Occupational health and safety management — General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are transitioning to the new normal. Challenges surfaced on how to launch and restart their operations during the pandemic situation. This led to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a new specification in the 45000 series for occupational health and safety during the pandemic.
Introduced in record time of just three months, ISO/PAS 45005:2020 Occupational health and safety management—General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic, was launched in response to the urgency and immediate need for information.
Organisations can use ISO/PAS 45005:2020 to register and implement the guidelines reflected for business; to improve and adapt the new work standards and operations. This standard covers the management of emergency preparedness and response protocols, steps to minimise transmission in the workplace, and importance of reporting procedures. It provides practical advice to organisations of any size and sectors.
ISO/PAS 45005:2020 also addresses the importance on how to manage risks arising from COVID-19. This ensures that health, safety and well-being of employees are protected in the workplace, which allows continuity of operations throughout the pandemic.
This document allows businesses to:
a) Ensure good health and well-being of employees;
b) Continue operating business with minimal risks throughout the pandemic;
c) Reduce downtime, overall costs of incidents at the workplace and the number of insurance premiums claimed.
d) Help in building trust and brand integrity by providing an assurance that the management system qualifies the requirements of the international standard
e) Be in line with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (3,8,9,10,11)
ISO 45005 emphasises on the specific risks to workers and others who can be affected by the organisation’s activities (e.g. visitors, customers, service users, the general public). The guidelines will allow the organisation to review what are some of the factors that could affect the company and employees. This includes the ability of individuals to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and how its operations should change to address the increased risk to work-related health, safety and well-being.
The guidelines will include:
• Planning and assessment of risks
• Managing suspected or confirm cases of COVID-19
• Psychological health and well-being
• Resources needs
• Communications guidance
• Hygiene guidance
• Operations guidance
TÜV SÜD is an internationally accredited certification body for a wide range of ISO standards, including ISO 45001. We have extensive experience in auditing and certifying against ISO management systems.
During an auditing process, TÜV SÜD’s independent and qualified auditors apply the following techniques:
• Document review: evaluation of the organization’s requirements and/or documentation to ensure the systematic control of all processes relevant to ISO 45005.
• On-site-audit: Gap analysis, in the form of on-site inspection at your premises, to ensure the requirements of ISO 45005 are being implemented effectively. This includes checking processes based on records kept by the organization, such as available measurement results, minutes of meetings, training and qualification records, complaints management and records, and the resulting improvement projects instigated by the organisation.
Offering comprehensive evaluations and reports, we can also provide you with technical advices to further improve and enhance your business operation, which give your organisation a global standard of quality and safe system in place.
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