Making work safe – how ISO 45001 can make a huge difference

ISO 45001 is a hotly anticipated standard for occupational health and safety (OHS) and has recently been approved as a Draft International Standard.

Is your workplace safe?

No employer deliberately puts their staff in danger and with a highly trained workforce combined with safer machinery and practices, the workplace is a far safer place than it used to be. However, there are still signs that workplace accidents happen and the results can be catastrophic. The most recent data from the health & Safety Executive shows:

  • In 2014/15, provisional figures suggest that 142 workers died, a fatal injury rate of 0.46 deaths per 1,000 workers
  • 611,000 workers self-reported non-fatal injuries at work in 2014/15
  • An estimated 4.1 million working days are lost due to workplace injuries, an average of 6.7 days per case

HOW ISO 45001 can change things

Workplace injuries are not a phenomenon exclusive to the UK. Countries across the globe are also striving to keep their people safe at work, with some making greater strides than others.

In this day and age of global trade, ensuring that your products are produced in a way that is safe, and not costing lives, is a moral and ethical responsibility that more and more companies are realising. Sometimes, assurances and promises are not enough. There needs to be action and a long term commitment to the cause.

This is effectively what ISO 45001 brings to the table. Designed to help organisations and businesses of all sizes, across all sectors and industries, this standard is expected to significantly reduce workplace injuries and work-related health issues throughout the world.

More than 70 countries have been involved in the development of this hotly anticipated standard with the British Standard Institution playing a key role in the organisation and administration of the project. A strong occupation health and safety management system will help organisations reduce accidents and ill-health, avoid costly prosecutions and also contribute to lower insurance costs too. But overall, it is hoped that ISO 45001 will also help to foster a positive culture around the issue.

By a company adopting this latest standard, it will also be ensuring that it doesn’t contribute to the horror stories of fatalities at work that seem to dominate the headlines from time to time.

Dovetails with other standards

ISO 45001 is based on elements that are common in all of the ISO management systems standards, guaranteeing a high level of compatibility between ISO 45001 and ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems. It uses a simple model Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) to provide the framework that organisations need to have a plan in place to minimise hazards and identify risks.

Is this a standard your business needs?

We suggest that meeting this standard is a must for a company seeking global trade partnerships. Those that covet their own workforce, as well as those seeking peace of mind that trade partners do too will likely find ISO 45001 of great benefit. If you have reached or are working towards ISO 9001 and/or 14001, it is the next logical step. If you’re not quite there yet, perhaps a call to Synergos Consultancy can help. We’ll advise you which ISO standards would best meet your needs, and help your business achieve them. Why not call us on 01484 817 444 or email to find out more?


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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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