What is ISO 45001?

The occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, ISO 45001 Certification, is a new international standard that provides a framework for an organization to manage risks and opportunities to help prevent work-related injury and ill health to workers.

ISO 45001 can be applied to any organization regardless of its size, type and nature. Its requirements are intended to be integrated into an organization’s own management processes. ISO 45001 enables an organization, through its OH&S management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker wellness/wellbeing; however, it should be noted that an organization can be required by applicable legal requirements to also address such issues

 Why ISO 45001?

As per a statistics it is learnt that over 7 600 people die each day from work-related accidents or diseases.

This has become a serious problem for the employers and employees where for employers it is resulting in losses from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance premiums and for employees it is loss of health, you suffer the physical or functional loss of a body part because of a work injury or in some cases leading to death.

To combat the problem, ISO has developed a new standard, ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, this standards provides a framework to improve employee safety, reduce risk in the workplace and create safer working conditions, everywhere.

The benefits of an effective management system to an organization include:

  • More efficient use of resources and improved financial performance,
  • Improved risk management and protection of people and the environment, and
  • Organization’s capability increases and delivers consistent quality services and products. This increases the value to customers and all other stakeholders.

What is a management system?

A management system is the way in which an organization administers the inter-related parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives.

ISO has provided several management Systems to address product or service quality, operational efficiency, environmental performance, health and safety in the workplace and many more.

This depends from organization to organization and the level of complexity of the system it adopts. For smaller organizations it may simply mean having strong leadership from the business owner, providing a clear definition of what is expected from each individual employee and how they contribute to the organization’s overall objectives, without the need for extensive documentation but it may not be the case in the well established organizations.

What does it contain?

An Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) is a fundamental part of an organization’s risk management strategy. The new ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) promote a safe and healthy working environment to:

  • Reduce occupational health and safety risk
  • Prevent work-related incidents
  • Improve legislative compliance

When was it introduced and what will happen to the current standard of OHSAS 18001?

ISO 45001:2018 Certification is published in 12 March 2018. From this date, the organizations that do not yet have certified for their OHSMS can implement the requirements of the new standard and approach for ISO 45001 certification.

International Accreditation Forum has given 3 years transition period for the organization who have already been certified for OHSAS 18001:2007 can migrate to the new standard with three years (i.e before 12 March 2021).

What is the main difference between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001?

ISO 45001 follows the High Level Structure of other ISO standards like the latest version of standards such as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 which makes integration of these standards much easier.

The new areas are addressed in ISO 45001 are as follows:

Context of the organization:

The organization shall verify internal and external problems that are relevant to its purpose which have an effect on its ability to realize the supposed outcomes of its OHSAS 18001 management system.

Understanding the requirements:

Expectations of staff and alternative interested parties are staff supplier, subcontractors, clients and regulatory authorities.

Risk and opportunities:

Organizations are to work out, think about and where ever necessary take action to handle any risks or opportunities that will impact the power of the management system to deliver its supposed results, as well as increased health and safety at the geographical point.

Leadership and management commitment:

Strong stress on prime management to actively interact, and responsibilities need to take for the effectiveness of the management system.

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