ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use was published on March 12, 2018. This is a new international standard developed and published by ISO, and its release was long anticipated. Therefore, it is essential to lay out why exactly organizations should adopt the international standard, and how it can benefit personnel, and, in turn, their employers.
What is ISO 45001?
ISO 45001:2018 sets the framework for establishing, implementing, and maintaining an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, managing OH&S risks and opportunities. Ultimately, its aim is to promote and protect the physical and mental health of workers, a responsibility held by any organization. It is nonprescriptive in nature, being applicable to any organization, regardless of size.
Why Do I Need ISO 45001?
For organizations currently lacking an OH&S management system, the promotion of worker health and safety is far more than just a precaution; it derives from the need to combat persistent danger. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are over 2.78 million deaths each year from workplace injuries or illnesses. Moreover, these incidents wage a toll on all places of employment. In fact, the greatest portion of these fatalities result from health issues, not injuries.
An OH&S management system helps organizations limit these risks. Through the involvement of top leadership, clear communication, effective processes for identifying hazards, and the means for continual improvement, ISO 45001:2018 sets forth the guidance for an organization to improve its OH&S performance. With its usage, organizations should be able to clearly identify their OH&S risks, evaluate and seek to improve performance, and encourage and assure that workers take an active role.
The benefits for the employees are clear; they see improved workplace conditions and lessen their risk for injury or illness. With limited absenteeism and reduced workplace incidents, employers see monumental advantages as well. By fostering a health a safety culture within the workplace, employers can expect an increase in productivity and a reduced cost of insurance premiums. Furthermore, this can better their reputation and advance a positive staff morale overall.
With a focus on the involvement of leadership, users of the system provided through ISO 45001:2018 should also expect reinforced leadership commitment to improve conditions even further in the future. Those adopting the system are also better equipped to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
Can I Integrate ISO 45001 Into Existing Management Systems?
For those with existing OH&S management systems in place, there is still a clear benefit for adopting the occupational health and safety guidance outlined in ISO 45001:2018. This is because the new international standard was developed with consideration of other systems like OHSAS 18001, Occupational health and safety management, and the International Labour Organization’s ILO-OSH 2001 guidelines. With a risk-based approach that assures effectiveness and undergoes continuous improvement, as well as input from experts from over 70 countries, ISO 45001:2018 can easily be integrated into organizations with existing OH&S management systems.
For those with other management systems in place, the OH&S management system set forth by ISO 45001:2018 can easily be integrated into the organization’s practices. This is because ISO 45001:2018 shares a high-level structure (HLS), identical core text, and terms and definitions with other recently revised ISO management system standards, such as ISO 9001:2015.
Additionally, ISO 45001:2018 was designed to follow ISO 14001:2015 very closely, as organizations often combine their OH&S and environmental management systems internally. Therefore, those familiar with ISO 14001:2015 should be able to adopt ISO 45001:2018 with simplicity.
ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use is available on the ANSI Webstore. It is also available in the following standards packages: