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November 7, 2023

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The Future of Health & Safety in the Workplace

In our rapidly evolving world, organisations need to adapt to survive, whether in response to consumer trends, the climate emergency, or geopolitical change. The developments needed to sustain organisations will require adjustments to occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems to manage new risks and changing levels of risk.

Leading global assurance partner, LRQA, explores the wider trends as well as emerging issues more specific to OH&S management and considers how these will affect health and safety in the workplace in this eBook with insight from Martin Cottam, Chair of the ISO Technical Committee for Occupational Health & Safety Management, responsible for the development of ISO 45001.

Topics covered include the rise of technology, which has the potential to bring both new risks and also new capabilities that can help us to better manage OH&S, as well as the impact of changes in the working population, and the climate emergency.

As for trends within occupational health and safety, Martin talks about the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, how it has affected OH&S management, and what vigilance is needed for the possibility of similar events in the future. With the publication of ISO 45006 – the guidance standard on managing the risks of infectious diseases in the workplace – expected towards the end of this year, the standards writers are also adapting to ensure support is there for organisations to be better prepared for any future outbreaks.

The global pandemic broke down some of the stigma that made people reluctant to discuss their psychological health and wellbeing at work. While mental health now has a higher profile, for many organisations, there is still more work to be done.

The eBook also discusses the challenges created when these trends collide and the risks that we need to be aware of to create a safe and healthy workplace. Organisations have always needed to adapt to a changing world, including in the way they manage OH&S, but the pace of change appears to be increasing. We need to be alert to these trends and to consider how likely they are to impact us. ISO 45001 already requires that organisations understand and respond to the changing context in which they are operating, but some additional prompts or guidance may need to be provided by standards writers to reinforce this important message.

Download the full eBook here

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