ISO’s new standard, ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, is now in final draft stage and is set to be published on March 12, 2018. With the countdown officially on, here’s a bit of a primer on what ISO 45001 is and how you can start to ready your organization.
What is ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is the first global standard for occupational health and safety management systems and provides clear requirements for occupational health and safety management systems. ISO’s goal with this new standard is to provide organizations with a clear framework to help improve workplace safety, reduce risk, and foster better working conditions for all employees.
Why ISO 45001? Why Now?
ISO 45001 is designed to replace OHSAS 18001. It follows a similar structure to two other key ISO management systems, ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 9001 (quality), leverages the Plan-Do-Check-Act model, and incorporates elements from other international management systems like ASNZS 4801.
Before now, there had not been an international standard for health and safety management systems. By following a common framework shared by other ISO standards, ISO 45001 will enable organizations to use consistent terminology and documents across all of their systems – which will ultimately make management easier and help drive operational efficiency.
What does ISO 45001 mean for EHS leaders?
In contrast to OHSAS 18001, the focus of ISO 45001 takes a more proactive approach to EHS management – shifting away from identifying hazards to identifying and controlling risks.
Before adopting the new standard, EHS leaders will need to:
- Develop and implement occupational health and safety objectives
- Establish systematic processes
- Determine the hazards and risks associated with activities
- Establish operational controls to manage risks
- Consider human factors in the hazard identification process
Ultimately, ISO 45001 represents a major leap forward for occupational health and safety management systems, and embracing this standard will help make the workplace safe for employees.
Organizations currently following OHSAS 18001 will have a three year period to transition to ISO 45001.
Watch our recent webinar with Verdantix to learn more about ISO 45001 and how to prepare: