ISO 45001 is a brand-new international standard for occupational health and safety management systems (OH & SMS) released by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) in March 2018. ISO 45001:2018 is a replacement of OHSAS 18001:2007, the world’s former reference for workplace health and safety, and nearly 70 countries were involved in its development. OHSAS will be withdrawn over a period of 3 years, and companies must migrate to the new standard by March 2021.
The release of ISO 45001 represents a critical milestone in health and safety management.
This standard hopes to impact on the statistics released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2017, which found that work-related injuries or illnesses result in a staggering 2.78 million fatalities annually – that is almost 7 700 persons every day – and an additional 374 million non-fatal injuries or diseases.
ISO 45001 was therefore created to provide guidance to organisations, government agencies, industry and other affected stakeholders in the form of a user-friendly framework, aimed at improving worker and visitor safety world-wide.
The standard specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, along with guidance for its use, to enable organisations to proactively improve its OH&S performance and prevent work-related illness and injury.
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Incorporating the requirements of OHSAS 18001, the conventions and guidelines of the International Labour Organisation, as well as other national standards, ISO 45001 follows the same High-Level Structure of other ISO standards like ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, which makes the integration of these standards into an integrated management system (IMS) much easier.
ISO 45001:2018 is applicable to any organisation regardless of its size, type and activities and applicable to any organisation that wishes to establish, implement and maintain an OH&S management system to improve occupational health and safety. By implementing ISO 45001 in whole or in part, organisations take advantage of OH&S opportunities, eliminate hazards, minimise OH&S risks and address OH&S system nonconformities within its operations. ISO 45001 is process-based, dynamic and considers both risk and opportunities.
By managing the health and safety of the organisation, businesses demonstrate their corporate social responsibility, reduce operating costs and improve stakeholder relationships. By implementing ISO 45001:2018, organisations safeguard the reputation of an organisation, reduce the costs of insurance premiums, reduce the overall cost of incidents and more.
For more information about ISO 45001:2018 and the certification process, please contact DQS. DQS South Africa is your local business solutions partner, offering solutions that work for your sector. We form part of an international network dedicated to ensuring compliance and business conformity. For any questions about our services or to contact us, please visit dqs.co.za.