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ISO 45001 - ISO's first standard for occupational health and safety management systems - takes a step closer to publication this week following an important committee meeting.

More than 2.3 million people die each year as a result of workplace injuries and diseases, in addition to the over 300 million who sustain non-fatal accidents (source: ILO).

ISO 45001, which sets requirements for occupational health and safety management systems, was inspired by OHSAS 18001, and is designed to help companies and organizations worldwide protect the health and safety of the people who work for them.

Last week, technical committee representatives working on the standard, including experts and senior figures from both ISO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), met in Geneva to work through comments and issues raised during the Committee Draft (CD) consultation stage of its development.

Now that these have been resolved and the text improved, the standard can move to Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, the public consultation stage before publication.

Kevin McKinley, ISO Acting Secretary-General, said it is a positive step as the standard will ultimately be a very useful tool to help organizations save lives and protect the health and safety of their employees.

ISO 45001 is due to be published in October 2016.