The first international standard for occupational health and safety management has been published this week!. This is to address the global need to improve the health and safety of workers.
The standard, ISO 45001, was developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) with input from over 70 countries.
This encourages employers to view occupational health and safety as an investment rather than a regulatory burden and is also designed to be integrated into an organisation’s existing management systems.
Existing users of OHSAS 18001 have three years to make the transition to the new standard.
It suggests that workers, especially those closest to a particular health and safety risk (for example; occupational asthma & general risk assessments) should be involved in the decision-making process to help create a healthier, safer and engaged workforce, making sure all employees are wearing correct PPE at all times is crucial!
This standard also shows the importance of the role of senior management in embedding and communicating occupational health and safety. Although BSI has stressed that health and safety should be the responsibility of all staff, not just health and safety managers. For instance, identifying hazards in the workplace can keep yourself, employees, employers and visitors safe and avoid serious accidents.
This new standard, which replaces the British Standard OHSAS 18001, applies to all workers irrespective of their occupation, and whether they are in paid or voluntary work.
Anne Hayes, head of governance and resilience at BSI, said "ISO 45001 encouraged the protection of workers at all levels of an organisation. 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. ISO 45001 was created to make it easier for organisations to create and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all,” she added.
The key benefits of using this standard include:
- Fewer incidents within the workplace.
- Reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, leading to increased productivity- less absences!
- Reduced cost of insurance premiums.
- The creation of a health and safety culture, whereby employees are encouraged to take an active role in their own health and safety at work: Wearing correct PPE at all times when necessary.
- Commitment and support from business leaders.
- Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements within the workplace.
- The enhanced reputation of the company!
- Improved staff morale & attitude within and throughout the workplace!
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