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A new international ISO standard to serve as a basis of occupational health and safety systems

9/5/2017

​The international standardisation organisation ISO will publish a new standard ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management in late 2017 or early 2018.

The new standard provides criteria for the assessment and certification of practices related to the occupational health and safety of company personnel. It is based on OHSAS 18001, on which the occupational health and safety systems (OHS systems) of organisations have been based since 1999. 

The completion of the ISO 45001 standard does not require the repeal of similar existing national standards. The International Accreditation Forum IAF has made a preliminary proposal to establish a transition period of three years from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 for certificates. 

What changes will the new standard bring?

The new ISO standard emphasises managing the operating environment, leadership in occupational safety issues and engaging the personnel. Companies are required to improve their identification of changes related to occupational health and safety in the operating environment. The standard also pays more attention to preventing the risk of accidents. 

Emphasising leadership brings it closer to other management system standards. In the future, procedures to prevent accidents must be created with interest groups and subcontracting chains. The situation is not just monitored; assessing the effectiveness of the level of occupational safety and health is essential. Continuous improvement of the level is assessed based on it.

​The new ISO standard makes it easier to integrate OHS systems with other management systems into one single management system.​​​​​

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