Workplace safety is of utmost important to most if not all businesses, no matter what industry they operate in. Safe Work Australia reports that there were 162 workers who were fatally injured while carrying out their jobs in 2019, a rise from the 144 workers who passed away from work-related incidents in 2018. These workplace-related injuries and deaths not only cause grief for the loved ones of the victims, but also costs for the employers. According to Safe Work Australia, between 2012 and 2013, injuries in the workplace accounted for a $28 billion cost. Having a safe workplace is important for businesses because it maintains productivity, reduces risks, and diminishes insurance costs. Oftentimes, an occupational health and safety management system or OHS system is put in place to ensure that safety is continuously maintained in the workplace. This not only protects employees, but also individuals who interact with the business, such as suppliers, clients, and visitors. This is where ISO 45001 comes in.

ISO 45001 is an international standard set by the International Organization for Standardization in March 2018 for the proper handling of occupational health and safety management systems. It is a global standard that outlines best practices in safety and health in the workplace. Getting certified to ISO 45001 Australia means that a business upholds these standards and demonstrate their commitment to keeping a safe and healthy workplace. ISO 45001 certification is often conducted together with OHS consultants, as these specialists have experience in performing business audits, integrating multiple ISO standards, and creating user-friendly tools and solutions for businesses to achieve ISO 45001 certification. OHS consultants are also helpful in ensuring that legislative updates are applied to a business’ OHS.

 

Legislation Updates and How They Impact a Business

ISO standards change as markets and industries change. Take for example ISO 45001, which was designed to replace the existing management systems AS 4801 and OHS/AS 18001 due to the changing demands of how business is carried out globally. According to Wikipedia, some of the changes include context of the organization, a deeper understanding of the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties, risks and opportunities, leadership and management commitment, and planning. When legislative updates are released, it is the responsibility of a business’ ISO standards officers, together with OHS consultants or ISO consultants to ensure that these are applied to current management systems. Legislative updates are important because continued compliance to a standard such as ISO 45001 means that the business must also comply to any new rules or regulations that have been passed on. This is where the legislation register comes in.

A legislation register or legal register is defined by Libryo as “a list of legal instruments, whether legislation, regulation or otherwise, which apply uniquely to a given operation.” These legal instruments can apply to various parts of the business process, depending on its location, the activities carried out, and the size and type of organization carrying out these activities. So why is it important to maintain legislation updates?

 

Maintaining legislation updates and an updated register maintains your ISO 45001 certification.

Once a business achieves ISO 45001 certification, there will be an annual audit, often conducted by OHS consultants, to ensure that the business remains compliant to the global standard and other legislation involved. Legislation updates may be released without the knowledge of OHS officers, so it’s important to work with OHS consultants to do regular checks on both legislative updates and if these updates apply to the business to ensure that the organization remains compliant.

 

Ensuring legislation updates ensures workplace safety.

ISO 45001 was designed to ensure businesses operate in workplaces that do not pose as risks to employees. When new legislative updates come out, it is the business’ responsibility to check if these apply to the business and if so, execute actions to modify their process to comply to such changes in legislation to ensure that workplaces remain safe and risk-free for those who use them.

 

Establishing legislation updates ensures lowered risks and costs in the future.

Failing to comply to legislation updates or any changes in legislation may result to fees. When workplace health and safety laws are amended, it is the duty of businesses to ensure that they follow such new rules. However, it is important to work with OHS consultants to determine if the changes in legislation will affect the business, how many and which operational sites will be affected and how those affected will respond to such changes. Without this in place, there may be fines and fees involved in failing to address these legislation updates.

 

When complying to ISO 45001 Australia or going through the ISO 45001 certification process, it’s best to seek advice from OHS consultants who assist in documenting all relevant Australian Environmental and OHS legislation into a user friendly legislation register, define the state in which each part of legislation applies, documents the status of current compliance, and determines when the next review should occur. To know more about this process, get in touch with OHS consultants today.