simple answer is yes! Whilst the formal date is yet to be announced it is widely anticipated that this will be in place in February 2018. There are some notable advantages of ISO45001 over BS OHSAS 18001, including:
It has been created by an international committee of specialists to address global variations in approach and health and safety culture
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