With workplace safety presenting one the biggest challenges for construction, global certification firm Bureau Veritas is urging businesses to take up the mantel and ensure they are ‘ISO 45001 compliant’ ahead of time in order to help improve standards for all.
Published on 15th March 2018, ISO 45001:2018 constitutes the world’s first occupational health and safety international standard. Replacing the current OSHAS 18001, the new standard is intended to offer one single set of requirements designed to help organisations of all types and sizes create and implement systems that proactively prevent work-related injury and ill health.
Major safety shakeup
This major safety shakeup comes as it is estimated that over 2.78 million people still die each year as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – in addition to some 374 million non-fatal, work-related injuries and illnesses each year.1
As such, although not coming into full effect until March 2021, Bureau Veritas is encouraging businesses to embrace the new standards now in order to ensure they are creating the safest and healthiest environment possible for employees.
Gregg Elwell, UK technical manager for Bureau Veritas, said: “Unfortunately, the reality is that poor workplace safety remains a huge international issue with the estimated global total of fatal occupational accidents and work-related illness increasing by almost a fifth (19%) in the last three years alone.
“At the same time, consumers are also becoming more and more demanding of the companies from which they buy products and services, resulting in tighter deadlines and added pressures – leaving a broader scope for error.
“As such, it is more important than ever for businesses to take proactive steps to improve health and safety management. Although ISO 45001 will only come into effect following a three year transitional period, we would urge businesses to embrace the new standard ahead of time to ensure they are promoting absolute best practice.”
To provide greater clarity on the issue, Bureau Veritas has launched a white paper, ‘Understanding the Transition to ISO 45001’, detailing how the new standard can help organizations improve workplace safety.
The paper explains the benefits of adopting a health and safety management system, laying out the requirements of the new standard and exploring the advantages of achieving
certification. It also provides information on key differences compared to existing occupational health and safety management standards.
Gregg adds: “The new standards create a fresh framework for excellence and, for the first time, align occupational health and safety certification with other global ISO-certified management systems.
“We’re already supporting our clients with their transition to ISO 45001 through our LEAD platform but this white paper gives a clear, precise and insightful overview of the changes and what they mean – the perfect starting point for any organisation.”
Following the publication of ISO 45001, a three year transition period is now in place after which OHAS 18001 certificates will expire and organisations must achieve certification to ISO 45001.