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ISO 45001: Occupational health and safety management systems

Introduction of ISO 45001

Safeguarding and maintaining health & safety in the workplace is an important prerequisite for motivated and productive working processes, both for employers and employees. The new ISO 45001 standard for occupational health & safety management will supersede OHSAS 18001, the previous standard for occupational health & safety, and will minimize the risk of damage to health and accidents in the workplace. BS OHSAS 18001 was developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and forms the basis for the new ISO 45001 standard. The ‘Project Committee PC 283’ of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) received a proposal from the BSI in March 2013 for the new international standard, which was now published on 12th March 2018.

ISO 45001:2018 specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, and gives guidance for its use, to enable organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its OH&S performance.

ISO 45001:2018 is applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement and maintain an OH&S management system to improve occupational health and safety, eliminate hazards and minimize OH&S risks (including system deficiencies), take advantage of OH&S opportunities, and address OH&S management system nonconformities associated with its activities.

The efficiency of ISO 45001

By following a systematic standard for your occupational health & safety protection according to ISO 45001, sources of errors and risks can be identified and eliminated or minimized. By means of certification of your occupational protection management you will thus significantly reduce the number of occupational accidents, regardless of your industry or the size of your company, and you will simultaneously fulfil legal and official requirements. You will therefore not only increase the confidence of your employees, you will also reinforce your positive reputation with clients, business partners and the authorities. This creates a valuable competitive advantage for you.

ISO 45001:2018 helps an organization to achieve the intended outcomes of its OH&S management system. Consistent with the organization’s OH&S policy, the intended outcomes of an OH&S management system include:

  1. a) continual improvement of OH&S performance;
  2. b) fulfilment of legal requirements and other requirements;
  3. c) achievement of OH&S objectives.

For which organizations is ISO 45001 applicable?

ISO 45001:2018 is applicable to any organization regardless of its size, type and activities. It is applicable to the OH&S risks under the organization’s control, taking into account factors such as the context in which the organization operates and the needs and expectations of its workers and other interested parties.

What criteria does ISO 45001 consider?

ISO 45001:2018 does not state specific criteria for OH&S performance, nor is it prescriptive about the design of an OH&S management system.

ISO 45001:2018 enables an organization, through its OH&S management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker wellness/wellbeing.

ISO 45001:2018 does not address issues such as product safety, property damage or environmental impacts, beyond the risks to workers and other relevant interested parties.

last word

ISO 45001:2018 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve occupational health and safety management. However, claims of conformity to this document are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization’s OH&S management system and fulfilled without exclusion.

Would you like to find out more about the certification for optimal occupational and health & safety management in accordance with the new ISO 45001? Our experts would be delighted to provide you with this information!


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