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In the News
In a global economy where your suppliers can be across town or half way around the world it can be difficult to determine if those businesses are adhering to the same health and safety standards that you are. Think of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh in 2013 when 1,129 people were killed when the 8-story factory where they were working collapsed due to structural issues that had gone ignored. Though the global companies that bought the clothing made in this factory may have had their own safety standards, processes and programs, they had little control over the conditions and health and safety practices of the factory thousands of kilometers away.
To combat the problem, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed and released the new standard, ISO 45001:2018, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, which provides a set of processes for improving workplace practices globally. It is intended to help organizations of all sizes and industries improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks, and create better, safer working conditions all over the world.
ISO is a United Nations recognized non-governmental organization that works in 162 countries. This standard was developed by a committee of occupational health and safety experts and takes into account other international standards such as the internationally applied OHSAS 18001 standard for occupational health and safety management systems, the International Labour Organization ILO-OSH Guidelines and the ILO’s international labour standards and conventions. The ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001, the world’s former reference for health and safety.
Who it’s for
The new standard is applicable to all organization, regardless of size, industry or nature of business. It provides government agencies, industry and other affected stakeholders with guidance for improving worker safety in countries around the world. It can help organizations provide a safe and healthy work environment for workers and visitors by continually improving their occupational health and safety functions.
The system takes a risk-based approach and encourages proactive prevention through the identification of activities and processes that can harm workers as well as meet legal compliance requirements. Additionally, there is an emphasis placed on the responsibilities of senior management. The system can’t work without their commitment and key role in the system’s implementation, maintenance, development, and promotion. This active role played by management can help to embed the management system into the culture and day-to-day operation of the business. Worker involvement is fundamental in the system’s implementation through their participation in decision making, evaluating procedures and providing feedback.
This management system provides a structured approach to protecting workers.
Potential benefits from the use of the standard include:
Under ISO 45001, when production is outsourced, the parent company’s occupational health and safety standards must be applied. This means that companies that have traditionally outsourced difficult and dangerous activities to locations where the cost of production is lower and labour laws are lenient will no longer be able to do so. Suppliers and subcontractors must apply the same standards as the principal business so that the parent company stays in compliance. Adopting ISO 45001 requires that an organization assess its safety standards throughout their entire supply chain to prevent accidents.
Certification and compliance to ISO 45001 is not mandatory but is a way to provide valid proof that a contracting or outsourcing organization adheres to the same standards as its host or client. The steps involved in adhering to the standard can facilitate continuous improvement and this recognized certification can help support business expansion into global markets and ensure that the safety standards adhered to at the organization’s home are followed by suppliers, regardless of location.
For more information on ISO 45001:2018, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use visit www.iso.org.
Tips and Tools
Ticks are crawling back into the news and carrying with them the potential for Lyme disease. The number of reported Lyme disease cases in Canada between 2009-2016 rose from 144 cases to 992 and the areas where black-legged ticks are found is growing. Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection that can have severe symptoms but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics if caught early.
While not all black-legged ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of infected black-legged ticks are growing. This means that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada. There are several ways to reduce the risk when spending time working outdoors in areas where there may be ticks. Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and their bites are usually painless, so you may not know you've been bitten. That's why it's important to be on the lookout for ticks and the symptoms of Lyme disease.
Reducing your exposure to tick bites
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Here are some ways to protect yourself if you venture into forests or overgrown areas between the woods and open spaces:
What to do if a black-legged tick bites you
If you find a tick attached to your skin, make sure you remove it carefully as follows:
If possible, save the tick that bit you in a clean container or plastic bag and record the date you were bit. Watch out for signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in the subsequent weeks. If you feel unwell, contact your health care provider right away. If you are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, you may require a longer course of antibiotics and experience symptoms that continue more than 6 months after treatment. If you have saved the tick, bring it to your medical appointment as it may help the doctor.
More information on ticks and Lyme disease:
This month’s featured podcasts include tips for new and young worker orientation and an encore presentation of Drink Up to Beat Dehydration.
Feature Podcast: New and Young Worker Orientation
Employee orientation is the process of introducing any new worker to the organization, their supervisors, co-workers, jobs, and especially to health and safety. In this podcast we focus on what employers can do to help their new and young workers start a new job on the right foot and stay safe at work.
The podcast runs 8:00 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
Encore Podcast: Drink Up to Beat Dehydration
CCOHS outlines the signs of dehydration and how to prevent it when working in the summer heat.
The podcast runs for 5:52 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.
CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips, and insights into the health, safety, and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segment to your computer or MP3 player and listen to it at your own convenience... or on the go!
There is no other health and safety event like this in Canada. Make a plan to attend and join us in Winnipeg for this two-day national event that will bring together leaders, change makers, and subject experts representing government, labour, and workplaces, to share their knowledge and experience around current and emerging health and safety issues.
CCOHS Forum 2019
The Changing World of Work
March 5-6, 2019
Watch for registration and program details coming soon.
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The Health and Safety Report, a free monthly newsletter produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), provides information, advice, and resources that help support a safe and healthy work environment and the total well being of workers.
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