Is ISO 45001 The Future For Worker Safety?

Is ISO 45001 the Future for Worker Safety?

ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management systems is a new international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization in collaboration with many of the world’s leading occupational safety groups including the International Occupational Safety and Health, the American Society of Safety Engineer’s, the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the International Labour Organisation.

How will ISO 45001 become the future OHS standard?

This presentation takes a look at the new ISO 45001 with David Smith, Chairman of ISO/PC 283, occupational health and safety management systems, who offers a quick introduction to ISO 45001 and outlines how the future standard will bring safety to the fore.

David, thank you very much for joining us and answering a few questions. Could we just start off with the first question?

Why is worker safety so important?

Well we all are workers; everyone is a worker and there’s a terrible world that we live in where 2.3 million people are dying from their activities at work every year and we need to do something about it. So the ISO standard which drives change in organisations and how they manage is seen as a really good vehicle for improving workplace performance and hopefully reducing these terrible statistics, issues not just accidents.

2 million of those 2.3 million people that die every year are dying from health and disease, occupational diseases.

How will this adoption impact small and medium sized enterprises?

I think it can help because it’s a very simple model we’re using. It’s a Plan-Do-Check-Act risk based model and it is what most businesses would relate to.

With the new structure that we have in ISO management standards it integrates with them and so ISO 45001 on health and safety will integrate with their quality and environmental systems to help the organisation manage its risks, and organisations have to manage their risk in order to exist, thrive and survive.

PC 283 has been collaborating closely with other organisations and what has been the added value of this collaboration?

It has been invaluable because we have all the big organisations that specialise in occupational safety. They are the people like the International Occupational Safety and Health, American Society of Safety Engineer’s, American Industrial Hygiene Association and of course the International Labour Organisation, and they are collaborating with ISO on this project and adding value to what we’re doing.

What will the new ISO 45001 mean for the users of OHSAS 18001?

Well that is an interesting question. For what it’s worth I think this standard will definitely be better, it has great strength and leadership and worker participation that could add value, and it would be nice to see people who have OHSAS 18001 moving forward and seeing this as the next step, the next evolution, the next step of continual improvement.

You have 59 member countries participating. What do you say to those that are still not participating?

Join us – it’s going to happen, it’s going to hit your country and it’s going to be there. The biggest thing that affects organisations today in many ways is reputation and you do not want to be seen to be using a company that does not care for its workers. So, every country needs to buy into this, every organisation does in the longer term because they will be under the spotlight when some disaster occurs or it is very evident that you are not looking after your workers.

It will become public knowledge, and if you get that into the public knowledge that affects your reputation and that may mean loss of credibility in the market place, people may not buy your goods and your services. So all countries should take an active part in this because we are all part of one big supply chain, one big world.

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Further reading…

More information about ISO 45001 from the International Organization for Standardization … here →