ISO 45001:2018 is an international standard for occupational health and safety management system. It is the first standard publication by International Organization for Standardization on occupational health and safety management system. Prior to this publication of ISO 45001, OHSAS 18001:2007 which was a British standard was used as a system for managing occupational health and safety at workplace.
However the standard ISO 45001:2018 provides requirements for an organization to maintain health and safety management systems. But an organization has to assess their specific requirements and accordingly take measures to maintain the system effectively.
ISO 45001:2018 offers the guidelines and mechanism to develop and maintain occupational health and safety management system. The occupational health and safety management system is composed of policies, processes, procedures, objectives, action plans and records to govern the organizational system and maintain good level of health and safety performance.
Why is there a need for ISO 45001:2018? Businesses are facing challenges to prevent injuries and ensure safety at workplace. With the implementation of ISO 45001, businesses show their commitment for the care of the employees doing work at the work place and to earn recognition as a responsible employer. The implementation of this standard is mainly due to three major reasons i.e. moral, financial and legal.
- Financial – Businesses has to compensate their employees for the injuries and damages they receive during the work. So it is important to have a system in place in order to prevent damages in the first place.
- Moral – A person coming to the work place in an organization has a moral right on the organization that he/she goes safe and healthy to his/her home after work. It is a moral binding on organizations to maintain such system that can ensure worker’s health and safety.
- Legal – Legally employers are responsible for work place safety as per the laws of the land. If legal requirements on health and safety is compromised by the business, legal authorities can cancel the organization’s right to work on the ground of legal violation.
ISO 45001:2018 is thus essential for organizations to help them effectively maintain their systems in order to manage their finances well, ensure morality as employers and remain legally compliant. The standard focuses on legal requirements to be ensured but does not provide detail guidance, an organization has to refer the applicable laws and regulations for compliance.
ISO 45001:2018 is made on HLS structure i.e. high level structure which means that it follows the same structure as other standards of ISO like ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015. Therefore it will be easier for implementers to integrate it with other standards if they are working on multiple standards.
ISO is helping organizations to develop and maintain occupational health and safety management system by the publication of this standard. It will help an organization to build repute for all interested parties if they show empathy for health and safety for employees as well as they can reduce their financial damages against injuries and legal violations. Organizations who are looking to implement ISO 45001:2018 should go through the list of mandatory documents required by the standard.