Background on ISO PC 283 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is developing an international standard setting out requirements for establishing, implementing and maintaining an occupational health and safety management system.  This standard, ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, specifies requirements for organizations to use for implementing a management system to help them in providing a safe and healthy workplace and preventing injury and ill health to their workers.  

ISO 45001 will be a specification standard that is intended to be used for third-party certification.  It is anticipated that ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001:2007. 

This standard is being developed by ISO Project Committee (PC) 283.  For more information about PC283, click here

There are national standard development bodies from over  60 countries participating in this standard development effort.  In addition, several Liaison Organizations are also participating in the development of this standard, including the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Like other ISO management system standard, including ISO 9001 (for quality management systems) and ISO 14001 (for environmental managements systems, ISO 45001 will be developed using the high-level structure set out in Annex SL of Part 1 of the ISO Directives.

  • Scope

  • Normative references

  • Terms and definitions

  • Context of the organization

  • Leadership

  • Planning

  • Support

  • Operation

  • Performance evaluation

  • Improvement

In addition to the change in structure, ISO 45001 will differ from OHSAS 18001 in several important ways including:

  • An increased focus on taking into account the context of the organization,

  • Defining requirements for the participation of workers and workers’ representatives in OH&S management system decision-making,

  • Explicit detailed requirements for determining and controlling a broad range of risks and opportunities, and

  • Requirements for controlling contractors and outsources processes.

The standard was originally scheduled to be published in the fourth quarter of 2016, however, the standard development process has been longer and more contentious that originally anticipated. 


For more information about the International Standards Organization, visit

Thea Dunmire, JD, CIH, CSP

AIHA Representative to U.S. TAG to PC 283

Status Up​dat​es 

Issuance of the Draft International Standard for comment and vote 

Update February 21, 2016

The draft international standard (DIS) version of ISO 45001 has been released for translation and is available for public comment as of Feb. 12, 2016. This will provide an opportunity for the public to provide comments on the requirements set out in the standard.

Importantly, the standard is also out for vote on whether it should be published, as it is currently written, as a final standard. The ballot on this question closes internationally on May 12, 2016.

The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to PC 283 will be meeting in Dallas from Feb. 22 to Feb. 26, 2016, to develop comments on this draft standard that will be sent to ANSI for submittal to ISO.  

An announcement was made in the Feb. 19, 2016, issue of ANSI Standards Action (on page 24) that the DIS is available for review and comment within the United States. Copies of the standard can be ordered from ANSI for $125.00. Comments are due to ANSI by March 13, 2016.

The next meeting of PC 283 is scheduled for June 6 to 10, 2016, in Toronto, Canada.

Work Continues on Developing the Draft International Standard 

Update October 2015

The PC 283 Working Group Experts from various countries and liaison groups met in Geneva on September 21 to 25, 2015 to continue drafting text for the DIS version of the standard.

A total of 540 open issues were identified for resolution at the beginning of this meeting. Discussions in the Geneva meeting were limited to only those topics that had been identified as major issues of concern.  Much of the discussion focused on requirements included in ISO 45001 relating to the participation of workers and workers’ representatives in OH&S management system decision-making. 

This meeting was hosted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva.  

The DIS will be issued for public review and comment following this meeting following an editorial review in consultation with ILO.

Developing the Draft International Standard 

Update July 2015

The vote on whether the ISO 45001 standard should proceed to the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage was affirmative.  The PC 283 Working Group Experts from the various countries and liaison groups participating in this standard development effort are currently in the process of addressing the over 2,000 comments received on the second Committee Draft (CD2) and drafting text for the DIS version of the standard.

An initial meeting of the Working Group Experts was held in Dublin, Ireland on June 29 to July 3, 2015.  The next meeting of PC 283 is scheduled in September 2015 to resolve issues that were not addressed during the Dublin meeting.  The DIS will be issued for review and comment following the September meeting. ​