A highly anticipated global standard aimed at creating safer workplaces everywhere will be published on March 12, according to the Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that spearheaded the five-year development process with support from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Companies can purchase a hard copy of ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems from ASSE beginning the week of the standard’s publication.

The voluntary consensus standard provides a framework that companies can use to increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks and improve business outcomes worldwide. Development began in 2013, with ASSE serving as the administrator of the U.S. technical advisory group (TAG) to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The multi-year process included input from more than 75 countries across six continents.

“ISO 45001 is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational safety and health risks,” said TAG Chair Vic Toy, CSP, CIH. “The goal was to create a widely accepted standard that can produce a highly effective safety and health management system for an increasingly interconnected world, regardless of an organization’s size, location, supply chains or nature of work.”

The outcome over time will be safer and healthier workplaces around the world as companies adopt the groundbreaking standard to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Organizations looking to acquire the new global standard after it is published should visit ASSE’s ISO 45001 web page.

ASSE has taken initial steps to pursue adoption of ISO 45001 as an American national standard. If that effort is successful this year, the document would be titled “ISO/ANSI/ASSE 45001-2018.” ASSE is currently creating training and professional development materials in response to significant interest from occupational safety and health professionals.

“Better management of risk is needed by businesses in every industry to not only protect their human capital, but to achieve growth and sustainability objectives while improving their bottom line,” said TAG Vice Chair Kathy A. Seabrook, CSP, CFIOSH, EurOSHM. “ISO 45001 is a tool to help organizations do just that.”