Your organization needs to protect its people, its reputation and its future. As such, occupational health and safety (OH&S) has to be a major business concern, beyond being a legal duty. Managing OH&S systematically and in a sustained way ensures that the highest levels of OH&S performance are a key objective.


ISO 45001 1st Figure

Our Mission

  • Promote the benefits of a systematic approach to OH&S management
  • Receive feedback and advance the discipline of OH&S management
  • Align and develop new products to improve and expand the understanding of OH&S management.

Who are we ?

We are the ISO Project Committee (PC) that is responsible for the development of the new ISO standard ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements with guidance for use. This standard defines good practices in OH&S management and specifies requirements for a management system. The standard applies to all forms and sizes of organization, performing any types of activities.

What is OH&S management?

OH&S management controls the conditions and factors that affect, or could affect, the health and safety of workers (including temporary workers and contractor personnel), visitors, or any other person in the workplace, to avoid their ill health and/or injury.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 defines the requirements for a management system for OH&S management, as well as giving guidance on its use.

An ISO 45001 management system provides a framework to establish OH&S management policies, objectives, processes and governance, and facilitates an organization's achievement of its strategic goals. ISO 45001 utilizes a structured, effective, and efficient process that drives continual improvement for an organization's OH&S performance.

Note: This standard focuses on the need for a management system, not the management of specific types of hazards and risks.

Note: Today, many organizations use "OHSAS 18001 - Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements" for minimum requirements for occupational health and safety management best practice. The intention is that OHSAS 18001 will be replaced by ISO 45001 when published.

Why is ISO 45001 important?

Meeting the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard can support organizations that are striving for a culture of proactive, continual improvement, and can drive an organization's effectiveness and efficiency in the realization of the highest levels of OH&S performance. It reflects the latest thinking and best practices in OH&S management.

Developing and implementing an OH&S management framework based on the ISO 45001 standard demonstrates to internal and external interested parties (e.g. workers, regulators, customers, investors, insurers) that the organization manages its risks and performance in a very effective and efficient manner.

Recognized globally, the ISO 45001 management standard will offer organizations a trustworthy framework enabling consistency in OH&S management practices. It aligns with other ISO management standards such as ISO 9001ISO 14001 and ISO 31000, and can contribute to an organization's development of a coherent set of management practices across all facets of its operation.

Key benefits of adopting ISO 45001

An ISO 45001 based OH&S management system will enable an organization to improve its OH&S performance by:

  • developing and implementing an OH&S policy and OH&S objectives
  • establishing systematic processes which consider its “ context ” and which take into account its risks and opportunities, and its legal requirements and other requirements
  • determining the hazards and OH&S risks associated with its activities; seeking to eliminate them, or putting in controls to minimize their potential effects
  • establishing operational controls to manage its OH&S risks and its legal requirements and other requirements
  • increasing awareness of its OH&S risks
  • evaluating its OH&S performance and seeking to improve it, through taking appropriate actions
  • ensuring workers take an active role in OH&S matters

In combination these measures will ensure that an organization’s reputation as a safe place to work will be promoted, and can have more direct benefits, such as:

  • improving its ability to respond to regulatory compliance issues
  • reducing the overall costs of incidents
  • reducing downtime and the costs of disruption to operations
  • reducing the cost of insurance premiums
  • improving morale, as well as reducing absenteeism and employee turnover rates
  • recognition for having achieved an international benchmark (which may in turn influence other interested parties, such as customers who are concerned about their social responsibilities)

 Is ISO 45001 for me?

All organizations, public or private, for-profit and not-for-profit, small or large, will have hazards that can impact on health and safety. These can range from the more traditional items of mechanical or chemical hazards, to more modern issues such as the risks from nanoparticles or workplace stress. All can benefit from the use of an ISO 45001 compliant OH&S management system, which can be scaled to fit a particular organization's needs. Organizations aiming to improve their OH&S performance can leverage an OH&S management system that complies with an International Standard, for international recognition.

Who needs to be involved?

OH&S management is everyone’s business. It encompasses everyone in an organization, from the highest level down; including temporary as well as permanent workers; and visitors and neighbours. It also has to be across all departments and divisions in an organization, to ensure that they develop collaborative and engaging relationships between their functions.


Auditing to ISO 45001

If you need advice about auditing to ISO 45001 then a key standard you should refer to is ISO 19011:2011 Guidelines for auditing management systems.

Also note that ISO 17021-10 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of occupational health and safety management systems is under development; it will highlight the competence requirements for auditing and certification of OH&S management systems.

Migrating from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Guidance from the OHSAS Project Group, including OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 "Correspondence tables"

Related ISO pages

Our page on

ISO's dedicated site for ISO 45001

The web page for ISO's journal 'ISO Focus'

ISO's special edition of 'ISO Focus' on OH&S and the publication of ISO 45001

What is "certification" to management system standards ?

ISO Survey of certification to management system standards

Who develops ISO standards?

Want to get involved?

Standards are developed by the people who need them – that could mean you. Technical committees include experts from both standards and industry and these experts are put forward by ISO’s national members. If you want to help shape future standards in your field, contact your national member

Sally Swingewood
Sally Swingewood
Secretary ISO/TC 283
BSI, United Kingdom