In an attempt to better protect workers in industries across the globe, a new International Standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) has been developed.
“According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are currently more than 2.78 million deaths a year as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases, in addition to 374 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses. Aside from the enormous impact on families and communities, the cost to business and economies is significant.” (ISO 2018)
ISO 45001 hopes to provide an easy-to-use framework when it comes to implementing safety processes, reducing workplace injuries and illnesses, all while increasing productivity.
ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001 - the former standard for workplace health and safety - and is designed to be easily integrated with existing organizational management processes. Businesses that have a previous ISO standard already implemented will have a simpler time implementing ISO 45001. Any change in standards or organizational structure can be challenging, so it’s important to understand all the requirements and guidelines of this new standard.
What’s New in ISO 45001
This new standard was designed to be applicable to all organizations, “regardless of size, industry or nature of business.” (ISO 2018) It is meant to be used as a framework to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses by managing risks. By following this framework your organization can become proactive rather than reactive in keeping your workers safe.
One of the key benefits of ISO 45001 is its utilization of a simple Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model - also called a Deming model after creator W. Edwards Deming - of continual improvement (Gasiorowski-Denis 2018). By developing and following a PDCA, organizations are able to design a precise plan that will allow them to prioritize preventative measures as part of a company-wide safety effort, rather than just leaving it up to a safety manager.
There are some important changes to be aware of. These include:
- Structure of International Standard: implementation of the Annex SL process, which will allow for the integrations of other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and 14001
- Organizational Context: determining scope, issues, risks and opportunities to gain insights and understanding into the “needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties”
- Understanding Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties: these can include internal parties (workers, unions, suppliers, board of directors, contractors) and external parties (consumers, shareholders, legislators, media, regulators)
- Leadership: “enhanced to ensure commitment and active support from top management”
- Worker Participation (Worker Representatives): additional emphasis on non-managerial worker participation
- Hazard Identification/ Assessment of Risk: “proactively identify any sources or situations, arising from an organization’s activities, with potential for work-related injury and ill health”
- Planning: including “What will be done, what resources will be required, who will be responsible, when they will be completed, how they will be measured through indicators (if practicable) and monitored, how results will be evaluated, how the actions to achieve OH&S objectives will be integrated into the organization’s business process.”
- Documented Information: simply but accurately maintain and retain documentation and information of OH&S objectives and plans
- Outsourcing, Procurement and Contractors: ensuring that any outsourced, procured or contracted work affecting OH&S systems are controlled
- OH&S Performance Evaluation: “Organizations must establish, implement and maintain a process for monitoring, measurement and evaluation.” (NSF-ISR 2018)
With these changes come some exciting benefits for organizations that implement this new standard. These include:
- Greater overall workplace safety through reduced incidents
- Increased productivity and reduced turnover
- Lower insurance premiums
- Establishing continued and proactive leadership commitment to OH&S performance.
- Meeting legal and regulatory requirements.
- Improved reputation and staff morale
- Creation of health and safety culture, where employees are encouraged to take control of their own OH&S. (ISO 2018)
Implementing ISO 45001 in 5 Steps
Now that you understand the changes and benefits of this new standard, it’s time to implement it within your organization. The steps are:1. Understand OHSMS and ISO 45001
2. Examine your current system
3. Engage with stakeholders
4. Determine priorities and establish goals
5. Establish or improve your OHSMS (ASSE 2018)
Wherever you are in the process of implementing ISO 45001, our safety experts can help. Contact us today with any questions to begin the process of making your facility safer!
ASSE (2018) ISO 45001 Five-Step Action Plan. Retrieved from: http://iso45001.asse.org/
Gasiorowski-Denis, Elizabeth (2018) ISO 45001 is now published. Retrieved from: https://www.iso.org/news/ref2272.html
ISO (2018) Occupational health and safety ISO 45001. Retrieved from: https://www.iso.org/files/live/sites/isoorg/files/store/en/PUB100427.pdf
NSF-ISR (2018) ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Information Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.nsf.org/newsroom_pdf/isr_dis45001_guide.pdf
SGS Group (2018) OHSAS 18001: Occupational Health and Safety Audit & Certification. Retrieved from: https://www.sgsgroup.us.com/en/health-safety/quality-health-safety-and-environment/health-and-safety/health-safety-and-environment-management/ohsas-18001-occupational-health-and-safety-management-systems