ISO/PAS 45005: New Global Guidelines For Safe Working During the Covid-19 Pandemic

ISO/PAS 45005: New Global Guidelines For Safe Working During the Covid-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has fundamentally impacted the way people live and work. Organisations need to quickly adapt to the “new normal” including new regulations and guidance on hygiene, social distancing and psychosocial health in order to work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

ISO/PAS 45005 is designed to help organisations anywhere in the world to protect their workers and reduce the spread of the virus.

The guidelines can be used by organisations of all sizes and in all sectors including those that:

  • Have been operating throughout the pandemic;
  • Are resuming or planning to resume operations following full or partial closure;
  • Are re-occupying workplaces that have been fully or partially closed;
  • Are new and planning to operate for the first time.

ISO/PAS 45005 gives guidance on implementing best practice and will help to manage the risks arising from COVID-19 in relation to work-related health, safety and wellbeing.

By implementing the guidance in ISO/PAS 45005, organisations will be able to:

  • Take effective action to protect workers and other relevant interested parties from the risks related to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrate that they are addressing risks related to COVID-19 using a systematic approach;
  • Put in place a framework to enable effective and timely adaptation to the changing situation.

The main clauses of the standard provide practical guidance under the following headings:

Clause 4      Planning and assessment of risks

Clause 5      Suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19

Clause 6      Psychological health and well-being

Clause 7      Inclusivity

Clause 8      Resources

Clause 9      Communication

Clause 10     Hygiene      

Clause 11     Use of personal protective equipment, masks and face coverings

Clause 12     Operations

Clause 13     Performance evaluation

Clause 14     Improvement

The structure of the new standard does not follow the usual Annex SL framework for management systems but is designed to be integrated into an organisation’s ISO 45001 OHS management system.

The standard follows the same Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle as the ISO 45001 OHS and other management systems:

  • Plan: Plan what needs to be done for the organization to work safely (see Clauses 4 to 8).
  • Do: Do what the organization has planned to do (see Clauses 9 to 12).
  • Check: See how well it is working (see Clause 13).
  • Act: Fix problems and look for ways to make what the organization is doing even more effective (see Clause 14)

ISO/PAS 45005 provides a framework in which the PDCA cycle outlined above should be repeated, with all parts active at all times, to enable ongoing continual improvement and to ensure organisations respond to changes during the different phases of the pandemic.

What are the benefits of using ISO/PAS 45005 – new global guidelines for safe working during COVID-19?
  • The standard supports comprehensive risk assessment
  • It provides practical examples of ways of managing risks
  • Enables planning across multiple sites and for many types of worker
  • Helps to manage the risk of communicable diseases and can reduce sickness absence due to seasonal and other illnesses, such as common colds, influenza and gastric illness
  • Assists in developing a response plan to enable rapid adjustments if risk levels or operating restrictions change at short notice
  • Provides a single source of good practice based on current knowledge

Certification bodies such as BSI and TUV are now offering certification to the new PAS standard.

Antaris will be providing more detailed information and blogs on the new guidelines in the near future.

Read more blogs and news posts written on COVID-19 by Antaris experts here.