globalWhether you call it “Workers’ Memorial Day” or “World Day for Safety and Health at Work,” today’s focus is the same: improving conditions for workers so that injuries and illnesses are prevented and lives are saved.

A new voluntary standard currently under development is aimed at helping companies around the world do just that, by improving their OSHS performance.

On the global scale, more than 6300 people die each day --more than 2.3 million people a  year -- as a result of work-related activities, swelling the ranks of over 300 million who sustain non-fatal accidents*. The burden to employers and employees alike is immense, both for employers and the wider economy, resulting in losses from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance premiums.

ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety, will provide the requirements for implementing a management system and framework that reduces the risk of harm and ill health to employees.

The standard is currently being 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 ILO's international labour standards and conventions.

Who is it for?

ISO 45001 is intended for use by any organization, regardless of its size or the nature of its work, and can be integrated into other health and safety programmes such as worker wellness and wellbeing. It also addresses many, if not all, legal requirements in this area.

When will it be available?

The standard is expected to be published in October 2016. Check the ISO 45001 revision page periodically to learn what stage it has reached in its development.