The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) says ISO 45001, the international global standard for occupational health and safety management systems, can show businesses how to do health and safety better.

The health and safety professional body was commenting a year on from the launch of ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management as it urged more businesses to “join forward-thinking organisations in strengthening the way they look after employees”.

Highlighting the value of ISO 45001 certification, IOSH said the standard can help organisations land big, lucrative contracts — but the professional body says that shouldn’t be the primary reason to adopt it.

Instead, the Institution says, employers should focus on how agreed good practice encouraged by the standard can boost health and safety across business and supply chains, ensuring no one is harmed by activities and that operations run smoothly.

ISO 45001 was introduced on 12 March 2018, replacing OHSAS 18001. It was the first globally-agreed standard for health and safety management in workplaces and is aimed at helping to reduce the worryingly high number of work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses around the world.

IOSH says that while exact figures for the number of adopters are not yet available, many organisations have already gained certification.

It is expected that all organisations certificated to OHSAS 18001 (more than 150,000) are likely to migrate to the ISO standard, with many more adopting it due to it being a “truly international standard”.

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said, “ISO 45001 is an opportunity for all organisations, whatever size and sector and whether or not going for certification, to ask themselves ‘how can we do health and safety better?’.”

For further detail on the requirements of the standard and how it differs from OHSAS 18001 see our topic ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

Last reviewed 14 March 2019