ISO 45001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health & safety (OHS) management system.
When implemented properly, an ISO 45001 management system offers many advantages for organizations and their employees, from increased productivity to lower costs and better overall safety. And it’s not just for global enterprises — ISO 45001 can benefit any organization, regardless of your size or industry.
If you're weighing the pros and cons of implementing the new standard, it's worth considering these 12 benefits.
12 benefits of ISO 45001
- Improve employee safety
- Boost stakeholder confidence
- Increase productivity
- Lower insurance costs
- Foster management involvement & accountability
- Reduce risk
- Identify opportunities
- Stand out as an industry leader
- Gain a competitive advantage
- Engage employees in safety
- Shift from reactive to proactive
- Demonstrate your commitment to safety
1. Improve employee safety
The most obvious benefit of ISO 45001 is the potential to reduce workplace illnesses and injuries. In the US alone, 5,147 workers died on the job in 2017 —more than 14 deaths every day — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ISO 45001 standard gives your organization the tools to save lives and prevent injuries.
2. Boost stakeholder confidence
Beyond the obvious benefits, complying with the ISO 45001 standard is a way to show customers, investors, and regulators that you’re serious about keeping people safe. When stakeholders are confident in your abilities to maintain a safe work environment, they’re more likely to want to do business with you. Not only that, but they’re less likely to scrutinize each decision you make.
3. Increase productivity
The International Labor Organization reports that there are 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries each year, resulting in more than 4 days of absences from work. Anytime a worker is injured and can’t return to work, productivity suffers. You lose time hiring and training a replacement. And if any equipment is damaged during the accident, you may have to temporarily shut down operations.
4. Lower insurance costs
In the same way that being a safe driver can keep your auto insurance rates low, tending to workplace safety can help keep the costs of commercial insurance down. By decreasing the risk of injury, you also decrease the chances that a worker will need to file a claim. As a result, employers who implement a successful ISO 45001 management system may enjoy lower out-of-pocket expenses and premiums, including worker’s compensation.
5. Foster management involvement & accountability
The new IS0 45001 standard calls for a top-down commitment to safety. By making safety and health part of an organization’s management system, ISO 45001 holds C-suite executives accountable for worker wellness.
6. Reduce risk
ISO 45001 offers a framework for organizations to identify potential safety hazards before they contribute to an accident. By addressing risks within your operations, your organization will enjoy fewer unwelcome surprises.
7. Identify opportunities
ISO 45001 isn’t just focused on risk, though. By identifying potential hazards, employers are also able to uncover opportunities to increase safety and productivity.
8. Stand out as an industry leader
The ISO 45001 standard was published in 2018, so it is still relatively new. Being among the first companies to achieve compliance with the new standard is a way for organizations to set themselves apart.
9. Gain a competitive advantage
It’s worth noting that some countries and companies — particularly those in Europe — tend to look favorably on organizations that adopt the ISO standards. If you’re bidding for work or contracts, using the ISO 45001 standard may give your business a leg up.
10. Engage employees in safety
Employee involvement is a key ingredient in any successful safety program. The ISO 45001 standard offers a structured way to promote worker consultation and participation.
11. Shift from reactive to proactive
A proactive safety culture is widely acknowledged as a key ingredient in sustainability. Unlike the OHSAS 18001 standard, which only focused on controlling known hazards, ISO 45001 requires organizations to proactively identify sources or situations that have the potential to cause harm.
12. Demonstrate your commitment to safety
The ISO 45001 standard is a widely recognized international symbol of safety excellence. By using the ISO 45001 standard, organizations can show that they are following health and safety best practices. Some organizations may even decide to pursue the extra recognition that comes with certification.
The bottom line
As you can see, there are many benefits to implementing the ISO 45001 standard no matter the size of your organization. Please tell us in the comments below: Is your company planning to adopt ISO 45001? What topics would you like to see us cover related to the new standard?