Workplace accidents and injury cost business, not to mention families and the broader community, millions of dollars each year as well as a great deal of heartache.
While Australia has made great gains in the area of workplace safety and training in the last decade, the need for ongoing improvement and monitoring still exists.
To combat the problem, ISO is developing a new standard, ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – requirements, that will help organisations to:
- Reduce this burden by providing a framework to improve employee safety
- Reduce workplace risks and,
- Create better, safer working conditions, all over the world.
These requirements have now been released in draft form and are available to business and the broader public.
“The aim of ISO 45001 is to provide a framework to improve employee safety,” says Adam McDean, CEO of BusinessBasics Australia.
“Such standards are designed to reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions. Long term, this can only be good news for the manufacturing industry.”
What is ISO 45001?
The ISO 45001 is a new and improved standard that focuses on the health and safety of the employees while they are in the workplace.
This aims to reduce the burden by providing a stable framework that will improve the safety of the employees and reduce the risks in the workplace.
Thus, the employees can work effectively and more efficiently without facing the risks and hazards in the place of work.
Is there a need for better standards?
According to Safe Work Australia, the cost of work-related injury and disease to workers, their employers and the community for the 2012–12 financial year data is estimated to be $61.8 billion.
Clearly, the need exists for better standards.
In addition, ISO exposed that more than 2.3 million workers worldwide, die each year while doing their duties and responsibilities in the workplace.
With this information, it is clearly seen that the standards available in the workplaces aren’t enough to ensure that the employees are safe and secure while conducting their tasks and responsibilities in the workplace.
Moreover, in the current settings in the large majority of workplaces in Australia, it can be easily concluded that there is a need to improve the standards being followed to avoid the presence of risk and hazard.
What are the standards currently applicable in the workplace?
The current certification standards used by organisations are AS/NZS4801 in Australia and NZ, and OHSAS18001 in other parts of the world, and indeed in Australia and NZ where an organisation is dealing with overseas customers.
These two standards work effectively, and have filled a gap in the ISO standards for many years. Following from recent work on the structure of other management system standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, ISO developed the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard to provide better integration with the other management system standards.
A draft of the new standard will be available later this year.
Do ISO workplace standards work?
Through the years, the standards and guidelines provided by standard bodies like ISO have shown their effectiveness and efficiency in providing a set of rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure the safety of the employees.
With the aid of the standards in the workplace, the employees can work in a safer workplace and avoid the risks and hazards present.
In addition, the work-related accidents and injuries impose costs on the company or business owners, the workers, and the community.
These includes direct and indirect costs for the parties. That’s the main reason why each and every workplace must strictly follow the rules and regulations given by standard giving bodies like ISO.
By David Trounce
David Trounce is a small business consultant with 25 years experience in business management and marketing