New global standard puts greater emphasis on top management in health and safety
CEOs, directors and senior managers who get visibly and demonstrably involved in managing the safety and health of their workforces will be best placed to meet the new global standard, a leading professional body said today.
The internationally-agreed ISO 45001, set for publication next year, aims to help prevent injury and ill health, cut work-related fatalities and proactively improve occupational health and safety performance in businesses and other organisations worldwide.
The standard, against which businesses will be audited, places a greater emphasis on leadership, worker involvement, context and continual improvement, said the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Richard Jones.
Speaking at The Manufacturer’s Annual Leaders Conference, in Birmingham, he said: “This new standard requires that leaders in organisations need to be visibly and demonstrably involved in the health and safety of their workforces, and in ensuring that the health and safety management system works. And so ISO 45001 auditors will interview top management as part of certification.
“And this is important because leaders set the tone for the rest of the organisation. If they’re seen to be doing the right things and that they’re committed to health and safety, then the rest of the workforce will follow and the culture of an organisation will be much improved.
“But the opposite is true too, if they’re not seen to be taking health and safety seriously, then others won’t either.”
Richard Jones was among a series of speakers to address delegates from across the manufacturing sector, ahead of The Manufacturer MX Awards 2015, co-sponsored this year by IOSH.
The conference also saw the Institution showcase its new Leading safely course, which is helping senior executives and managers reap the business benefits of good safety and health management.
Image: IOSH Commercial Development Manager, Tracey Wright, speaking at the launch of the new Leading safely course.