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ISO 45001

Last updated: September 27, 2018

What Does ISO 45001 Mean?

ISO 45001 is the International Organization for Standardization’s standard for occupational health and safety. Proposed in 2013 and published in 2018, ISO 45001 replaces Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001, a British standard that had previously been used internationally.

It is categorized as an ISO management standard and is designed to integrate with existing ISO management standards. As such, it positions occupational health and safety as a constituent part of a firm’s ordinary business processes, rather than as a process delegated to a separate safety manager. The standard is recognized internationally, and it applies to businesses regardless of size, scope, and area of industry.

Safeopedia Explains ISO 45001

As an international standard, ISO 45001 is voluntary and does not impose mandatory obligations upon employers. Firms can use ISO 45001 to demonstrate to potential customers or clients that they meet a given level of quality related to occupational health and safety or as a framework for harmonizing their OHS management across jurisdictions. They may also use certification of compliance with ISO 45001 to help demonstrate their due diligence to enforcement bodies such as OSHA.

ISO 45001 is a high-level standard that does not prescribe specific safety measures, but instead requires a firm’s leadership to take actions to integrate safety measures into their organization based on the particular needs of their business.

One of the key principles of ISO 45001 is social context, which requires firms to impose safety measures that meet the ethical expectations of the society they operate within. It also requires a non-static approach to workplace safety and requires firms to continuously improve workplace safety.


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