An organization is responsible for ensuring that it minimises the risk of harm to the people that may be affected by its activities (e.g. its workers, its managers, contractors, or visitors), and particularly if they are engaged by the organization to perform those activities as part of their “occupation”.
There were, according to an estimate by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 2.34 million deaths in 2013 as a result of work activities. The greatest majority (2 million) are associated with health issues, as opposed to injuries.
The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, IOSH, estimates there are 660000 deaths a year as a result of cancers arising from work activities. ISO is developing an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system standard (ISO 45001) which is intended to enable organizations to manage their OH&S risks and improve their OH&S performance.
The implementation of an OH&S management system will be a strategic decision for an organization that can be used to support its sustainability initiatives, ensuring people are safer and healthier and increase profitability at the same time.