What is the ISO?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the largest developer of voluntary International Standards, with a network of national standards bodies covering most countries in the world. International Standards help companies and organizations to increase performance while protecting consumers and our planet.
Some other well-known standards include ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), ISO 50001 (Energy Management), and ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility).
What is the ISO 45001 standard?
The ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements is the world’s first occupational health and safety international standard. It helps organisations provide a safe and healthy workplace for their workers and to prevent accidents in the workplace. The implementation of an OH&S management system will be a strategic decision for an organization that can be used to support its sustainability.
What does ISO 45001 outline?
The new ISO 45001 standard provides a framework to improve conditions and employee safety in the workplace by reducing possible risks. The standard follows other industry standards such as OHSAS 18001 and its expected full publication in March 2018. Regardless of company size and stature, the new ISO 45001 standard aims to fulfil objectives for any type of organisation by:
- improving its ability to respond to regulatory compliance issues
- reducing the overall costs of incidents
- reducing downtime and the costs of disruption to operations
- reducing the cost of insurance premiums
- reducing absenteeism and employee turnover rates
Why is it important?
Integration with management systems is one of the many ways by which the new ISO 45001 standard aims to address industry problems and improve Occupational Health & Safety (OHS). For instance, technology can be used to give companies, safety inspectors and the workforce a modern and accurate risk management solution. Using mobile devices to conduct safety inspections is particularly beneficial as all data and records can be streamlined and synchronised with in-depth dynamic analysis.
Safety inspectors in the field and teams in the office are finding digital inspection software to be a powerful tool, given its multiple advantages. For example, digital safety inspection checklists can be used to provide quick updates over-the-air using internet connectivity, and mobile applications can include reference material and relevant extracts from documents, allowing your inspection team to keep themselves updated about new standards and regulations.
How applying ISO 45001 can improve managing your safety inspections
Implementing digital inspection software and mobile devices alongside ISO 45001 is a sure-fire way to modernise safety inspections. The ISO aims for the new ISO 45001 standard to improve OHS by:
- developing and implementing an OHS policy and objectives
- establishing systematic processes that consider its ‘context’ and take into account its risks and opportunities, and legal requirements
- determining the hazards and OHS risks associated with its activities – seeking to eliminate them, or putting in controls to minimise their potential impact
- establishing operational controls to manage its OHS risks as well as legal and other requirements
- increasing awareness of risks
- evaluating its OHS performance and seeking to improve it through appropriate actions
- ensuring workers take an active role in OHS matters
How will this affect you?
This standard is designed for all types of organisations to be able to benefit from it, regardless of whether you’re operating in a small-to-medium sized business or a global conglomerate.
The standard can be used by small low-risk operations equally as well as by high risk and large complex organisations. While the standard requires that OH&S risks are addressed and controlled, it also takes a risk-based approach to the OH&S management system itself, to ensure
a) that it is effective
b) being improved to meet an organization’s ever-changing ‘context’
This risk-based approach is consistent with the way organizations manage their other ‘business’ risks and hence encourages the integration of the standard’s requirements into organizations’ overall management processes.
When will it be available?
ISO has confirmed that the approved standard is set to be published in March 2018.
How can I become ISO compliant?
Speak to our team today about how we can assist you in becoming ISO compliant through our solutions and consulting.
If you’d like to know more about the ISO 45001 OHS standard, you can get more information from:
- Committee developing the standards and its work, ISO/PC 283
- High-Levell Structure, view Annex SL of the ISO Directives
- Content of the development version, please contact your National Member Body
Where can I get more information?