Protecting workers from injury and minimising incidents in the workplace should be a priority of any organisation. Ensuring a safe workforce results in greater productivity, lower long-term costs builds better staff relationships and promotes employee loyalty.

Most countries have health and safety legislation, outlining the basic requirements for companies and employers to keep their workforce safe; but every country has slightly different requirements. ISO standards are designed to be universal worldwide standards, that can be recognised and followed by everybody. ISO standards are often used as a starting point for country-specific legislation. They are generally not legally mandated, however, to make working with other organisations easier, its good practice to be certified and operate to the relevant ISO standards as well as any legislative requirements.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001, fully titled “Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance”, is the new standard introduced to provide a universal set of guidelines for occupational health and safety. Long awaited and the first international standard of its kind, it aims to significantly increase workplace safety the world over.

The standard provides a singular framework and set of requirements that can be understood internationally, for the implementation of health and safety management systems. Incorporating ISO 45001 standards into your workplace will help to proactively manage the risks of injury or incident.

A core part of ISO 45001 is to lay out the guidelines that a company should follow when developing its health and safety plans and policies and their objectives. Furthermore, it encourages companies to enable workers to take an active role in all matters relating to their workplace health and safety.

ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, the existing international occupational health and safety Standard, by offering a greater scope and a more general application. The guidelines set out by ISO 45001 can be used by organisations of all sizes and operating in any industry sector, or location.

The standard should be used in conjunction with local legislation, and while in some regards the standard may go further than regional requirements, certification does not negate any legal obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

ISO 45001 is a new international standard providing a framework for all companies to ensure greater workplace safety.

What about the existing Australian Standard AS/NZS 4801?

ISO 45001 is a voluntary international standard, and as such does not directly replace or revoke any existing standards. AS/NZS 4801 remains the current Australian Standard.

Does my company need to recertify?

Certification in ISO standards is voluntary and not directly regulated by the standards agencies. You should discuss evaluation and certification with an accredited certification body to check what changes your company may need to implement if it wishes to adopt the new ISO standard.

Can I view the details of ISO 45001?

You can view the overall outline of the standard on the ISO organisation website here. Only the basic informative sections are available for free, however, with the full text available for a small fee.

Speak to the team at Conserve to learn how we can help you achieve compliance with ISO 45001 in particular with sections – Contractors and Outsourcing of the standard.

For more information contact us on +61 2 8883 1501, or subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates.

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