On 12th March 2018 the new standard ISO 45001 was launched. ISO 45001 is now a recognised international standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management Systems and replacing the BS OHSAS 18001. ISO 45001 differs from the other Health and Safety Management System as it is a global standard where as the previous versions were not, with the aim to improve safety standards globally.
Do you have an effective Safety Management System in place?
ISO 45001 is based upon the same high standard as the Quality and Environmental Management Systems (ISO 9001:2015; ISO 14001:2015) and looks to have a massive effect on levels of health and safety at work. The Safety Management System is based on the plan, do, check, act concept.
ISO 45001 can be applied in any organisation regardless of size or type of industry as the overall purpose for ISO 45001 is to improve occupational health and safety performance in order to prevent injury and ill-health globally, effectively applying to everyone in the workplace.
Main Changes Between BS OHAS 18001 and ISO 45001
- The Context of Organisation. It now forms part of the core business function rather than an area on its own.
- There is more emphasis on leadership and culture with organisations so it is more active and visible within the workplace.
- Consultation and Participation. The new standard expressly defines the need to engage with workers, everyone within the organisation at all levels and having workers involved in the decision making process.
If you currently have BS OHAS 18001 accreditation then you will need to transition over to ISO 45001.
Consider the Hazards & Risks in your Business
The new standard ISO 45001 helps organisations to think about hazards, risks and encourages them to look at all risks within the organisation. The one area that this safety management system takes into account is the rise of opportunities, meaning the use of hierarchy of controls.
Can you eliminate the risk? For example, spending a little more money, time and effort to remove the risk entirely in order to benefit the health, safety and welfare of your workforce. ISO 45001 encourages you to think about ways to improve health and wellbeing of your workforce and to help drive up safety standards within your organisation by trying to eliminate the risk.
One of the benefits of the new Safety Management System is that it allows you to evaluate performance and it drives you for continual improvement within the organisation.
ISO 45001 is not a legal requirement but it is a voluntary standard to help demonstrate compliance. However ISO state that “Simply having a formal management system in place will bring many benefits of its own through enforcing best practice. Certification is merely an added endorsement that demonstrates to external parties that you have achieved full compliance with a specific standard.”
To conclude, ISO 45001 the international standard for Occupational Health and Safety aims to provide a safe, healthy workplace and prevent the likelihood of injuries and ill-health arising. Performance should be improved within the workplace by consulting with employees and allowing workers to participate.
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