WHAT IS ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is the world’s international standard for occupational health and safety, issued to protect employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases. ISO 45001 certification was developed to mitigate any factors that can cause employees and businesses irreparable harm. Its standards are the result of great effort by a committee of health and safety management experts who looked closely at a number of other approaches to system management — including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. In addition, ISO 45001 was designed to take other existing occupational health and safety standards, such as OHSAS 18001, into account — as well as the ILO’s labor standards, conventions and safety guidelines.
Especially geared toward senior management, ISO 45001 has the ultimate goal of helping businesses provide a healthy and safe working environment for their employees and everyone else who visits the workplace. This goal can be achieved by controlling factors that could potentially lead to injury, illness and — in extreme situations — even death. As a result, ISO 45001 is concerned with mitigating any factors that are harmful or that pose a danger to workers’ physical and/or mental well-being.
Sadly, thousands of workers lose their lives each day to preventable instances of adverse workplace conditions. In fact, according to the ISO and International Labour Organization — or ILO — more than 2.7 million deaths occur globally due to occupational accidents. And in addition to that there are 374 million non-fatal injuries each year, resulting in 4 or more days absences from work.
According to many health and safety experts — including the professionals who worked on the ISO committee — ISO 45001 represents a landmark breakthrough. For the first time internationally, businesses of all sizes can now access a single framework that offers them a clear pathway to developing better and more robust occupational health and safety measures.
Although ISO 45001 is heavily informed by OHSAS 18001, it’s a distinctly new standard — not a simple revision or brief update. Read on to see what organizations of all types and sizes need to do to maintain compliance and achieve ISO 45001 certification.
- Worker Safety
- Risk Management
- Risk Reduction
- Injury Prevention
- Enhanced Occupational Health Measures
- Statutory Identification and Compliance Evaluation
- Improve Productivity
- Enhance Organizational Safety Culture
- Reduced operating costs: Less down-time due to incidents and ill health and lower costs from legal fees and compensation means money saved.
- Improved stakeholder relationships: Make the health and property of staff, customers, and suppliers more of a priority and people will respond.
- Legal compliance: Understand how statutory and regulatory requirements impact your organization and its customers.
- Improved risk management: Identify potential incidents and implement controls and measures to keep risk as low as possible, protecting employees and customers from harm.
- Proven business credentials: Independent verification against a globally recognized industry standard speaks volumes.
- Customer satisfaction and safety: Meet customer requirements consistently whilst safeguarding their health and property.
If you have certification to OHSAS 18001 you will need to migrate to ISO 45001 to maintain the validity of certification. There is the normal 3 year migration period so there is still time to plan your move over to ISO 45001 certification.
ISO 45001 is right if you and your organization need to demonstrate a commitment in managing the safety of workers and interested parties. If you have already implemented a quality or environmental management sytem aligned with the new Annex SL structure ISO 45001 can be integrated smoothly. Organizations that implement ISO 45001 need:
- a clear management structure with defined authority and responsibility
- defined objectives for improvement, with measurable results
- a structured approach to risk assessment and reduction
Health & safety management failures, performance and the review of policies and objectives should be regularly monitored to ensure improvements and business benefits are realised and prioritised accordingly.