A new standard for occupational health and safety
Since 2007, British Standard BS OHSAS 18001 has provided the basis for certification of internationally recognized occupational health and safety management systems. But soon it will no longer apply: on 12 March 2018, the new standard ISO 45001, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), took its place. This standard is also intended to ensure continual improvement of international occupational health and safety management.
New structure and different focus
The essential aim – to optimize processes for companies in all industries so as to protect the life and health of employees as much as possible – will also apply with the new standard. Just like BS OHSAS 18001, it will be based on the “Plan – Do – Check – Act” model. The most important new aspect is the introduction of a so-called High Level Structure with the objective of applying a harmonised structure to all management system standards. There are also some changes of emphasis and a number of amendments to content, including greater focus on the environment of the organization. One aspect here is that working conditions should in future be considered along the entire supply chain in addition to those of the organization’s own employees. This means that third party employees who are working within the area of responsibility of the organization also have to receive instruction on relevant health and safety measures. It is also expected that organizations should identify opportunities for improvement of occupational safety within a dedicated process. In addition, important functions and requirements within the framework of health and safety management are extended and transferred to the uppermost management levels. This means that there is a greater focus on the role of top management.
How to benefit from the changeover
Now that ISO 45001 is published, companies with an occupational health and safety management system certified according to BS OHSAS 18001 will be obliged to change to the new standard. There will be a transitional period of three years, which will allow enough time to implement the changed requirements successfully by 11 March 2021. This will require a certain effort, but the certified companies will clearly benefit from the forward- looking orientation of the new standard – through further optimised processes in occupational health and safety, fewer disruptions of operational procedures, lower accident and illness rates, improved safety awareness and long-term competitive advantages.
Benefits at a glance
Certification according to DIN EN ISO 45001 offers you the following benefits:
- System-based approach to occupational health and safety
- Continual improvement
- Identification of potential risks and hazards and their elimination
- Greater employee awareness regarding safety aspects
- Increased motivation and qualification for employees