BSI has published the second draft of ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements.

The yet-to-be launched international standard specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for its use, to enable an organisation to provide safe and healthy working conditions for the prevention of work-related injury and ill health.

The latest draft is now available on the BSI shop, ahead of the formal commenting period which beings on 19 May. From this date the draft will be accessible, enabling those with an interest to submit comment.

Two million people die yearly from work-related incidents and the number of people suffering life altering health conditions caused by their work is exponentially higher. These harrowing figures are in spite of widespread adoption of International Labour Standards, indicating a pressing need for a standard specifically designed to ensure organisations manage the risk and improve their OH&S to protect workers at all levels.

ISO 45001 includes the development and implementation of an OH&S policy and objectives which take into account applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organisation subscribes.

The international standard will help provide a single, clear framework for organisations of all types and sizes who wish to improve their OH&S performance and protect those working on their behalf or who may be affected by the organisation’s activities. This includes any organization beyond that of sole trader – and those organisations working with multiple contractors, multiple sites, volunteers or temporary staff, etc.

Benefits of ISO 45001 include:

  • A single internationally-agreed standard suitable for all organisations worldwide
  • Alignment with other key management system standards
  • Requirements which direct organizations to design a management system uniquely suited to each organisation’s occupational health and safety needs

ISO 45001 has been developed using a collaborative, consensus-based approach, taking into account the views of large and small organisations, government bodies, trades unions and worker representative organisations.

It will eventually replace OHSAS 18001, an existing standard which sets out the minimum requirements for occupational health and safety management best practice. Although OHSAS 18001 is widely used both in the UK and internationally it is not a full international standard.

Anne Hayes, head of governance and resilience at BSI, oversees the sector which develops health and safety standards.

Hayes has engaged with BSI’s core markets regarding ISO 45001. She said: “Occupational health and safety is a serious matter for all businesses worldwide, regardless of their size or sector. BSI is proud to be involved with developing a clear framework for businesses wishing to maintain or improve safety within their workplaces.

“It is important that ISO 45001 works in alignment with other management system standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Therefore the common text and structure in which ISO 45001 is written will ensure these management system standards are broadly aligned.”

The international committee which developed ISO 45001 includes experts from over 50 countries and 20 liaison bodies, all with knowledge and practical experience of occupational health and safety issues and the challenges faced. The new standard is based on the core structure and common text developed by ISO for all of its management system standards (MSS), taking into account the requirements of the current OHSAS 18001, other national standards (including those from the US, China and Canada) and the ILO instruments – OH&S guidelines adopted by hundreds of countries across the world.

Publication of the final standard is anticipated towards the end of 2017.