Introduction & Benefits of ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety

ISO 45001 and Your Company

Studies have found that a number of accidents and hazardous incidents in the workplace claim the lives of millions of people every year. In such cases, the compensation which is then paid out by the companies, affects the economic and social development, not only of the company, but also of the country at large. Additionally, creating a happy and safe work environment for employees has been repeatedly shown to be the key to acquiring and holding on to good workers.

The ISO 45001 aims at creating a global stand for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS standard) to protect and benefit workers all over the work from workplace accidents, injuries and fatalities. This article explores some of the frequently asked questions about the new ISO 45001 standard.

About the ISO 45001

The new ISO 45001 OHS standard is a milestone. It aims at creating universal guidelines as well as a framework to ensure the health and safety of workers across the world. The new standard recognizes the importance of controlling all workplace factors that could lead to the injury or be hazardous to the physical, mental or emotional health of the employees.

This standard is not a revamp or update of old OH and S standards, even though it draws on some of their policies. Thus, the ISO 45001 becomes a completely new standard of occupational safety that will require companies to rethink their attitudes and policies in order to stay compliant and abreast of future developments.

Reasons to implement ISO 45001

When an employee is injured or killed in the performance of his/her job, the company suffers a loss. This loss is both in terms of the compensation that very often has to be paid out by the company as well as the loss of that person’s knowledge and skill. This loss, when multiplied by thousands, becomes a significant amount. Prevention of workplace injury and death is then the better of the two options. Companies can invest in worker health and safety in various ways, all of which are ultimately less costly than rehabilitation and treatment.

Since the new standard aims at being a global standard it allows companies who outsource work to other countries to successfully check that even their supply chains adhere to proper health and safety norms. The ISO 45001 standard aims at reducing the risk factors at the workplace to create employee health and safety by creating an ongoing risk assessment using the Plan-Do-Check-Act model. This is thought to significantly lower the risk factors for workplace injury. When a company is ISO 45001 compliant it demonstrates to its employees and to society at large that it cares about the health and well-being of the people who help it to function.

Benefits of Implementation of ISO 45001

The ISO 45001:2018 does not state specific criteria for an OH&S system, nor is it prescriptive of the system’s design. Rather it is designed to proactively improve the performance of an existing OH&S framework and integrate other aspects of health and safety into the current system such as worker wellness and well-being.

ISO 45001:2018 helps an OH&S system to achieve its intended outcomes. The intended outcomes being

  1. Continual improvement of OH&S performance
  2. Fulfilment of legal requirements and other requirements
  3. Achievement of OH&S objectives.

Key Benefits of ISO 45001

There are endless benefits to the implementation of the new ISO 45001 standard within a company. These range from improved performance an productivity to universal recognition and the admittance of the company into an elite market. Some of the key benefits of the ISO 45001 are

  1. It improves business performance and creates consistency throughout the organization in which it is properly implemented
  2. It improves management oversight and allows problems to be found and dealt with internally before they are pointed out by external sources, thus shifting the company’s system from detection to prevention mode
  3. Improves the safety of all those involved in company activities leading to greater acceptance by regulators, the public and interested parties; by showing that the company is proactive about its OH&S system
  4. It increases compliance with worldwide health and safety standards

These benefits and more accrue to the company as a result of the proper implementation of the new ISO 45001 and continued adherence to its guidelines. A certification of ISO compliance is possible only when all the regulations of the document are integrated into the OH&S system of the company without exclusion. This alone assures the company of acceptance into an elite business circle which is internationally recognised.

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