ISO 45001 is an important new safety & health management system
A Fisher Phillips partner played a significant role in helping to formulate the new ISO 45001 standard for occupational health and safety that was announced today by the International Organization for Standardization or ISO. Because of his extensive knowledge and experience regarding workplace safety issues, Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. served on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group of the American Society of Safety Engineers that provided valuable insight to the working group that developed the new ISO 45001 standard.
Foulke was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health from April 2006 to November 2008. In addition to heading OSHA, Foulke also served on the OSHA Review Commission – the only person to lead both OSHA and the Review Commission. He is currently the co-chair of the Workplace Safety & Catastrophe Management Practice Group at Fisher Phillips, a national management-side labor and employment law firm.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), developed this new management system standard to help organizations manage their occupational health and safety risks and improve their performance in that area. Approximately 70 countries participated in the development of the international 45001 certification standard.
Foulke said: “Organizations that are committed to workplace safety enjoy higher employee morale and productivity, higher profits, more engaged community involvement, and a demonstrated commitment to sustainability. Workplace safety and health are integral to sustainability as an organization’s leadership commits to getting their employees home safely every night because safety is a core value of their organization. This also means the organization fits into its community in a positive way.” Foulke added that an organization committed to its people is usually committed to its community and surrounding environment.
Foulke pointed out that he and other attorneys are ready to help companies work toward achieving ISO 45001 certification. Through an ISO 45001 Gap Assessment , he can help companies determine what needs to be done to meet the requirements of the standard, provide a roadmap to achieving 45001 certification, then assist them with implementing all of the requirements of the new 45001 safety management system. He noted that some companies already have very robust safety programs in place, so that organizations will need less effort to achieve ISO 45001 certification. Many other companies will be interested in the new system as they improve upon their safety and health programs with an eye on improved sustainability measures.
The new ISO 45001 is also recognized by ANSI – the American National Standards Institute. Foulke said it is rare that both organizations recognize a new standard, but he said this speaks to excellent work that was done to develop the new standard.
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