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IMA Wellness Blog

Employee Safety, Workplace Risk Management the focus of the new ISO 45001

by Amy Fitzgerald

Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) is an IMA B2B Partner…

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently released the new ISO 45001 standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS). Published on March 12, 2018,  ISO 45001 provides a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better and safer conditions for workers everywhere.

The standard was developed over a five-year period by ISO/PC (Project Committee) 283, incorporating most of the requirements from the previous OHSMS standard—OHSAS 18001.  The OHSAS 18001 version never made it to a full ISO version; and, therefore, was published and held as a privately owned standard by British Standards Institute (BSI). The new ISO 45001 has been fully published as an ISO standard and uses the same “high-level structure” as other recently updated standards, such as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

Potential benefits from use of the standard include:

  • Reduction of workplace incidents
  • Reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, leading to increased productivity
  • Reduced cost of insurance premiums
  • Creation of a health and safety culture, whereby employees are encouraged to take an active role in their own OH&S
  • Reinforced leadership commitment to proactively improve OH&S performance
  • Ability to support “legal and other” regulatory requirements
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Improved staff morale

For those companies transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, it is recommended they attend an overview class and/or internal auditor training session so that they can transition within the three year transition period.

Companies can get started today by taking the training and be prepared to develop:

  • Company wide job hazard assessments
  • A means to identify other risks and opportunities associated within the context of the organization
  • OH&S regulatory determinations and compliance evaluations
  • Operational controls for high risk hazards associated with employees, purchasing processes, outsourced organizations, contractors and others
  • Many other OH&S programs designed to enhance your OH&SMS

For more information on the new ISO 45001 standard, visit the ISO website.


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