International occupational health and safety standard published

March 27th, 2018, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize, Articles: EngineerIT, Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

The international standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S) has been published in March 2018. ISO 45001:2018, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, provides a robust and effective set of processes for improving work safety in global supply chains. Designed to help organisations of all sizes and industries, the new international standard is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses around the world.

According to 2017 calculations by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 2,78-million fatal accidents occur at work yearly. This means that, every day, almost 7700 persons die of work-related diseases or injuries. Additionally, there are some 374-million non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses each year, many of these resulting in extended absences from work. This paints a sober picture of the modern workplace – one where workers can suffer serious consequences as a result of simply doing their job.

The new standard hopes to change that by providing governmental agencies, industry and other affected stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. By means of an easy-to-use framework, it can be applied to both captive and partner factories and production facilities, regardless of their location. The new standard will help organisations provide a safe and healthy work environment for workers and visitors by continually improving their OH&S performance.

The new OH&S standard is based on the common elements found in all of ISO’s management systems standards and uses a simple Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model, which provides a framework for organisations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimise the risk of harm. The measures should address concerns that can lead to long-term health issues and absence from work, as well as those that give rise to accidents.

ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, the world’s former reference for workplace health and safety. Organisations already certified to OHSAS 18001 will have three years to comply with the new standard, although certification of conformity to ISO 45001 is not a requirement of the standard. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has developed the migration requirements to help certified organisations, certification bodies, accreditation bodies and other interested parties prepare.

More than 70 countries were directly involved in the creation of this important document, developed by ISO/PC 283, Occupational health and safety management systems, with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the committee secretariat. Because ISO 45001 is designed to integrate with other ISO management systems standards, ensuring a high level of compatibility with the new versions of ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), businesses that already implement an ISO standard will have a leg up if they decide to work toward ISO 45001.

Contact ISO, central@iso.org