ISO Standard for Occupational Health and Safety
August 11, 2020
Did You Know There Is An ISO Standard For Occupational Health and Safety?
ISO 45001 is an ISO standard for management systems of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). The purpose of ISO 45001 is to reduce occupational injuries and diseases, including the promotion and protection of physical and mental health.
The ISO standard encourages companies to take a more proactive and integrated approach to risk control by incorporating OH&S practices into the organization’s overall safety management system and encourages top management to take a stronger leadership role in the company’s health and safety program. By adopting ISO 45001, organizations will follow a preventative approach, that requires hazards to be evaluated and remedied before they cause accidents and injuries.
OHSAS 18001 vs ISO 45001 Standards
In 2018, the International Organization for Standardization published the ISO 45001 to replace the better-known standard OHSAS 18001. The ISO 45001 is the first true international standard on health and safety management systems.
Improvements in ISO 45001 over the OHSAS 18001 standard include:
- A greater commitment by Senior Management in Occupational Health & Safety.
- Develops a safety culture in the organization.
- Top-down safety leadership.
- Greater worker involvement in safety management system implementation and training.
- Open access to internal audits and risk assessments with input from employees.
- Focus on risk reduction rather than hazard control.
- Focus on being proactive to safety rather than reactive to incidents.
- Universal structure, terminology, and definitions.
The Benefits of ISO 45001
ISO 45001 encourages organizations to adopt a mindset of continual improvement as part of their business philosophy and provides a framework to take your organization to the next level in health and safety.
Of particular note, ISO 45001 does not state specific criteria for workplace health and safety performance, nor is it prescriptive about the design of an occupational health and safety management system. So, the performance standards are for the organization to create.
Outcomes of ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management System
ISO 45001 helps an organization to achieve the intended outcomes of its occupational health and safety management system. Consistent with the organization's occupational health and safety policy, the intended outcomes of a health and safety management system include:
- Continual improvement of OH&S performance.
- Fulfilment of legal requirements and other requirements.
- Achievement of OH&S objectives.