How will ISO 45001 enable organizations to put an occupational health and safety (OHS) management system in place?
David Smith: Of the 2.3 million work-related deaths a year, the majority (2 million) are a result of ill health and disease. People in this category often suffer prolonged illness from long-term exposure to risks. These cases should not be ignored by placing the focus on accidents, which are more visible and generally result in immediate action.
According to the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, there are 860 000 occupational accidents every day, with consequences in terms of injuries. The direct or indirect cost of occupational illness and accidents at work is estimated at USD 2.8 trillion worldwide.
Businesses need to ensure they manage all their risks to survive and to thrive. OHS is a key aspect, which every business has to manage proactively. Apart from the devastating impact on people, poor OHS management can have many negative effects on organizations, such as the loss of key employees, business interruption, claims, insurance premiums, regulatory action, reputational damage, loss of investors and, ultimately, the loss of business.