Lloyd’s Register looks into the new international standard for occupational health and safety, ISO 45001, which aims to prevent work-related injury and ill-health, and to provide a safe and healthy workplace
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 2.78m people die each year due to work-related illness or accidents, and a further 374m non-fatal accidents and work-related illnesses are reported annually. The human and economic cost of poor health and safety practices in the workplace is significant and estimated at almost 4% of annual GDP.
Responding to new health and safety challenges brought by increasing levels of global trade, ISO has developed an international standard that aims to help organisations provide a safe and healthy workplace for all.
ISO 45001 brings occupational health and safety (OH&S) management practices and continual improvement into the core of an organisation. It provides an opportunity for organisations to align their OH&S management system with their strategic direction and focus on improving health and safety performance and processes.
The standard requires organisations to look beyond their own health and safety requirements and consider what external requirements and risks exist, as well as what health and safety issues impact both on them and wider society. ISO 45001, as with other Annex SL-based standards, has a strong focus on the ‘role of top management’ and the ‘Context of an Organisation’, which ensures buy-in from senior management and a greater employee contribution.
Previously, under OHSAS 18001, health and safety responsibilities sat with the health and safety manager. Now, with ISO 45001, such responsibilities need to be integrated into everyday business operations with wider accountability.
The benefits of ISO 45001
One of the main objectives of ISO 45001 is to integrate employees and their representatives into the core of the OH&S management system, thus enabling organisations to improve resilience by anticipating, adapting and responding to health and safety risks.
Other benefits include:
Simple integration with other ISO standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
Top management involvement will lead to greater commitment and shared responsibility of OH&S throughout the organisation.
By managing and controlling risks, organisations will reduce hazards and risks.
With the introduction of “Context of the Organisation”, organisations will understand their internal and external drivers, providing clarity on objectives and strategic plans.
The process of managing outsourcing, contractors and procurement arrangements is defined, leading to reduced risks and greater efficiency.
Who is ISO 45001 for?
ISO 45001 is applicable to organisations of any size, across all industry sectors in any location. There is a clear opportunity for organisations that currently have OHSAS 18001 to migrate to ISO 45001, as well as the chance for companies that currently lack a formal OH&S management system to implement ISO 45001.
How Lloyd’s Register (LR) can help
LR offers assessment and training services, including gap analysis, to support organisations with their implementation of the new standard.
Our courses are suitable for all levels of knowledge and experience and are designed to help you and your organisation understand the benefits and requirements of ISO 45001 standard.
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