The New Health and Safety Standard

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The International Organisation for Standardisation is replacing BS OHSAS with ISO 45001 as the definitive international occupational health and safety management system standard by the end of 2016.

The new system should make it easier for organisations to comply with local and worldwide regulations. ISO 45001 will improve international health and safety by providing a universal standard written in common terms, as well as by requiring organisations to continually review risk management strategies, provide ongoing educational and training materials, and prioritise health and safety. Most functional elements from OHSAS 18001 will be carried over to ISO 45001, such as the Plan-Do-Check-Act model, the procedures for setting policy and objectives, and the management review process.

ISO 45001 places new emphasis on an organisation’s ‘context’—the environment in which it operates, including its supply chain and the surrounding local communities—to help the organisation evaluate its impact and implement best practices. It also requires organisations to integrate health and safety policies into their overall management systems rather than treating it as an addendum.

This new standard is designed to benefit all businesses. Through improved communication on both a global and local scale, organisations will be capable of collaborating on effective risk management and emergency-planning strategies. Collaboration should reduce occupational health and safety accidents, which will lead to fewer emergency treatments, less time off for work-related injuries and fewer disruptions to operational processes. For more information, visit