Across the globe, over 7 600 people die each day from work-related accidents or illnesses. That’s over 2.78 million every year, according to a 2017 study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Additionally, there are some 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses each year, making ‘going to work’ a dangerous activity for many people.
The new International Standard for occupational health and safety (ISO 45001:2018) hopes to change that. It provides governmental agencies, industry and other affected stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. More than 70 countries were directly involved in the creation of this important document, with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the committee secretariat.
David Smith, Chair of the project committee that developed ISO 45001, believes the new International Standard will be a game changer for millions of workers: “It is hoped that ISO 45001 will lead to a major transformation in workplace practices and reduce the tragic toll of work-related accidents and illnesses across the globe,” he said.
Because ISO 45001 is designed to integrate with other ISO management systems standards, ensuring a high level of compatibility with the new versions of ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), businesses that already implement an ISO standard will have a leg up if they decide to work toward ISO 45001.
The new OH&S standard is based on the common elements found in all of ISO’s management systems standards and uses a simple Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model as the framework for organisations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimise the risk of harm.
ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, the world’s former reference for workplace health and safety. Organisations already certified to OHSAS 18001 will have three years to comply with the new ISO 45001 standard.
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has developed the migration requirements to help certified organisations, certification bodies, accreditation bodies and other interested parties prepare. For more information, please contact us.