What are the Requirements of ISO 45001?

What are the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements?

Here we’ve “broken down” the updated ISO 45001 standard to make it easier to understand and put into action. There are 10 major sections (or clauses) with supporting sections (or sub-clauses).

Each of these sections has a specific focus and expected implementation, which are seen as being key to achieving the outcomes expected by this occupational health and safety management system.

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To successfully implement the ISO 45001 standard within your organization, you must correctly satisfy each of the requirements outlined within it and that are summarized below. (Scroll for the entire summary, or click to move to individual sections)


  • Section 1: Scope
  • Section 2: Normative References
  • Section 3: Terms and Definitions
  • Section 4: Context of the Organization
  • Section 5: Leadership and Worker Participation
  • Section 6: Planning
  • Section 7: Support
  • Section 8: Operation
  • Section 9: Performance Evaluation
  • Section 10: Improvement

ISO 45001 Requirements Summary

ISO 45001 Requirements:

What are the major elements of ISO 45001:2016, and why they are important?

Primary Sections: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5
Secondary Sections: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0
Requirement Sections: 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0
Guidance Section: Annex A


The implementation of an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system is intended for an organization to improve its OH&S performance and enhance health and safety in the workplace by enabling the management of Occupational Health and Safety risks.

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  • Continual Improvement
  • OH&S Risk Analysis

Section 1: Scope

Defines ISO 45001 as an international standard for a OHSMS that:

  • Is used to enable an organization to provide safe and healthy working conditions that prevent work-related injury and ill health.
  • Notes the value and need for a health and safety management system based on continual improvement and achievement of objectives.
  • Meets applicable regulatory requirements
  • Can be adapted to virtually any organization, product or service.

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Section 2: Normative References

Simply notes that there are no normative references for ISO 45001

Section 3: Terms and Definitions

This section references the definitions that apply to the ISO 45001 document.

Section 4: Context of the Organization

This first clause introduces two sub-clauses relating to the context of the organization, (1) understanding the organization and its context and (2) understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties. Together they require that you determine the issues and requirements that can impact on the planning of the management system. In addition, the scope of the OHMS needs to be determined and the Occupational Health and Safety Management System established, implemented, maintained and continually improved.

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Section 5: Leadership

This clause requires that your top management demonstrates leadership and commitment with respect to the OHSMS. This section also asks top management to establish, implement and maintain an OH&S Policy that is appropriate to your company and to ensure that the responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities for relevant roles are assigned and communicated. In addition, processes for participation by and consultation with workers in matters related to improvement of health and safety and the OH&S management system are required to be established.

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Section 6: Planning

This clause talks about the planning for the OH&S, where your company needs to consider the internal and external issues (of clause 4) that are relevant to the OH&S and determine the risks and opportunities associated with its activities, processes, products and services. This section also requires that the workplace hazards be identified, the risks associated with them assessed, and the OH&S opportunities identified. In addition, this section requires the planning of actions to address risks and opportunities, legal and other requirements, and emergency preparedness and response be planned. In addition, the OH&S objectives need to be established at the relevant functions and the planning to achieve them determined.

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Section 7: Support

This clause requires that your company determine and provide the resources needed to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the OH&S. In addition, competence, awareness of the human resources / personnel and methods for internal and external communication of information along with systems for documented information need to be determined.

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Section 8: Operation

This clause requires that your company plan, implement and control the processes required to meet the requirements of the OH&S and to implement the actions to address risks and opportunities and hierarchy of controls associated with them. Operational planning and control include systems for the management of change, outsourcing of processes, procurement of goods and services, contractor communication and emergency preparedness and response. Depending on the nature of your business, systems may be required for control of production and delivery, incoming inspection, maintenance of infrastructure, control of monitoring and measuring resources, and design and developing.

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Section 9: Performance Evaluation

This clause requires that your company plan, implement and control the monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation processes. Performance evaluation includes systems for the evaluation of compliance with legal and other requirements, internal audits, and management review, aimed at improved health and safety performance and an effective OH&S.

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Section 10: Improvement

This last clause requires that your company determine and select opportunities for improvement and implement the actions needed to enhance health and safety performance and achieve the intended outcomes of OH&S. The improvement process includes systems for incident, nonconformity and corrective action, continual improvement objectives, and a continual improvement process.

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Please note that certain text from the ISO 45001 standard is only used for instructional purposes. Standard Stores recognizes and respects the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) copyright and intellectual property guidelines.

These tools will help you understand ISO 45001 and teach it to others.

“ISO Step-by-Step”: Review the Steps to ISO 45001 Certification to learn how to become ISO 45001 certified.

“Introduction to ISO 45001” PowerPoint: Train your team: This PPT Reviews each section of the standard with speaker notes.

“Understanding the Standard”: This 2+ hour online training discusses the entire standard and how to implement it. It has audio and quizzes.

ISO 45001 All in One Package