Publication of an ISO 45001 implementation handbook is expected by the end of the year as a follow-up to the global occupational safety and health management system standard released in 2018, according to a working group that recently met as part of a five-day ISO Technical Committee (TC-283) meeting in Dallas.

The handbook will provide small and medium-sized businesses with detailed guidance on how they can apply the voluntary consensus standard to increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks and improve business outcomes. ISO 45001 is a widely accepted standard that can produce an effective safety and health management system for an increasingly interconnected world, regardless of an organization’s size, location, supply chains or nature of work.

“It’s important for us to improve the usability of this groundbreaking standard,” said Barbara Libowitzky, head of the Austrian delegation to ISO TC-283 and member of the implementation handbook working group. “More companies around the world need a better understanding of ISO 45001 in order to best integrate it to improve workplace safety and their overall business performance.”

During the five-year development of ISO 45001 that began in 2013, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) served as the administrator of the U.S. technical advisory group. The process included input from more than 75 countries across six continents.

“Through global teamwork, we are better positioned to amplify the voice of ISO 45001 and move occupational safety and health forward,” ASSP President Rixio Medina said at the ISO TC-283 meeting, held March 4-8 at the headquarters of ISN, which sponsored the event. “We need all corporate leaders to recognize that this valuable standard aligns with their business strategies.”

ISO TC-283 is responsible for the ongoing development and enhancement of ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, Requirements with Guidance for Use, and the development of supporting standards. The international meeting in Dallas involved more than 80 safety and health delegates from over 30 countries.

“Our committee and the associated working groups are shaping the future of safety management systems, making it easier for companies to create safe work environments,” said Martin Cottam, TC-283 chair.

The next meeting of ISO TC-283 will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, in October.