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ISO 45001 – An Update on the Health & Safety Standard

ISO Standards, Occupational Health & Safety

The publication date for ISO 45001, the Occupational Health and Safety management system standard is now likely to be February 2018.  Once released it will replace OHSAS 18001:2007. This new voluntary standard currently under development will help organisations around the world improve their health and safety performance by creating a secure work environment where injuries and illness are prevented and lives are saved. ISO 45001 will provide the requirements for implementing a management system and framework that reduces the risk of harm and ill health to employees. ISO 45001 is intended for use by any organisation, regardless of its size or the nature of its work, and can be integrated into other health and safety programmes such as worker wellness and well-being.


The latest copy does not differ greatly from the initial draft that was released in 2016.


A number of significant changes have been introduced by ISO 45001, not least of which is the introduction of the Annex SL format and terminology. Annex SL was developed in order to ensure that all future ISO management system standards (including the putative ISO 45001) share a common format irrespective of the specific discipline to which they relate.


Annex SL prescribes a high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and core definitions. The structure of each management system standard is modelled on the following principal clauses:

  • Clause 1 Scope
  • Clause 2 Normative references
  • Clause 3 Terms and definitions
  • Clause 4 Context of the organisation
  • Clause 5 Leadership
  • Clause 6 Planning
  • Clause 7 Support
  • Clause 8 Operation
  • Clause 9 Performance evaluation
  • Clause 10 Improvement


In the new disposition, the Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle is transposed as follows:

  • Clause 4: Context of the Organisation; clause 5: Leadership; clause 6: Planning; clause 7: Support (Plan)
  • Clause 8: Operation (Do)
  • Clause 9: Performance evaluation (Check)
  • Clause 10: Improvement (Act)


The imposition of the high-level structure on ISO 45001 will facilitate the integration of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 with ISO 45001.




Health & Safety , international standards organisation , ISO 45001 , ISO Standard Update , Occupational Health & Safety , OHSAS 18001
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