After years of debate on its content, the new ISO 45001 health and safety standard has now been published.
The OHSAS 18001 heath and safety management standard was to be replaced by ISO 45001. Four years later, it has finally been published.
ISO 45001 provides a set of processes for managing and improving occupational health and safety standards. For example it states that a health and safety policy should be produced and arrangements, including top management responsibilities, defined. In short, it spells out an effective way to manage health and safety risks and stay legally compliant.
Many safety organisations, such as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), have hailed its publication as a “landmark day”. According to IOSH, ISO 45001 will be provide much needed solutions and prevent millions of safety-related deaths worldwide.
Following the process in the standard will help you to take a practical and effective approach to managing risks. However, it may not be the quite the game changer that some reckon it is. Its not significantly different to its predecessor so if you already have effective systems in place, i.e formal policies, procedures, risk assessments, defined safe systems of work, and you complete the audits, you wont have to do much comply with the new standard.
This standard provides a significant marketing opportunity to those who certify management systems against it. Get ready for a hard sell on “transitioning” from OHSAS 18001. However there is no rush to do this – those who are already certified have three years to make the move.