Improving workplace safety and preventing injuries – ISO 45001

Current appearance of Profero London.

ISO 45001:2018 will become an identically adopted New Zealand standard later this year. We’ll include information in Touchstone when we publish NZS/ISO 45001:2018.

A new ISO standard provides a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks, and create better, safer working conditions. All organisations can use ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use to develop a systematic approach to managing health and safety.

ISO 45001 provides requirements and guidance for an effective occupational health and safety management system. The standard requires health and safety aspects to be part of an overall management system and no longer just an added extra.

  • Any organisation can use the standard to proactively improve its occupational health and safety (OH&S) performance in preventing injury and ill-health.
  • The standard takes a risk-based approach to the OH&S management system itself to ensure that it is effective and being improved to meet an organisation’s ever-changing ‘context’. This risk-based approach is consistent with the way organisations manage their other business risks.

Improving OH&S performance

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

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

ISO 45001 follows other generic management system approaches like ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.

ISO 45001 also aligns with other international standards in this area like OHSAS 18001, the International Labour Organization's (ILO) ILO-OSH Guidelines, various national standards and the ILO's international labour standards and conventions.

Read the brochure, ‘An overview of ISO 45001’ (ISO website)

Related items

The road to ISO 45001 (Touchstone, February 2018)

SafePlus (WorkSafe website)

Image by Welicious (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Published in consumer and occupational safety.