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What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is the world’s first International Standard for OH&S, according to the International Standardization Organization.

It’s a framework designed to help organizations proactively enhance workplace safety, reduce risks and enhance overall health & safety at work. By linking health and safety with business strategy, this new global standard helps organizations identify improvements to reduce risk of injury, illness and death beforehand, rather than looking at events that already happened.

Who is ISO 45001 for?

All organizations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business can integrate this new standard in their existing management processes.

What are the benefits for businesses?

The role of this standard is to help manage OH&S risks through more effective policies and objectives. It strives to:

1.       Improve a business’s ability to respond to regulatory compliance issues

2.       Reduce the overall cost of incidents

3.       Reduce downtime and costs of disruptive operations

4.       Reduce cost of insurance

5.       Reduce employee turnover rates

How does it differ from other standards?

Developed with input from experts from more than 70 countries, ISO 40051 adopts a risk-based approach that takes into consideration an organization’s ever-changing environment. Namely, the new standard puts emphasis on:

1.       Health and safety as part of the purchasing decision-making process

2.       Leadership participation, change management and performance management

3.       Workers taking an active role in OH&S matters

Do I need a certification?

A certification is not mandatory, but useful to demonstrate ISO 40051 is being implemented in your organization. Bear in mind, this new standard will replace OHSA’S 18001 certification which will be retired in March 2021.

An ISO 45001 certification is valid for three years and is subject to yearly mandatory audits to ensure businesses remain compliant. After three years, a reassessment audit to regain certification is required.

Get the standard, here.

Any obstacles in adoption?


Where do I start?

If you have the OHSA 18001 certification, you already have a part of the necessary tools and systems in place. The first basic steps towards implementation include:

  1. Perform an analysis of you existing processes.
  2. Set goals – what would you like to achieve?
  3.  Define OH&S policy and objectives.
  4. Determine what resources you need to drive implementation.
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Alexandra Serban
Content Marketing Specialist
Alexandra Serban is the Content Marketing Specialist for Honeywell Industrial Safety. A seasoned writer and digital storyteller, she is learning and reporting on industrial safety news, trends and products.