Workplace safety standard gets expert treatment

ISO 45001 - ISO's first standard for occupational health and safety management systems - takes a step closer to publication this week following an important committee meeting.

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By Clare Naden
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More than 2.3 million people die each year as a result of workplace injuries and diseases, in addition to the over 300 million who sustain non-fatal accidents*.

ISO 45001, which sets requirements for occupational health and safety management systems, was inspired by OHSAS 18001, and is designed to help companies and organizations worldwide protect the health and safety of the people who work for them.

Last week, technical committee representatives working on the standard, including experts and senior figures from both ISO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), met in Geneva to work through comments and issues raised during the Committee Draft (CD) consultation stage of its development.

Now that these have been resolved and the text improved, the standard can move to Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, the public consultation stage before publication.

Kevin McKinley, ISO Acting Secretary-General, said it is a positive step as the standard will ultimately be a very useful tool to help organizations save lives and protect the health and safety of their employees.

“The health and safety of workers is a fundamental issue for all organizations. ISO's work in this area is an important complement to the International Labour Standards of the ILO.

“There has been significant interest in ISO 45001 to build on existing ILO and national mechanisms to further enhance worker protection.

“We are delighted that, following these meetings, we are one step closer to publication.”

ILO's Deputy Director-General for Policy, Sandra Polaski, said:

“It is critcal that this ISO standard, on such an important subject, affirms public policies and globally recognized principles that already provide guidance at national and workplace levels.

“Many countries have formally ratified and accepted the internationally recognized occupational safety and health principles in ILO's International Labour Standards and management system guidelines adopted by the ILO's 185 member countries represented by government, and business and labour organizations.

“A major motivation for the ILO's participation in the meeting is to help ISO develop this standard to arrive at a result that is consistent with the international labour standards and guidelines that cover this subject.”

ISO 45001 is due to be published in October 2016. For further information about the progress of the standard's development, see our page on ISO 45001.

*Source: ILO

Clare Naden
Clare Naden

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