A Shift in Global Expectations for Worker Safety: Meet the ISO 45001
Last month the world saw its very first international standard for workplace safety get published, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Called ISO 45001, this standard was produced with the help of more than 70 countries over four years, with the motive to address the alarmingly high rates of global workplace injury, illness, and death each year. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that around the world there are 2.78 million occupation-related deaths yearly, as well as 374 million non-fatal occupation-related incidences (injury or disease) each year. (http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/lang--en/index.htm)
In short, ISO 45001 sets the bar higher for global workplace safety, specifically emphasizing that it is company leadership’s duty to readily prioritize safety in a proactive fashion, and also brings worker well-being more into the forefront of the workplace safety conversation. Furthermore, it emphasizes creating a more positive safety culture and getting input from workers themselves.
What’s exciting about this new standard is that, as the first of its kind, it sets the ball rolling for greater and greater workplace safety across the globe. It, and the expected changes because of it, signify a changing global landscape towards enhanced worker respect and care. These dire injury and death numbers will only change if we say they need to change. Well now, we’ve not only decided this is unacceptable, but we’ve also gone in and set guidelines for how companies and organizations can improve this.
So, what does this mean for your organization? Becoming ISO 45001 certified would mean executing this specific health and safety management system in your organization. This certification would look different depending on if you are already working under previous standards, like ISO 9001, compared to adopting this system from scratch. Either way, it has a many number of benefits, some of which include:
- Complying with regulatory and other compliance requirements
- Improving performance in a structured manner
- Implementing a system to manage risks and opportunities systematically
- Driving to improve cultural change
- Proving a commitment to worker occupational health and safety
- Protecting your employees and contractors
- Potential for reducing workers’ insurance premiums
- Improving productivity by reducing workplace injuries and ill-health
In addition to getting ISO 45001 certified, there are other ways to increase workplace safety. SoloProtect offers a range of lone worker safety solutions to fill many kinds of sectors and worker needs. See our solutions here.
If you’d like to read more about the ISO 45001 and certification, see this article: https://www.adlassociates.co.uk/iso-45001/.