Will the new ISO 45001:2018 standard improve health and safety? Organizations have until September 2021 to migrate to the new standard, which is raising questions from organizations about what this means for them and what benefits it will bring.
Below are few salient features to note that how ISO 45001 will improve health and safety in all businesses.
Everyone is involved
Because OHSAS 18001 was the delegated responsibility for health & safety managers, it was easy for other workers to drift away from that responsibility.
This problem is resolved through ISO 45001, which introduces the requirement that all staff undergo health and safety training and education. This moves the responsibility from a select jo title(s) to the entire staff, encouraging them to take ownership of their work place and work proactively to identify potential risks.
The other difference is how the management within your business is expected to take stronger leadership roles when it comes to the safety of their teams and workspace.
This means it is no longer left to the health & safety manager to oversee the entire organization. Whether they work in finance, IT or sales, each manager will have to identify risks and serve as a contact point for staff who have concerns or questions.
As all ISO standards have the same framework, ISO 45001 is much easier to implement as a new standard.
To reduce the risks of making errors and overlooking something in your occupational health and safety management system, there is ongoing maintenance, improvement and assessment of the standard.
Risk vs hazard
OHSAS 18001 placed an emphasis on hazard control, which supported regulations and legislation already in place, ensuring appropriate controls are in place to protect people from known dangers.
The old standard encouraged health and safety managers to highlight and monitor known hazards, whereas ISO 45001 has a more proactive approach that could keep your staff even safer.
New risks to staff can often make their way into the workplace before regulations or legislation can be introduced. Rather than waiting for regulations to catch up, ISO 45001 focuses on being proactive at identifying risks and ensuring measures are put in place to prevent risks exacerbating.
Supplier and contractors
ISO 45001 has a more ambitious approach to safety than OHSAS 18001, as it incorporates your organization’s responsibilities to suppliers and contractors. Both suppliers and contractors are treated the same as your staff under the new standard, which will include all of the existing and new OH&S requirements.