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  • Impact Story
    Health & Safety

Aiding Society to Work Safely During a Global Pandemic

Delivering rapid development and implementation of new guidelines at a time of unprecedented worldwide change and uncertainty.


“During the pandemic it was vital to build resilience quickly in the face of evolving risks, which BSI's global guidelines for safe working enabled.” 

Kate Field Global Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, BSI
Case study–COVID-19 safe working guidelines - Employee working on a laptop
The People

Shielding workers from ill-health and uncertainty

Helping businesses and society cope during an unpredictable global event.

The pandemic caused extraordinary disruption to work globally, at a pace and scale that was previously deemed unimaginable. Organizations of all sizes and sectors were desperate for guidance on how they could continue to operate safely.

The Challenge

The changing face of workplace risk

Organizations had an enhanced duty of care to their employees, customers and consumers during the pandemic, but were in unchartered waters.

The fundamental principle of protecting human life underpinned both business survival and recovery; alongside economic factors which remained a consideration.

Mitigating the effects of the pandemic was crucial to protect the safety of workers, provide reassurance to other stakeholders and protect organizational reputation. The key to this was reviewing and modifying approaches to internal risk management.

The Solution

A life-saving standard for the new normal

Organizations needed swift, authoritative support to help them navigate new working environments and health and safety risks.

Our global expertise in occupational health, safety and hygiene meant we could offer practical support and rapidly develop new international guidelines that would help organizations manage emerging risks.

Global Guidelines for Safe Working During COVID-19 (ISO/PAS 45005) was designed to keep employees safe and assist organizations of all sizes and in all sectors, from those operating throughout the pandemic to those reoccupying workplaces following full or partial closure.

Protecting lives with responsive solutions

Organizations could demonstrate that they were putting the health, safety and well-being of their people, customers and consumers first. They also:

Case study–COVID-19 safe working guidelines - Executives in a meeting
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    Provided a single source of best practice, enabling planning across multiple sites and worker types.

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    Support comprehensive risk assessment and offer practical examples of ways of managing risks.

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    Help organizations manage the risk of diseases; reducing many types of sickness absence.

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    Aid development of a rapid response plan if risk levels or operating restrictions change.

The pandemic in numbers

  • 750 million cases of COVID-19 recorded globally.

  • 7 million deaths estimated due to COVID-19.

  • The BSI guidelines were formulated and published in a record-breaking three months.

  • Helped organizations prepare for and deal with disruption arising from the pandemic.

  • Guidelines designed for organizations of all sizes and in all sectors.

  • Guidelines useful for those reoccupying workplaces following full or partial closure.


“Our understanding of the unprecedented challenges allowed us to add great value by supporting companies to implement the new guidelines effectively.” 

Kate Field Global Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, BSI
Why BSI?

A more resilient, future-ready risk response

Our expertise in occupational health, safety and hygiene meant we could offer swift support during the pandemic and after. Other services supported pandemic risk management in areas such as Psychological Health and Business Continuity.

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Creating a happier, healthier workforce

Learn how effective risk management supported by standards can accelerate your business ambitions while prioritizing your people's wellbeing.

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