ISO 45001, one of the world's much anticipated standards for occupational health and safety (OHS), has been approved as a Draft International Standard. Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease, and 153 people experience a work-related injury. These represent an enormous burden for organizations and society as a whole, costing over 2.3 million deaths a year, not to mention the more than 300 million non-fatal accidents*. Now, with ISO 45001 at the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, the world is one step closer to a robust and effective set of processes for improving work safety in global supply chains. Designed to help organizations of all sizes and industries, the future standard is expected to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses around the world.
More than 70 countries are directly involved in the creation of this important document, being developed by project committee ISO/PC 283, Occupational health and safety management systems, with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the committee secretariat.
“Implementing a strong occupational health and safety management system helps organizations reduce accidents and ill health, avoid costly prosecutions, perhaps even reduce insurance costs, as well as create a culture of positivity in the organization when its people see that their needs are being taken into account,” explains David Smith, Chair of the committee. “Wide adoption of ISO 45001 should reduce the horror stories in the media of poor OHS management leading to loss of life, injury and large-scale disasters, as seen in the factory buildings around the world.”
ISO 45001 is based on the common elements found in all of ISO’s management system standards, assuring a high level of compatibility with the new versions of ISO 9001, Quality management systems, and ISO 14001, Environmental management systems. It uses a simple Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model, which provides a framework for organizations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimize the risk of harm. The measures should address concerns that can lead to long-term health issues and absence from work, as well as those that give rise to accidents.
Now that ISO 45001 has advanced to the DIS stage, national member bodies of ISO have been invited to vote and comment on the text of the standard during the three-month balloting period. If the outcome is positive, the modified document may then be circulated to ISO members as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). In the event of an affirmative vote, ISO 45001 is expected to be published as an International Standard by late 2016 / early 2017.