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How ISO 45001 and Z10 Safety Management System Standards Fit With GRI Standard on Occupational Health and Safety

Sep 24, 2018

The issue of global sustainability continues to grow and positively affect occupational safety and health (OSH) management. 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recently released a new standard (403-2018) addressing OSH global reporting and sustainability. This statement from the standard generated multiple inquiries: 

With GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety 2018, companies are now better able to measure how they contribute to the health, safety and general well-being of their workers. The Standard has been revised to focus on the presence of robust occupational health and safety management systems, and the processes and programs that prevent harm and promote worker health — and will assist companies in driving improvements in occupational health and safety and in the lives of millions of workers through transparency. 

The key question is which management systems qualify as “robust.” To guide members and the OSH community, ASSP asked GRI about this requirement found in Disclosure (Section) 403-8 [a][i], “Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system”:  

“The reporting organization shall report the following information: 

a) If the organization has implemented an occupational health and safety management system based on legal requirements and/or recognized standards/guidelines. . . ." 

Specifically, we asked GRI to confirm whether voluntary consensus standards such as ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001 and ANSI/ASSP Z10 are the types of recognized standards to which GRI is referring. 

GRI’s response: 

Regarding your question, it was decided not to reference specific OHSMS standards to avoid any presumption of preference or endorsement of a particular standard or guideline on the part of GRI or the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB). The Guidance for Disclosure 403-1 states: “Recognized standards/guidelines for occupational health and safety management systems include international, national and industry-specific standards.” If a standard is recognized at either the international or national level, or is widely recognized or applied by an industry, it can be reported under GRI 403. 

Based on this response, ASSP is confident that ANSI/ASSP Z10 and ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001 meet the GRI requirement since both documents are well respected, accepted, recognized and based on legal requirements. ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001 is specifically cited in the new GRI standard even though it is not included in the reference section. We also submitted ANSI/ASSP Z10 to GRI during the comment and development phase. 

Since the 45001 standard is noted in the GRI document, we believe its inclusion is pro-forma. The Z10 standard is one of the most respected safety management systems standards in the world and also meets the criteria. Therefore, OSH professionals should have no issue/concern with using either standard to address the GRI management systems reporting requirement. 

Find more information visit ASSP’s OSH management systems standards web page.

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