Today, Monday 12 March, is “a landmark day” in occupational safety and health (OSH) as ISO 45001 is launched.
With 2.78 million people being killed worldwide each year by work-related injury or ill health, the new global standard can encourage “much-needed solutions”, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Organisations which adopt the standard – which has been four-and-a-half years in the making – will be required to have proportionate safety and health management systems which prevent injury and ill health among their workforce and throughout their supply chains.
Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said this means leaders will have to ensure it is integral to their strategies and operations. He said: “This really is a landmark day for occupational safety and health. ISO 45001 can enhance the drive towards a safe and healthy world of work.
“Having an agreed international standard can help ensure consistency and encourage much-needed solutions to the myriad of safety and health risks that exist in workplaces around the globe.
“Any organisation seeking to improve its OSH management can adopt the principles of ISO 45001, whether or not they seek certification. And of course, certification is only the start of an ongoing continual improvement process and not an end. It’s about ensuring real culture change, effective action and OSH competence across organisations.”
IOSH has played a major role in the building of standard, as a Category A liaison body on the PC 283 committee which has developed it. This means it has had direct access to all PC 283 papers and attended the committee meetings, participated in work groups and been consulted on developments. It also hosted one of the committee meetings, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in January 2015.
IOSH is providing its members with assistance on finding out about and implementing ISO 45001, including setting up an online hub.
Richard added that IOSH members and other OSH professionals can play a key role in advising and supporting the implementation of the standard. He said: “This new standard gives OSH professionals a fantastic opening to transform safety and health and ensure it receives the strategic attention and resources it deserves.
“IOSH members worldwide have a vital part to play in helping organisations raise their performance, saving lives, supporting livelihoods and securing brighter futures.”