Businesses and other organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic now have an extra six months to switch to the new international standard for occupational health and safety, ISO 45001.
For those unaffected by COVID-19, though, there are just a few weeks left to transition to this new standard.
What was OHSAS 18001?
This was the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001, the British standard for occupational health and safety management systems.
Organisations which complied with it showed they had robust policies and an effective system in place to manage occupational health and safety.
As with all standards relating to workplace safety, the overall aim was to reduce hazards at work and increase safety awareness among staff.
Why do you need to transition to ISO 45001?
OHSAS 18001 has now been withdrawn, and it has been replaced by a new international standard ISO 45001.
If you’re an organisation already certified to OHSAS 18001 you will need to migrate to ISO 45001 by the end of March 2021, or you can complete the transition by the end of September 2021 if your business has been disrupted by COVID-19.
What’s the difference between the two?
The new standard is based on the same principles contained in OHSAS 18001, but there are enhancements which encourage better worker involvement in the process and a greater focus on health in the workplace, especially supporting employees’ mental health.
There are many benefits to gaining certification in and implementing ISO 45001:
You prove your organisation assesses and deals with risk responsibly, something which is attractive to shareholders and potential clients alike. It also helps cut insurance premiums.
If your business is bidding for international contracts, having an internationally recognised standard is extremely useful. Post-Brexit, many British businesses will be looking to secure new overseas contracts.
ISO 45001 shows a commitment to social sustainability in the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) benchmarking, something potential investors like to see.
A commitment to health and safety helps you attract and retain the best talent, enhances workplace wellbeing and reduces the amount of sickness leave, builds your business reputation, and reduces the potential costs to the business of injury or illness.
Learn everything you and your team need to know about ISO 45001 by buying a copy of the standard here.