ISO 45001 Five-Step Action Plan for Safety Management

The adoption of ISO 45001 was a watershed moment for occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS). With the standard now published, it will provide organisations a structure around which they can work to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is a global standard for occupational safety and health management systems that provides practical solutions for worker safety. It can help create a global foundation of worker safety standards and inspections that can be used by all global supply chains, for all industries and cover contractors and subcontractors in every country that supply products into these supply chains.

What Will ISO 45001 Do?

This standard will provide a framework from which OSH objectives can be effectively managed. For example, it can serve the needs of those who manage, use or benefit from global supply chains. Just as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 have provided consensus solutions to questions of quality management and environmental protection in the global marketplace, ISO 45001 will help drive solutions for improving worker safety across the globe. In this time of change for the standards community, OSH professionals may ask themselves ‘what do I do next?’ The steps below outline the measures that safety professionals can take to begin implementing ISO 45001.

1. Understand OHSMS and ISO 45001

The first step in implementing ISO 45001, or any standard for that matter, is understanding its purpose and how it can benefit an organization. “Start by building your knowledge on what a management system is and how you can leverage it to benefit workers as well as the organisation to improve health and safety performance and risk management, Safety professionals should also take this opportunity to familiarize themselves with ISO 45001 and its requirements. The standard provides 11 success factors for the implementation of an OHSMS, which can provide guidance on how it can be carried out. With deeper knowledge of OHSMS and ISO 45001, safety professionals can develop a strong business case for why their organizations should implement the standard. By understanding ISO 45001 requirements, safety professionals can gain insight into the impact the standard can have on the company’s bottom line, and communicate that to executives. “OSH professionals need to understand the business impact of the integration of this standard on commercial excellence. “It is a competitive advantage, and organisations who understand how to leverage it will outperform their competitors.”

2. Examine your current system

To understand how ISO 45001 will fit into a safety management system, it is important to examine what standards and systems are already in place. For example, some organisations have adopted ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment), which contain the same core language as ISO 45001. If an organization is already using ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 and is familiar with this management system approach, integration of 45001 becomes much less complex and the transition can be made more seamlessly.

3. Engage with stakeholders

Safety professionals need to understand that implementing ISO 45001 could lead to an organizational change. As with any change, individuals and groups will be affected in a variety of ways. Some may be in favor of the change, while others may be opposed. Therefore, safety professionals should gather input from the entire organization and understand the different perspectives that people have about safety and health risks. “Based on an understanding of different perspectives,” “you will then have a good place to start to conduct a gap analysis based on not just the requirements in the standard but, more so, what your objectives should be for your OHSMS.” Beyond gathering information on different perspectives, engaging with stakeholders also helps foster a culture where everyone feels a sense of ownership in the safety management system. “This is an opportunity to develop leaders within an organisation. From the worker who is building the bridge, or the plumber commissioning the boiler all the way up to the board of directors, ISO 45001 establishes that everyone has a role, a responsibility and ownership of safety through an accountability system.” It is also crucial at this stage to engage with leadership and educate them on why they may want to implement ISO 45001. Safety professionals should explain to executives the operational and financial impacts of implementing such a system so that they can make an informed decision.

4. Determine priorities and establish goals

With the information gathered from engaging with stakeholders, safety professionals can begin to determine the desired priorities for the organisation’s OHSMS, as well as the safety and business performance goals the organisation hopes to achieve through the implementation of ISO 45001. Organisations can then align the implementation of the standard with actual business objectives. Identifying business objectives in terms of occupational safety and health, and aligning them to ISO 45001 allows business to generate metrics by which they can measure the success of the OHSMS, and make adjustments and improvements over time.

5. Establish or improve your OHSMS

By following the first four steps, safety professionals can then develop an OHSMS that is customized to their organization, or improve on an existing system. This process will also help them to bring together a team that can execute the plan. With ISO 45001 in place, that team can then track performance against the goals and objectives that have been identified to continuously improve both safety and business performance across the entire organization.

ISO 45001 is the new standard replacing OHSAS 18001. ISO 45001, Occupational Health & Safety is focus on risk prevention, innovation and continual improvement will beneft organisations with the foresight to achieve this global standard through improved organisational resilience.

As well as increasing employee engagement and publicly demonstrating commitment to sustainable work by providing safe and healthy workplaces, this standard focuses on key business challenges such as the supply chain and continuity planning. This allows organisations to anticipate, adapt and respond, providing both resilience and agility in a global market place.


ISO 45001 can be applied to any organisation of any size in any country to help promote and control their health and safety risks and hazards.

If you’re currently certifed to OHSAS 18001 then you will need to migrate to ISO 45001 as OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn. We have the expertise and knowledge to help you to upgrade your certifcation and get the most from ISO 45001.


  • Improving employee’s motivation through the provision of a safer workplace and participation processes.
  • To identify their health and safety legal requirements as well as to identify on-site occupational health and safety hazards and risks to control those risks.
  • Better promotion of health and safety in a workplace to reduce accidents and incidents.
  • Refning corporate’s image and credibility among top management, authorities, customers and prospective clients.

ISO 45001 was developed in response to a global demand for a standardized management system for Occupational Health and Safety.



Optional: Pre-assessment audit

We can provide an independant assesment of your management system (MS).

Stage 1 audit

The Certification Body will gain an understanding of your business to assess wether your documented policy, objectives, continual improvement plans and procedures meet the requirements of MS standard. The readiness of your implementation programme is also assessed.

Stage 2 audit

The we audit your MS in action, to check that your declared policy, objectives and targets have been effectively communicated, and that your continual improvement plans and procedures are working in practice. Certifcation is then awarded after successful closures of any outstanding issues.

Surveillance audit

After you have achieved certifcation, we undertake regular ongoing audits of your MS to ensure that it is being maintained and that it continues to meet the objectives of your organisationand the expectation of your customers.

Re-certifcation audit

The certifcate is valid for 3 years. A recertifcation audit is conducted on the full MS before the expiry of the certifcate.