Overview of the New ISO 45001 Health and Safety Standard
Since 2013, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been working on a proposal to develop ISO 45001, which aims to create international health and safety standards. With approximately 65 countries and international organizations dedicated to bringing this new standard to life, publication is expected in Q4 2017. What is ISO 45001? ISO 45001 is a new standard that will establish international requirements for occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems. The goal of ISO 45001 is to help organizations better protect the health and safety of their employees and contractors while creating international standards that everyone understands. Because ISO 45001 can easily be integrated into existing frameworks of the thousands of organizations that have adopted other ISO management system standards, it is likely to be more widely adopted than the current OHSAS 18001 framework. What are the benefits? Benefits will include improved communication globally on best practices for OH&S as well as greater ease of compliance and more consistency for organizations with global operations by establishing operational controls for mitigating risks, measuring OH&S performance and implementing stronger risk management practices. How does it differ from OHSAS 18001? Among the changes, there will be a new focus on “context” as it relates to OH&S issues—meaning companies will have to consider their health and safety performance relative to the organization’s goals, which includes consideration of the communities where they operate along with that of their contractors and suppliers. OH&S will also have to be integrated into operations rather than delegated to a safety manager. This will mean that organizations will have to take a strategic approach to OH&S management while securing buy-in from senior leadership. How can companies migrate from OHSAS 18001? To begin the process of migrating to the new standard, companies may want to conduct a gap analysis based on the requirements outlined in the latest draft of ISO 45001. Once the new standard is finalized, the plan is for OHSAS 18001 certifications to be withdrawn, paving the way for organizations to apply for ISO 45001 certification. Companies will also need to update documentation and train key personnel. More information To learn more about ISO 45001, contact your local ISO member for the latest information.