Between 2016/17 in the UK, 1.3 million people suffered work-related illnesses, 137 workers were killed in the workplace and 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. Furthermore, work-related stress, depression or anxiety increased in the UK, as did occupational lung disease. There is no doubt, these figures continue to shock us, highlighting an integral need for better health and safety standards. With workplace accidents and illness regularly reported all over the world, change has been a long time coming for safety standards and March marks the start of a new era in the health and safety industry, with the official launch of the first ever global safety standard, ISO45001.
Published on Monday 12th March by a committee of occupational health and safety experts, ISO45001 was created with the help of 70 countries, ensuring all workplaces in the world, no matter the size or nature of business, adheres to one standard and safety management process.
ISO45001 has replaced OHSAS 18001 and provides companies with a useful checklist and framework, helping organisations put in place actions required to minimise harmful risks.
The new standard is also designed to work in conjunction with other ISO standards, such as ISO 4001 and ISO 9001. If businesses already use ISO standards, this will be beneficial when working towards achieving ISO 45001.
Further information about how the new standard can be integrated into businesses and the deadline for when this must be complete can be found here.
The new global standard seeks to help workplaces across the world enforce better health and safety practises, with many advantages that aim to enhance both the workplace and the individual worker on a professional and personal level.
Benefits include: a reduction in workplace accidents, reducing absenteeism and staff turnover, increasing productivity, creating a health and safety culture, reinforcing leadership, enabling companies to meet regulatory requirements, enhancing reputation and improving staff morale. 
With many benefits, ISO45001 could be a landmark in health and safety history, helping to revolutionise safety standards globally forevermore.
If you would like our expert advice in communicating clear and compelling messages about how your business is working to improve safety in the workplace and the lives of workers, please get in touch.