With 2.78 million fatalities worldwide each year by work-related injury or ill health, the new global standard ISO 45001 (which was launched in March) can encourage “much-needed solutions”, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

The standard has been four-and-a-half years in the making, and organisations will be required to have proportionate safety and health management systems, which prevent injury and ill health among their workforce and throughout their supply chains.

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said leaders will have to ensure it is integral to their strategies and operations. “ISO 45001 can enhance the drive towards a safe and healthy world of work. Having an agreed international standard can help ensure consistency and encourage much-needed solutions to the myriad of safety and health risks that exist in workplaces around the globe.

“Any organisation seeking to improve its OSH management can adopt the principles of ISO 45001, whether or not they seek certification. And of course, certification is only the start of an ongoing continual improvement process and not an end. It’s about ensuring real culture change, effective action and OSH competence across organisations.”

IOSH is providing its members with assistance on finding out about and implementing ISO 45001, including creating an online hub, and Jones added that the new standard gives OSH professionals a fantastic opening to transform safety and health and ensure it receives the strategic attention and resources it deserves.

“IOSH members worldwide have a vital part to play in helping organisations raise their performance, saving lives, supporting livelihoods and securing brighter futures.”