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Safety reference joins ISO 9000 quality, 14000 environmental standards

ISO 45001:2018, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use specifies requirements for companies and organizations to improve occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems’ injury-prevention performance. Developers intend for the standard to be applicable to any company or organization regardless of its size, and help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.

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Copies of the ISO 45001 document are available from North American ISO member bodies, American National Standards Institute, www.ansi.org; or, Standards Council of Canada, www.scc.ca.

The document provides governmental agencies, industry and other affected stakeholders with effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. By means of an easy-to-use framework, it can be applied to both captive and partner factories and production facilities, regardless of their location. The new OH&S standard is based on the common elements found in all of ISO’s management systems standards and uses a simple Plan-Do-Check-Act model, providing a framework for organizations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimize the risk of harm. The measures should address concerns that can lead to long-term health issues and absence from work, as well as those that give rise to accidents.

“It is hoped that ISO 45001 will lead to a major transformation in workplace practices and reduce the tragic toll of work-related accidents and illnesses across the globe,” says David Smith, who chairs the project committee—ISO/PC 283, Occupational health and safety management systems—behind ISO 45001. “World standards writers have come together to provide a framework for a safer workplace for all, whatever sector you work in and wherever you work in the world.”

Because ISO 45001 is designed to integrate with other ISO management systems standards, ensuring a high level of compatibility with the new versions of ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), businesses that already implement an ISO standard will have a leg up if they decide to work toward ISO 45001, he adds. ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, the world’s former reference for workplace health and safety. Organizations already certified to OHSAS 18001 will have three years to comply with the new ISO 45001 standard, although certification of conformity to ISO 45001 is not a requirement of the standard. — International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, www.iso.org