UNDERSTANDING ISO 45001  - a clause-by-clause guide

Aug. 20 2020 - 3 min

By September 2021 the international standard in Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems OHSAS 18001 will be replaced by ISO 45001.

Designed to help organizations of all sizes prevent work-related injury and illness, the new standard features several changes, including requirements for more detailed risk assessment and planning. It also goes much further than OHSAS 18001 in addressing modern workplace risks and emphasizes the role of workers in identifying potential hazards. These include less obvious hazards like repetitive strain injury, psychological dangers such as burnout.

As the deadline looms for organizations to update their management systems to meet the needs of ISO 45001, our new article series on occupational health and safety management provides an in-depth look at the new standard. It examines its main clauses to help demystify the changes, assisting organizations with the transition process so they can start benefiting from improved, lower-risk work environments that protect their people and their bottom line.

Explore ISO 45001 in depth

Each article in the series looks at a separate clause of ISO 45001. Every clause of the new standard incorporates risk-based thinking to encourage action aimed at reducing workplace injury and illness. The clauses follow the same High-Level Structure as other ISO management system standards, making it easier for companies to implement and audit multiple management systems. As such, for managers seeking to adopt an integrated approach to QHSE, ISO 45001 can be implemented alongside ISO 9001 (for quality) and ISO 14001 (for environmental management).

The article series covers the following clauses:


Health and safety rising up the agenda in 2020

With health and safety catapulting to the forefront of organizational concerns in 2020, having a comprehensive approach to occupational health and safety standards is no longer an option. Developing a robust and fully-functioning health and safety management system that complies with the new standard simply makes good business sense.

Adopting ISO 45001 facilitates the management of business-specific risks when it comes to health and safety. It helps to ensure employees are informed and aware of their role in ensuring safety and wellbeing; aids in reducing workplace incidents, downtime costs and insurance premiums; and can contribute to safeguarding the reputation of organizations.

Bureau Veritas, an accredited certification body, offers training and certification to organizations migrating to ISO 45001. The training and certification audit could also be done remotely. Certification with Bureau Veritas enables organizations to be recognized internationally not only for their high standard of workplace health and safety management and dedication to the wellbeing of their workers, but also their commitment to excellence in doing so.

Related documents



ISO 45001 Service Sheet


ISO 45001 Technical Guide