ISO 45001

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Standard

In March 2018, the final publication of ISO 45001 was introduced after nearly 5 years of development from a collaboration containing over 70 countries. ISO 45001 is a new global standard for occupational health and safety management systems that’ll provide solutions and structure to ensure worker safety. Importantly, this new standard will create a new global foundation for worker safety regulations and inspections. ISO 45001 is also scalable to any size organization, an is applicable to all industries and type of work. This new standard is designed to replace a previously adopted standard, OHSA’s 18001 (along with other global standards), which has only been in effect for 3 years, and takes a more reactive approach to occupational health and safety. With nearly eight thousand people dying each day from workplace-related accidents, it’s time to follow a consistent standard to protect our workers from safety hazards.

What Will ISO 45001 Do For Occupational Health and Safety?

This standard is designed to create a foundation for occupational health and safety to be managed effectively in any and all organizations. One of the greater benefits of ISO 45001 is that it’ll provide consistent occupational health and safety practices for firms that engage with international supply chains – so regardless of where your workers are located, they’re still following the same OHS standards. ISO 45001 also takes a more proactive approach to managing risk and this starts with the deep incorporation of occupational health and safety strategies with the management of the organization. Managers, under this standard, are expected to become safety leaders and demonstrate this with a top-down approach. No longer are managers only focused on performance improvements, protection of their workers is a now a core role as a leader.

ISO 45001 doesn’t just put the responsibility of safety management on the organization leaders, this falls on the workers as well. This standard encourages employee engagement and participation through training and education to identify risk in the workplace, as well as provide input on how the organization can improve its health and safety practices.

How to Implement ISO 45001 In Your Workplace

  • Understand OHSMS (Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems) and ISO 45001’s benefits and purpose. They are critical to establishing this standard in the workplace. Outside of how this standard affects the health and safety focus of the workplace, this standard affects operations as a whole as well, since existing processes may require updating or even eliminating.
  • Examine your current occupational health and safety strategy will assist in determining how to fit the ISO 45001 standard into your practice. If the organization is already following the principles of ISO 9000 and ISO 14001, implementing this new standard becomes much more simple.
  • Work with stakeholders to determine how to implement ISO 45001 so that current organizational processes can prepare leadership for operational and financial impacts. Often, making significant changes to existing health and safety strategies forces change in the operational makeup of the company so working with all affected parties will lend a smoother transition and creates a level of accountability.
  • Prioritize and establish goals, both safety and performance-wise, when implementing ISO 45001. It will assist in the focus from safety professionals and leaders in an organization. Doing so will allow any organization to create and follow metrics based on the implementation to track effectiveness, and improvements versus past performance.
  • Establish your Occupational Health & Safety Management System that’s designed for your organization based on your newly established goals. Following earlier established principles of leadership becoming more engaged in safety practices as well as encouraging employee participation will ensure a smooth transition. Track performance against the established goals and improve as necessary to follow ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 Makes Organizations Safer For All

Implementing ISO 45001 in an organization will contribute to:

  • Improvements in occupational health and safety through the development of an OHS policy;
  • The determination of hazards and risk in the workplace;
  • Moving management to a more engaged role in safety;
  • Encouraging employee participation in the overall structure;
  • Increasing overall awareness of OHS risk and hazards.

With any new strategy in your organization, conduct plenty of research and determine how a new and consistent safety strategy can improve your workplace and your employees safety.