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Making Workplaces Safer - New OH&S System Standard, ISO 45001

The first global management system standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S), ISO 45001:2018, was published on March 12 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and it’s set to transform workplace practices around the world. The much anticipated OH&S standard provides the framework for implementing a safety management system for all organizations of any size, sector or location.

The new international standard gives guidance for its use and provides a robust and effective set of processes to enable organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health. When implemented correctly, organizations will benefit from a management system that mitigates OH&S risks, streamlines business processes and improves organizational safety performance.

Our team of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) professionals have produced a regulatory update that describes ISO 45001:2018 and provides key information, benefits and differences between it and the standard it replaces, Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001. ISO 45001:2018 follows the same Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle and High-Level Structure (HLS) seen in ISO 9001 (quality management) and 14001 (environmental management). The HLS and PDCA Cycle ensures compatibility between multiple standards and encourages combined management systems that mitigate and improve quality, environmental, and now OH&S performance.

By managing risks and embracing the opportunity to improve OH&S performance, organizations create the environment for a healthier, safer and more engaged workforce. This new standard can help organizations mitigate risk by:

  • Identifying regulatory requirements before they become compliance issues.
  • Educating all employees at all organizational levels.
  • Encouraging employee ownership of the safety management system.
  • Lowering the rate of OH&S incidents and disruption of operations.
  • Resolving OH&S issues through checking and implementation of corrective and preventive actions.
  • Changing an OH&S culture from reactive to proactive.

Along with this regulatory update, an ad hoc regulatory analysis publication, EHS Check, is used by EHS professionals looking for insights and analysis of important regulations to improve the effectiveness of their programs. Combining detailed regulatory and engineering knowledge, environmental business management competency, and established agency relationships, the practice spans regulatory compliance, auditing, sustainability and climate adaptation consulting, as well as environmental and information systems management and reporting. We also hold technical webinars for clients and industry groups on a range of EHS topics.


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