ISO 45001:2018 Clause 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties

ISO 45001:2018 Requirements

The organization shall determine:
a) the other interested parties, in addition to workers, that are relevant to the OH&S management system;
b) the relevant needs and expectations (i.e. requirements) of workers and other interested parties;
c) which of these needs and expectations are, or could become, legal requirements and other requirements.

As per Annex A ( Guidance on use of ISO 45001:2018 standards) of ISO 45001:2018 standard it further explains

Interested parties, in addition to workers, can include:

  1. legal and regulatory authorities (local, regional, state/provincial, national or international);
  2. parent organizations;
  3. suppliers, contractors and subcontractors;
  4. workers’ representatives;
  5. workers’ organizations (trade unions) and employers’ organizations;
  6. owners, shareholders, clients, visitors, local community and neighbours of the organization and the general public;
  7. customers, medical and other community services, media, academia, business associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  8. occupational health and safety organizations, occupational safety and health-care professionals.

Some needs and expectations are mandatory; for example, because they have been incorporated into laws and regulations. The organization may also decide to voluntarily agree to, or adopt, other needs and expectations (e.g. subscribing to a voluntary initiative). Once the organization adopts them, they are addressed when planning and establishing the OH&S management system.

1) The organization shall determine the other interested parties, in addition to workers, that are relevant to the OH&S management system;

Interested parties relevant to an organization’s Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system can vary depending on the nature of the organization, its industry, and its specific operations. However, there are common interested parties that are typically relevant to most organizations when it comes to OH&S management. Here are some key interested parties:

  1. Employees(Workers): Employees(Workers) are a primary interested party. Their safety and well-being are directly affected by the organization’s OH&S management system. Worker representatives or unions may also be considered interested parties.
  2. Management: Top management within the organization is responsible for the overall effectiveness of the OH&S management system. They have a vested interest in ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting the organization’s reputation.
  3. Regulatory Authorities: Government agencies and regulators at the local, regional, or national level have a significant interest in occupational health and safety. Compliance with their regulations is often mandatory and can involve inspections and enforcement actions.
  4. Customers: Customers may have an interest in the OH&S practices of organizations, especially if the products or services they receive can impact their safety or health. Customers may also have specific OH&S requirements.
  5. Suppliers and Contractors: Suppliers and contractors working with the organization can affect OH&S performance. Ensuring their compliance with safety standards and practices is crucial.
  6. Shareholders/Investors: Shareholders and investors have an interest in the financial and operational performance of the organization, which includes OH&S. Poor OH&S performance can lead to financial losses and damage to the organization’s reputation.
  7. Community and Neighbors: Local communities and neighboring residents may be concerned about the environmental and safety impacts of the organization’s operations. This can be especially relevant for industries with potential environmental hazards.
  8. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): NGOs focused on labor rights, workplace safety, and environmental issues may take an interest in an organization’s OH&S practices and advocate for improvements.
  9. Trade Associations: Industry-specific trade associations often set standards and best practices related to OH&S. Organizations may need to align their practices with these industry standards.
  10. Insurance Companies: Insurance providers may take an interest in an organization’s OH&S management since it can influence insurance premiums and claims.
  11. Media and the Public: Negative OH&S incidents can attract media attention and public scrutiny, affecting an organization’s reputation and brand image.
  12. Competitors: Competing organizations may monitor OH&S performance as part of competitive analysis, and incidents at a rival company can impact the industry as a whole.

It’s important for organizations to identify and engage with these interested parties, considering their specific concerns and expectations related to OH&S. Effective engagement can lead to better OH&S performance, compliance with regulations, and the protection of the organization’s reputation. Determining the interested parties that are relevant to the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system is a critical step in establishing an effective OH&S management system. This process is outlined in ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. Here’s how an organization can determine the interested parties that are relevant to their OH&S management system:

  1. Identify Stakeholders: Begin by identifying all potential stakeholders or interested parties who may have an impact on, or be affected by, the organization’s OH&S activities. These can include internal and external parties.
    • Internal parties: These may include employees, managers, contractors, and worker representatives. Consider anyone within the organization who has a role in OH&S management.
    • External parties: These may include regulatory authorities, customers, suppliers, neighboring communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and investors. Think about anyone outside the organization who may have an interest in or influence on OH&S performance.
  2. Analyze Their Relevance: Once you’ve identified potential interested parties, assess their relevance to your OH&S management system. Not all stakeholders will have the same level of influence or impact. Consider the following factors:
    • Proximity: How closely connected is the stakeholder to your organization’s OH&S activities? Are they directly affected by your operations?
    • Influence: Do they have the power to influence your OH&S performance or decisions? This could be through regulations, contracts, or other means.
    • Interest: Are they genuinely concerned about your organization’s OH&S performance? Are they likely to take action or engage with your organization based on OH&S matters?
  3. Prioritize Interested Parties: After analyzing the relevance of each interested party, prioritize them based on their level of influence and impact. Focus on those stakeholders with the highest relevance to your OH&S management system.
  4. Engage with Interested Parties: Once you’ve identified and prioritized relevant interested parties, engage with them. This can involve communication, consultation, and collaboration to address their concerns and expectations related to OH&S performance.
  5. Document the Process: It’s important to document the entire process of determining and engaging with interested parties. This documentation should be part of your OH&S management system and should be regularly reviewed and updated.
  6. Continuous Monitoring: The identification of interested parties is not a one-time activity. Keep monitoring and assessing the relevance of stakeholders as circumstances change or new parties become relevant to your OH&S management system.

By following these steps, an organization can effectively determine the interested parties that are relevant to their OH&S management system and ensure that their OH&S policies and practices address the needs and expectations of these stakeholders, ultimately leading to improved safety and well-being for all involved parties.

