Standards are essential to ensuring change happens. When it comes to safety on the construction jobsite, standards can help ensure a better working environment, ultimately saving lives. This is critical as the ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) indicates that every day more than 7,600 lives are lost due to work-related incidents. That equates to roughly 2.8 million fatalities a year.

In order to address this, the ISO (Intl. Organization of Standardization) has been working on a new safety standard, which will provide a framework that can help increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks, and improve business outcomes.

ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard was approved after five years in the making and is expected to be published in March.

The standard was developed by a committee of occupational health and safety experts, and will follow other generic management system approaches such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. It will take into account other International Standards in this area such as OHSAS 18001, the International Labour Organization’s ILO-OSH Guidelines, various national standards, and the ILOs (International Labour Standards) and conventions.

Today, many organizations are transitioning to a management-systems approach to control organization risk. ISO 45001 reflects diverse options and methods from around the world on the best ways to construct an occupational safety and health management system.

According to ASSE, these systems will help companies combat workplace hazards such as falls, which are the leading cause of on-the-job injuries and deaths. ASSE has played a key role in the seven-stage process that begun back in 2013.

The multi-year process of establishing a global standard included input from more than 75 countries across six continents. There will be a three-year transition period for registrants.

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