Working is a part of life, but it can also be dangerous. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), almost 2.8 million people die every year because of their work activities – and the vast majority of these deaths are not accident-related. Instead, they are the result of long-term exposure to harmful conditions, and that’s just the beginning. The ILO says that there are roughly 374 million non-fatal illnesses and injuries attributed to work every year – issues that could largely have been prevented.
“An organisation’s activities can pose a risk of injury or ill-health, and can result in a serious impairment of health, or even fatality, to those working on its behalf; consequently, it is important for the organisation to eliminate or minimise its OH&S risks by taking appropriate preventive measures,” explains the Compliance Council. “An organisation’s OH&S management system can translate its intentions to prevent incidents into a systematic and ongoing set of processes (supported by the use of appropriate methods and tools) and can reinforce the organisation’s commitment to proactively improving its OH&S performance.”
As a business owner, you want to keep your employees happy and healthy. You can protect them with ISO 45001.
What is ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is a management system standard that focuses on occupational health and safety (OH&S). It was created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The standard is intended for use by all companies, regardless of size. It includes parameters for increasing the involvement of workers in identifying potential hazards as well complying with health and safety standards. It takes a process-based approach to minimize and ultimately eliminate potential health risks. Monitoring and measurement also play a role in this internationally-recognized safety standard.
“It is hoped that ISO 45001 will lead to a major transformation in workplace practices and reduce the tragic toll of work-related accidents and illnesses across the globe,” says David Smith, chair of the project committee that created the ISO 45001 standard. “World standards’ writers have come together to provide a framework for a safer workplace for all, whatever sector you work in and wherever you work in the world.”
While ISO 45001 does not outline specific controls for managing hazards, it does provide a framework for addressing safety concerns and employee health risks from which even the smallest company can benefit. With ISO 45001, your company will be able to improve its OH&S performance while reaping several important benefits along the way including but not limited to:
1. Meeting legal requirements
Meeting compliance obligations can be a challenge. Whether the issue is health and safety legislation or sector-specific standards, there are many requirements for your company to keep track of and comply with. However, when you design your Health and Safety Management System to comply with ISO 45001, you will have a framework for meeting those compliance obligations. It can improve your ability to achieve regulatory compliance, today and going forward. As new laws are passed to protect workers, you will already have high standards in place. Demonstrating compliance then becomes a matter of small, incremental adjustments.
2. Identifying and Controlling Hazards
ISO 45001 also provides you with a method for identifying and assessing hazards at your business and gives you a process for systematically controlling the hazards. For instance, think of your production time. When a health and safety incident occurs, the entire operation may have to be put on hold. That costs you time and money. By meeting the requirements of ISO 45001, you can identify and control hazards so that you never have to experience the downtime or lost revenue those issues cause.
3. Winning More Clients
Moreover, your clients will appreciate your commitment to safety. Certification to ISO 45001 demonstrates that your company has quality health and safety processes in place – and that could help you win more work.
Clients who are concerned about social responsibility and ethical operations are going to be impressed that your company went through the work to become certified to the internationally-recognised ISO 45001 standard. For consumers, they may be willing to pay a premium to buy from your company because of its labour practices.
4. Improved Performance
The ISO 45001 standard also helps improve health and safety performance while preventing injuries at work. Your employees will be safer and while that is a benefit in and of itself, there is an additional opportunity here – cost savings. On-the-job injury and illness can be the basis for expensive legal issues. By protecting your people from the beginning, you will have the chance of retaining each employee for the length of his or her working life while helping them be as productive as possible. Absenteeism often goes down when safety standards are high, as does employee turnover.
Adopting the ISO 45001 standard is one of the best things you can do for your business and your employees. By applying that framework to your operations, you can save money through reduced downtime and attract new business.
Where to start?
Purchase an ISO 45001 complaint Health and Safety Management System from ISO Templates to put your business on the path to health and safety success today.