New international standard for occupational health and safety management

The first global standard for occupational health and safety management, ISO 45001, has been published.

ISO 45001 - Occupational health and safety management: requirements with guidance for use - was created to address the global need to improve work related health and safety of workers and developed with input from over 70 countries.

The new standard:

  • specifies requirements for creating an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with interpretation guidance to enable an organisation to improve OH&S performance in the workplace
  • is applicable to all organisations, irrespective of its size and activities
  • encourages an organisation to see OH&S as an investment in their success – it uses risk-based thinking throughout to minimise negative outcomes and emphasises that workers closest to a particular risk should be involved in the decision-making process
  • applies to all workers irrespective of their occupation and makes no distinction between whether they do paid or unpaid work
  • has a strong emphasis on leadership and requires senior management actively to demonstrate commitment to OH&S
  • has a focus on the participation and consultation of workers in making sure that the OH&S management system covers what needs to be covered and is communicated effectively to everyone involved

To help with the implementation of ISO 45001, BS 45002 Occupational health and safety management systems: general guidelines for the application of ISO 45001 has also been published.This BSI standard describes the intent of individual clauses in ISO 45001 and provides guidance to help organisations implement an OH&S management system based on ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 replaces the British Standard OHSAS 18001; existing users of OHSAS 18001 have three years to transition to the new international standard. ISO 45001 aligns with other key international standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for quality management and environmental management respectively.

ISO 45001 can be purchased from the BSI.