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New Standard Will Drive Better Safety Performance

Long awaitied revised standard released by Global Reporting Initiative

The long-awaited revised Occupational Health and Safety reporting standard, GRI 403, has been released this week by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent organization which has pioneered international sustainability reporting for over 20 years.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has been closely involved in the development of the new standard having initiated the call for change via the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) in Chicago.

As part of the project working group, and as an Organisational Stakeholder, IOSH rallied its members and OSH professionals around the world to respond to the 2012 GRI Survey, which informed the work.

Richard Jones, IOSH Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “IOSH believes that public reporting of OSH performance helps organisations and their stakeholders to have a better view of when and where attention and resources should be focused for improvement.

“Standards like this, supporting transparency in operations and supply chains worldwide, can help ensure reports are meaningful and comparable and drive better health and safety performance – benefiting individuals, businesses and societies.”

The new Standard provides best practice for measuring and reporting on occupational health and safety impacts on the economy, the environment and society.

It includes important new features such as leading indicators on the implementation of an occupational health and safety management system and improved methodologies for measuring and reporting work-related injuries and ill health.

The new Standard states that “Healthy and safe work conditions involve both prevention of physical and mental harm, and promotion of workers’ health.”

“Prevention of harm and promotion of health require an organization to demonstrate commitment to workers' health and safety [and]…to engage workers in the development, implementation, and performance evaluation of an occupational health and safety policy, management system and programs that are appropriate to the organization’s size and activities,” it says.

The world of work is changing and moves toward remote working and the rise in self-employed people are addressed specifically in the guidance. It states that ‘worker type’ does not determine whether the worker is to be included by the organization in its reported data, and that the organization must act to eliminate hazards and minimize risks to protect workers from harm.

IOSH research ‘Out of Sight Out of Mind’, released in 2017, revealed that although nearly half of workers in Western Europe work remotely they do not have access to the same health and safety standards as other workers.

Earlier this year, IOSH supported the UK Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ initiative to help protect lone workers’ rights, and has also produced a toolkit and video to help employers look after the health and safety of their employees in the growing ‘gig economy’.

The revised version of GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety is now available for download on the GRI website.

To learn more about key features of this Standard, watch this 20-minute video presentation. You can find more information about the Standard and other available resources on the project page.

GRI will hold two live webinars on 20 September to present the new Standard and to engage with stakeholders via a Q&A session. Click here to register:

20 September 9-10 AM CEST

20 September 4-5 PM CEST

Richard Jones will cover this and other new developments in his Shaping the future of safety and health session at IOSH 2018 in Birmingham, UK, on Monday 17 September 2018.

For further information about this annual two-day conference, visit: www.ioshconference.com

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IOSH is the Chartered body for health and safety professionals. With more than 47,000 members in over 130 countries, we’re the world’s biggest professional health and safety organisation.