ISO are currently in the process of drafting a new addition to their family of international standards. ISO 45001 (due to be published in late 2016) will set the bar for occupational health and safety management systems worldwide, thereby helping organisations to ensure the continued health and safety of all of their employees.

Wait, isn't there already an ISO standard that covers health and safety?

You're probably thinking of OHSAS 18001, a British standard that is applied internationally as a benchmark for health and safety management systems.

Though this standard is frequently called ISO 18001, it is actually not an official ISO standard; that being said, OHSAS 18001 has reportedly served as a key source of inspiration for the new ISO 45001 standard, and many elements of the latter will bear a close resemblance to the requirements set out by the former.

If you are thinking of implementing a health and safety management system (HSMS) throughout your business in the near future, both ISO 18001 and ISO 45001 will be good standards to work towards. Even if you have already achieved OHSAS 18001 certification, you may decide that you would benefit from getting your organisation's HSMS re-certified in accordance with the new standard once it has been published. ISO have promised a more 'context'-focused set of requirements, and besides, if you're already using other ISO standards like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, it makes sense to stay within the ISO family in this area too.

Click here for more information about the forthcoming ISO 45001 standard, or contact us now to find out how we can help you to plan and implement a compliant health and safety management system.

Photo by Elliott Brown