GrowEQ Person in safety gear working on floorThe world’s first international standard guiding a systems approach to occupational health and safety has now been published as a joint Australian/New Zealand Standard.

ISO 45001 was introduced by the International Organization for Standardization in March 2018, following collaboration with more than 70 countries, then discussions with industry and regulators across Australia and New Zealand led to the joint publication here in late 2018.

“Australian experts contributed heavily to ISO 45001, working with their international colleagues to deliver a standard outlining international best practice in the management of workplace safety,” said CEO of Standards Australia, Dr Bronwyn Evans.

Essentially, AS/NZS ISO 45001 streamlines and builds on the older systems and ensures alignment with ISO 9001 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management).

Realistic benchmarks combined with simple, manageable steps and an all-inclusive culture where everyone participates are considered key to safety success under the new standard.

What this means for your business

At the core of AS/NZS ISO 45001 is an important design principle: the system works with any organisation, large or small — it’s affordable and beneficial at every size, across every industry and business culture.

AS/NZS ISO 45001 is intended to make implementing and maintaining OH&S a simpler and more effective process. It provides a universally accepted framework to control health and safety risks, reduce potential accidents, aid legislative compliance and improve overall performance. So it’s good for both employees and employers.

In these days of continually rising insurance premiums, increased injury claims and spiralling health care costs, it’s important to have a clear framework safeguarding your business.

Also, certification to the new standard is set to become increasingly valuable, with the market demanding detailed verification of their suppliers’ occupational health and safety practices to protect their brands.

You can read more about the benefits in GrowEQ’s simple summary of ISO 45001 and the business case for work health & safety.

How to keep your certification valid

AS/NZS 4801 remains a current Australian Standard, cited in a range of legislation across Australia. So there will be a period of migration as businesses new to certification adopt AS/NZS ISO 45001 and those already certified to the old standard transition to the new one. The tip is that this will last about three years.

The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) is still to make a formal decision about whether 45001 will replace 4801 completely, or whether some businesses will be allowed to remain certified to 4801 if it’s been written into their contracts. Meanwhile, Standards Australia says work is underway to scope what additional guidance could be provided on the new standard.

GrowEQ is keeping across all the latest developments, so we can ensure smooth adoption or transition to AS/NZS ISO 45001 for our new and existing clients.

Fortunately, the requirements of ISO 45001 aren’t necessarily new or even tough to implement and many companies already have processes in place to satisfy them. So if you’re up to date with current standards it shouldn’t be an onerous task — otherwise, you may need to start prioritising it now. At GrowEQ, we can guide you through a 5 step plan to make the change and be sure you get the best out of the management system for your business.

Just give us a call on 02 8977 4050 or send an email to info@groweq.com.au and we’ll talk you through the best options for your operation, no matter where you are in Australia. By looking after it sooner rather than later, you’ll avoid being caught in a last-minute rush — and your business will get a marketing edge!