ISO 45001 is the world’s international standard for occupational health and safety, issued to protect employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases. ISO 45001 certification was developed to mitigate any factors that can cause employees and businesses irreparable harm. Its standards are the result of great effort by a committee of health and safety management experts who looked closely at a number of other approaches to system management — including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. In addition, ISO 45001 was designed to take other existing occupational health and safety standards, such as OHSAS 18001, into account — as well as the ILO’s labor standards, conventions and safety guidelines.
Especially geared toward senior management, ISO 45001 has the ultimate goal of helping businesses provide a healthy and safe working environment for their employees and everyone else who visits the workplace. This goal can be achieved by controlling factors that could potentially lead to injury, illness and — in extreme situations — even death. As a result, ISO 45001 is concerned with mitigating any factors that are harmful or that pose a danger to workers’ physical and/or mental well-being.
Sadly, thousands of workers lose their lives each day to preventable instances of adverse workplace conditions. In fact, according to the ISO and International Labour Organization — or ILO — more than 2.7 million deaths occur globally due to occupational accidents. And in addition to that there are 374 million non-fatal injuries each year, resulting in 4 or more days absences from work.
According to many health and safety experts — including the professionals who worked on the ISO committee — ISO 45001 represents a landmark breakthrough. For the first time internationally, businesses of all sizes can now access a single framework that offers them a clear pathway to developing better and more robust occupational health and safety measures.
Although ISO 45001 is heavily informed by OHSAS 18001, it’s a distinctly new standard — not a simple revision or brief update. Read on to see what organizations of all types and sizes need to do to maintain compliance and achieve ISO 45001 certification.