The first occupational health and safety international standard is set for publication release March 2018. ISO 45001 will help organizations provide a safe and healthy workplace and continually improve occupational health and safety performance, as well as prevent fatalities and work-related injury and illnesses.

ISO 45001 is a management system and framework that reduces the risk of harm and ill health to employees. 45001 follows in the footsteps of ISO’s other management system approaches, such as ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 9001 (quality). It also takes into account other International Standards in this area including OHSAS 18001.

Actually, OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn when ISO 45001 is published. Organizations currently certified to OHSAS 18001 have a three-year window to make necessary changes in order to meet ISO 45001 criteria.

There are many reasons to consider ISO 45001 certification. Achieving certification is a process that will create a culture of safety – actually a culture of overall organizational and individual well-being, involve all workers, and establish an effective health and safety management system. A few notable nuggets are:

  • Focusing on Leading Indicators Rather than Lagging Indicators
  • Collaboration and Engagement Between Employees and All Business Functions
  • Every Worker – Which Includes All Management – Has Responsibility
  • The Context of the Organization is a Key Component and Must Be Considered
  • Corporate Social Responsibility including Supply Chains, Outsourced Processes and Contractors are Included

And, safety becomes a business strategy, a key player with an instrumental role in achieving business goals and contributing to the mission, elevating safety to the C-Suite.