The future of OSH standards
To commemorate World Safety Day, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) sheds some light on the forthcoming ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management standard.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work was held on April 28. Organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the day aims to raise awareness and prevent occupational accidents and diseases globally.
The ILO highlights that 6 300 people die every day as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases and 317 million accidents occur on the job annually. Employers face costly early retirements, loss of skilled staff, absenteeism, and high insurance premiums due to work-related accidents and diseases. The annual economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated to be four percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
To help organisations reduce work-related accidents, injuries and diseases, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is working on a standard that will provide an international framework for occupational health and safety (OHS) – the future ISO 45001.
ISO 45001 will, in effect, replace the existing OSHAS 18001 standard. This will allow for an OHS management system that can be better integrated with the likes of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.
“Creating a safe work environment is critical to the success of any business, and is one of the best ways to attract or retain staff and maximise productivity. Although it’s still in its infancy, the future ISO standard will provide businesses around the world with a strong foundation to achieve long-term success,” says Charles Corrie, secretary of ISO/PC 283.
“We have recently held a technical committee meeting and I am pleased to report that work is progressing on schedule within the Task Groups up to July 1,” says Steve Williams, LRQA deputy technical director. Williams is a member of the ISO technical committee developing ISO 45001 (ISO/PC 283) as an external liaison member, representing the interests of the Independant International Organisation for Certification (IIOC), whose chairman is Mike James, managing director LRQA.
“What this means is that we may see the publication of an ISO 45001 committee draft as soon as August,” he continues.
LRQA is a member of the Lloyd’s Register Group (LR). Also participating on ISO/PC 283 is LR Energy business assurance manager, Martin Cottam.
Lloyd’s Register provides independent assurance to companies operating high-risk, capital-intensive assets to enhance the safety of life, property and the environment – thereby helping its clients to ensure safe, responsible and sustainable operations.
ISO states that a first draft of this international standard will be available for consultation in early 2015. The standard should reach publication by the end of 2016.