Occupational health and safety – new international standard
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed the world’s first international standard for occupational health and safety management, with input from over 70 countries.
Aiming to address the global need to improve the health and safety of workers, ISO 45001 encourages employers to view occupational health and safety as an investment, rather than a regulatory burden.
The standard is designed to help organisations increase their resilience to risk, strengthen their legal and regulatory compliance and demonstrate a responsibility to creating safe, healthy and sustainable work environments.
What suggestions does it make?
Firstly, the report suggests that the workers closest to a particular health and safety risk should be involved in the decision-making process to help create a safer workforce. It is hoped that employee involvement will increase engagement, and therefore health and safety.
It also emphasises the important role of senior management in embedding and communicating occupational health and safety.
The new standard ISO 45001, which replaces the British Standard OHSAS 18001, is designed to be integrated into an organisation’s existing management systems. Existing users have three years to make the transition.
Whose responsibility is occupational health and safety?
The BSI stresses that health and safety should be the responsibility of all staff.
Anne Hayes, head of governance and resilience at BSI, said: “From the Saturday part-timer on a zero-hours contract to the chief executive of an international conglomerate, this global standard was designed for the good of the organisation and everyone who works for it.
“Occupational health and safety management doesn’t have to mean more paperwork and more red tape. On the contrary, ISO 45001 was created to make it easier for organisations to create and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all.”