Important New Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management in the Pipeline
With the growing number of work-related injuries and diseases worldwide, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) developed a new standard to create a standardised way to manage occupational health and safety at the workplace. ISO 45001 is the new standard specifically for occupational health and safety management systems, but is, at the time of writing, still in draft form. The standard is expected to improve the overall safety at the workplace and to reduce the number of occupational risks.
Our ISO 45001 consulting services will be appreciated as a way to help you understand the structure of the standard, how it differs from previous standards, and how it affects the organisation’s occupational health and safety. The ISO 45001 standard will take into account related standards, such as ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and ISO 9001. However, companies wishing to integrate the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System with their current management systems will benefit from our consulting services and expertise regarding integration of systems in order to save costs of management and to reduce the administrative burden of being compliant regarding various ISO standards.
The ISO appointed a project committee called ISO/PC 283 to develop the standard. As with many other international standards, ISO 45001 is intended to be applicable to an organisation of any size, regardless of the industry in which it operates. As clients that make use of our ISO 45001 consulting services will know, it is a voluntary standard. There is no legal obligation to comply with the standard’s requirements, but it is recommended. The new standard provides an effective system to help companies comply with occupational health and safety regulations, also in South Africa. Implementation of an ISO 45001-compliant system is expected to help reduce disruption in company operations as the result of time losses related to occupational health and safety incidents.
Clients benefit from our ISO 45001 consulting services, because they are saving time in making the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. As part of our consulting services, we make sure clients understand what to expect from the new standard. Accordingly, the overall aim is to align the range of health and safety management systems of various countries to a single standard, so as to avoid confusion regarding the appropriate standard and measures to put in place for optimal occupational health and safety.
ISO 45001, once published, will have the same terminology and structure as that of Annex SL. The Annex will focus more on the organisational context. This means organisations wanting to comply with the requirements of the standard will need to specifically consider issues directly related to their work environments and will also need to consider how their particular work environments affect the communities in which they operate. A higher level of executive management involvement will be required instead of the health and safety manager shouldering most of the responsibility. As clients will hear during ISO 45001 consulting sessions, more employee participation will be required in the development and implementation of the ISO 45001 management systems.
Update on the Progress of the Standard
Members of the ISO/PC 283 committee received a letter from the ISO on 7 November 2017 in which it was stated that the final draft international standard ballot for the standard will commence on 30 November 2017, with closure on 25 January 2018. If it is successful, we can expect the standard to be published in February 2018. The British Standards Institute also announced that the OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn. This will give organisations compliant with OHSAS 18001 a 3-year window in which to migrate to the new standard. Companies wanting to make the transition will thus benefit from consulting with our experts regarding the process of migration and how the new standard will affect their operations. ISO 45001 is one of the most important voluntary standards related to occupational health and safety management internationally. It is highly recommended to ensure compliance with the standard. Apart from our consulting capacity, we offer training, electronic learning platforms, templates for implementation, internal and external auditing, and assistance in preparing for certification.
We also provide the above training and consulting services regarding various other ISO standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, and more. Contact us today.