International standard on occupational Health and Safety reaches second draft stage

Business standards company the British Standards Institution (BSI) has now published the second draft of ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements. The yet-to-be launched international standard specifies requirements for an occupational Health and Safety management system, along with guidance for its use, to enable today’s organisations to provide safe and healthy working conditions for the prevention of work-related injury and ill-health.

The latest draft is now available to view online ahead of the formal commenting period (which begins on Friday 19 May). From this date the draft will be accessible, enabling those with an interest to submit comment: http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail?pid=000000000030358994

Each year, two million people die from work-related incidents, while the number of individuals suffering life-altering health conditions caused by their work is exponentially higher. These harrowing figures are in spite of the widespread adoption of International Labour Standards, indicating a pressing need for a standard specifically designed to ensure organisations manage the risk and improve their occupational Health and Safety in order to protect workers at all levels.

Occupational Health and Safety policy

ISO 45001 includes the development and implementation of an occupational Health and Safety policy and objectives which take into account applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes.

The international standard will help provide a single and clear framework for organisations of all types and sizes who wish to improve their occupational Health and Safety performance and protect those working on their behalf or who may be affected by the organisation’s activities. This includes any organisation beyond that of sole trader and those organisations working with multiple contractors, multiple sites, volunteers or temporary staff, etc.

The benefits of ISO 45001 include a single internationally-agreed standard suitable for all organisations worldwide, alignment with other key management system standards and requirements which direct organisations to design a management system uniquely suited to each organisation’s occupational Health and Safety needs

ISO 45001 has been developed using a collaborative, consensus-based approach, taking into account the views of large and small organisations alike, Government bodies, Trade Unions and worker representative organisations. It will eventually replace OHSAS 18001, an existing standard which sets out the minimum requirements for occupational Health and Safety management Best Practice. Although OHSAS 18001 is widely used both here in the UK and on the international stage, it’s not yet a full international standard.

Serious matter for all businesses

Anne Hayes, head of governance and resilience at the BSI, oversees the sector which develops Health and Safety standards. Hayes has engaged with BSI’s core markets regarding ISO 45001.

“Occupational Health and Safety is a serious matter for all businesses worldwide, regardless of their size or sector,” observed Hayes. “The BSI is proud to be involved with developing a clear framework for businesses wishing to maintain or improve safety within their workplaces. It’s important that ISO 45001 works in alignment with other management system standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The common text and structure in which ISO 45001 is written will ensure these management system standards are broadly aligned.”

The International Committee which developed ISO 45001 includes experts from over 50 countries and 20 liaison bodies, all of them with knowledge and practical experience of occupational Health and Safety issues and the challenges faced. The new standard is based on the core structure and common text developed by ISO for all of its management system standards, taking into account the requirements of the current OHSAS 18001 and other national standards (including those from the US, China and Canada).

*Publication of the final standard is anticipated towards the end of 2017

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI Editor, Risk UK Pro-Activ Publications

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