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ISO 45001 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

New health and safety challenges are at the forefront of concerns facing most organizations today. 

In March 2018, the International Organization for Standardization published the comprehensive International Standard ISO 45001. The new standard created a complete Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) with the intent of providing a meaningful framework for managing OH&S risks and opportunities.

ISO 45001 focuses on identifying risks and opportunities, hazard identification and risk assessment, and operational controls. This standard is designed to help organizations, regardless of size or industry, implement an OHSMS to proactively prevent injury and harm to health. Requirements of the standard were simplified to enable easy integration with other ISO standards and into an organization’s management and business processes.

An OHSMS can provide the framework for organizations to address “communicable diseases” such as the Coronavirus. Relevant biological hazards are addressed through risk assessments and related processes that take into consideration applicable legal & other requirements (such as travel restrictions, workplace routines, employee health screenings, training, exposure reporting, etc. that employers must comply with, whether required externally or by the organization). Requirements of the standard offer systematic processes for managing risk, regulatory compliance, promotion of safe work practices, evaluation of occupational health and safety performance, and continual improvement.

Integrating responsibility for health and safety issues as part of an organization’s overall management system improves leadership and worker engagement, leading to enhanced occupational health and safety performance. An effective, integrated business management system creates streamlined processes, making it significantly easier and more cost-effective to manage health and safety risks, while realizing the benefits of minimizing and avoiding liabilities and associated costs, which can bring about competitive advantage.

The ISO 45001:2018 Migration from OHSAS 18001:2007

OHSAS 18001 is being replaced by ISO 45001, published by the International Organization for Standardization. Organizations certified to BS OHSAS 18001:2007 must migrate to ISO 45001:2018 by September 2021, which reflects a 6-month extension due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Intertek professionals have the experience and expertise needed to ensure a smooth migration to ISO 45001. 

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