COVID-19 impacts on occupational health and safety
8 minutes |
The COVID-19 crisis has turned our working lives upside down. Faced with mutations that make the virus more dangerous, along with enhanced regulations and requirements, companies need to be extremely flexible. Businesses try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by implementing measures such as social distancing, regular ventilation, and providing medical or FFP2 face masks. Working from home as well as increased safeguards to ensure hygiene and infection prevention on site are intended to protect employees and customers alike.
ISO 45005: A global guide to preventing employees from contracting SARS-CoV-2
Governments, regulatory authorities, and professional associations around the world have produced guidelines to enable safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what many do not know is that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has also created guidelines to support companies, namely ISO 45005, which was published in December 2020. It is based on the BSI’s Safe Working Guidance and brings together international best practices to enhance occupational health and safety and infection control during the COVID-19 crisis.
Experts from 26 countries have contributed their expertise to help safety managers and ehs professionals address the coronavirus pandemic with a practical, risk-based approach. Organizations wanting to resume operations after a full or partial closure will also benefit from ISO 45005. The cross-sector guide is not only applicable to the current crisis – in the long term, ISO 45005 may also reduce downtime due to other infectious diseases by focusing on effective hygiene management.
Whitepaper ISO 45001
Holistic occupational safety: Companies certified to the global standard ISO 45001 can implement ISO 45005 particularly easily. Read more about ISO 45001 here!
How ISO 45005 is structured
The chapters in the ISO 45005 guide do not correspond to the High-Level Structure (HLS) used by other ISO standards (such as ISO 45001 or ISO 14001). However, there is a clear correlation.
Plan: Chapters 4 to 8 - Planning what you need and risk assessment
Planning and assessment of risks
Suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
Psychological health and well-being
Do: Chapters 9 to 12 - Implementing measures
Use of personal protective equipment
Check: Chapter 13 - Reviewing measures
Act: Chapter 14 - Identifying optimization potential and defining solutions
You can view and download “ISO/PAS 45005:2020: Occupational health and safety management – General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic” here.