The ISO 45001 certification actually in force, it’s replacing OHSAS 18001. The rule shows how to manage a system capable of reducing the accidents and illnesses’ risk in the workplace and how to improve the quality of human life’s resources, protecting the organizational structure of the company.
The ISO 45001 certification is the new version of the 1999 OHSAS 18001, which was revised later in 2007 (OHSAS: Occupational health and safety management systems). It provides indications on how to make workplaces safer for companies and organizations. A safe workplace reduces the risk of accidents and it decreases the possibility of contracting occupational diseases. Making the workplace safe is an employer’s duty, but it’s also a cost saving source due to potential accidents or illness. In the event of an accident, for example, the employee it’s more expensive five times as much to the enterprise (among overtime, any strikes, investigations, etc.).
ISO 45001:2018, what it is
It’s an international standard, so it’s applicable to all types of organizations. ISO means International Organization for Standardization. In truth, ISO isn’t an acronym, but a name of Greek origin which means “equal”. The name’s choice concerns the intention to standardize, in each country, both the legislation and the Organization name.
ISO 45001 is an international standard that indicates which requirements a management system must have in the workplace to be healthy and safe. The standard was published in March 2018.
An HSL management system (Health Safety Work) helps to improve health and safety performance constantly in the workplace. It helps to meet the minimum legal requirements in terms of health and safety. The 45001 structure is HLS, that is «high level», as well as other standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO14001 for the management of environmental systems.
ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001
ISO 45001 replaces OHSAS 18001, but it doesn’t do that out of the blue. A transition period is required. Therefore, starting from the 45001 publication date, both certifications will be valid for three years. It follows that after 11 March 2021 the 18001 will no longer be recognized.
Meanwhile, it’s possible to migrate from the old norm to the new one following two ways:
- in the planned audit phase;
- asking for an extraordinary audit.
In the first case, it’ll be necessary to add an extra day to the provided checking time. By asking for an extraordinary audit, instead, the certifying body will have to calculate the necessary time for the examination that, anyway, it must not be less than one day/man.
ISO 45001: competitive advantages
Making the working place safe has important advantages. First of all, towards collaborators and employees. The environment speaks to the workers and communicates what are the company priorities, what’s the soul. It’s a short step from workers to customers: being ISO 45001 certified means communicating to suppliers, customers and stakeholders that workplace safety is always sought, it’s a value. Furthermore, the certification allows participating in all those tender calls that include it among the requirements.
Statistics: Accidents at work in Europe.
Safety and health at work are a hot topic, often underestimated.
Every year there are numerous accidents at work which generally have serious consequences not only for those directly involved, but also for family members, colleagues and direct superiors.
Furthermore, an accident at work can have significant economic consequences for the company. A well-organized workplace can help prevent numerous workplace accidents.
The employer is responsible for both the location and the working conditions. Consequently, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that, as far as possible, employees aren’t exposed to the risk of injury or illness.
According to the Eurostat survey in the EU, the standardized rate of fatal accidents at work per 100 thousand workers, it’s 2,4.
Among the Member States, the lowest standardized incidence rates were recorded in the Netherlands (0.8 per 100,000 workers, Sweden (1.2), Germany (1.3), Denmark (1.4), Cyprus (1,5) and the United Kingdom (1.6), while the highest was registered in Romania (7.5), before Portugal (4.6), Luxembourg (4.4), Bulgaria and Lithuania (4.3 each).
The number of accidents in a specific year is probably related to a certain extent to the general level of a country’s economic activity and the total number of people employed in its economy.