WORKING SAFELY IN A PANDEMIC
New International Guidelines released by ISO – ISO/PAS 45005
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world of work upside down and employers are faced with challenges never seen before. Recognizing the need for comprehensive yet generic guidance on protecting staff while continuing to function effectively, ISO occupational health and safety (OH&S) experts quickly got to work, delivering in record time.
While the average ISO International Standard takes three years to develop, the newly published ISO/PAS 45005,Occupational health and safety management – General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic was developed in just three months in response to the urgency of the situation and the need for such information now.
ISO/PAS 45005 brings together international best practice on how to manage the health and safety of employees and stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended to complement any existing national guidelines and regulations.
Experts from 26 countries worked tirelessly to produce the guidelines in the form of a publicly available specification (PAS), which was approved by the 80 member countries of ISO’s technical committee for occupational health and safety management. This format allows the document to then be updated in its present form or be developed into a formal standard, depending on the future course of the pandemic and emergence of new information.
The document provides practical recommendations on managing any risks arising from COVID-19 and is applicable regardless of an organization’ s location or status. The guidance is practical and appropriate whatever their size, and irrespective of the approach taken to managing the pandemic in their particular jurisdiction.”