2) The organization shall determine the relevant needs and expectations (i.e. requirements) of workers and other interested parties;

Identifying the relevant needs and expectations (requirements) of workers and other interested parties for an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system involves a systematic and thorough process of engagement and analysis. Here are steps to help you identify and document these needs and expectations:

  1. Stakeholder Identification: As mentioned earlier, start by identifying and listing all relevant stakeholders or interested parties. This includes workers, management, regulatory authorities, customers, suppliers, and any other groups or individuals with a vested interest in your organization’s OH&S performance.
  2. Engagement and Communication: Engage with these stakeholders through various means, such as surveys, interviews, meetings, and feedback mechanisms. Open and transparent communication is key to understanding their needs and expectations.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Review all applicable laws, regulations, and standards related to occupational health and safety. These are often mandatory requirements that must be met.
  4. Industry Standards and Best Practices: Research industry-specific standards, guidelines, and best practices related to OH&S. These can provide valuable insights into what is expected within your specific sector.
  5. Internal Stakeholder Input: Seek input from internal stakeholders, including employees, worker representatives, and management. They can provide insights into day-to-day operations, potential hazards, and areas where improvement is needed.
  6. External Stakeholder Input: Engage with external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and community members to gather their perspectives on OH&S. They may have unique expectations and concerns.
  7. Historical Data: Analyze past incidents, accidents, near-misses, and safety performance data to identify recurring issues and areas requiring improvement. This data can provide valuable insights into specific needs and expectations.
  8. Benchmarking: Compare your organization’s OH&S performance and practices with those of industry leaders or competitors. This can help identify gaps and areas where improvement is necessary to meet or exceed industry standards.
  9. Risk Assessments: Conduct OH&S risk assessments to identify potential hazards and their associated risks. This can help in determining the requirements for hazard control and prevention.
  10. Feedback Mechanisms: Establish mechanisms for ongoing feedback from workers and other stakeholders. This can include suggestion boxes, incident reporting systems, and regular safety meetings.
  11. Surveys and Questionnaires: Develop surveys or questionnaires that are tailored to the needs of different stakeholder groups. These can help gather structured feedback on specific OH&S aspects.
  12. Documenting Requirements: As you gather information, document the identified needs and expectations in a structured manner. Create a matrix or database that specifies each requirement, its source, and its priority or criticality.
  13. Regular Review and Updating: The identification of needs and expectations is not a one-time activity. Regularly review and update this information to ensure it remains current and relevant.
  14. Integration into the OH&S Management System: Ensure that the identified needs and expectations are integrated into your OH&S management system. This includes updating policies, procedures, and processes to address these requirements.
  15. Training and Awareness: Ensure that all relevant employees and stakeholders are aware of the identified needs and expectations and understand their roles in meeting them.

By following these steps, organizations can systematically identify and document the relevant needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties related to their OH&S management system. This information forms the basis for developing and implementing effective OH&S policies and practices.

3) Some examples of relevant needs and expectations (i.e. requirements) of workers and other interested parties

The needs and expectations (requirements) of workers and other interested parties relevant to an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management system can vary widely depending on the specific organization, industry, and context. Here are some examples of common needs and expectations for different groups:

  1. Workers:
    • Safe Working Conditions: Workers expect a safe and healthy work environment free from hazards that could cause injury or illness.
    • Training and Education: Workers expect access to training and education programs that provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to work safely.
    • Effective Communication: Workers need clear and effective communication channels for reporting safety concerns, incidents, and receiving important safety information.
    • Involvement in Decision-Making: Workers may expect to be involved in decisions related to safety policies, procedures, and hazard control measures that affect them.
    • Protection from Retaliation: Workers expect protection from any form of retaliation or discrimination when they report safety concerns or incidents.
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Access to appropriate PPE and guidance on its proper use is an expectation to protect themselves from workplace hazards.
    • Work-Life Balance: Ensuring that work hours and conditions allow for adequate rest and recovery to prevent fatigue-related accidents.
  2. Management:
    • Compliance with Regulations: Management expects that the organization complies with all relevant OH&S laws and regulations.
    • Risk Management: Effective risk management processes that identify, assess, and control workplace hazards are expected to prevent accidents and incidents.
    • Resource Allocation: Adequate resources, including budgets, personnel, and equipment, are expected to be allocated to support OH&S initiatives.
    • Continuous Improvement: A commitment to continuous improvement in OH&S performance, including setting measurable targets and objectives.
    • Emergency Response Preparedness: Expectation that emergency response plans and procedures are in place and regularly tested to mitigate the impact of accidents or emergencies.
  3. Regulatory Authorities:
    • Compliance: Regulatory authorities expect organizations to comply with all relevant OH&S laws and regulations applicable to their industry and location.
    • Reporting: Timely reporting of incidents, accidents, and near-misses, as required by law, is an expectation.
    • Inspections and Audits: Regulatory bodies may conduct inspections and audits to ensure compliance and expect cooperation from organizations during these processes.
  4. Customers:
    • Product/Service Safety: Customers may expect that the products or services they purchase are produced or delivered in a manner that ensures safety.
    • Transparency: Transparency in disclosing information related to product safety and any potential risks associated with its use.
  5. Suppliers:
    • Safety Standards: Suppliers may need to meet certain safety standards when providing materials or services to the organization.
    • Communication: Effective communication of safety requirements and expectations to suppliers and contractors.
  6. Community and Neighbors:
    • Environmental Impact: Concerns related to the environmental impact of the organization’s operations and any potential hazards affecting the local community.
    • Emergency Preparedness: Expectations that the organization has plans in place to respond to emergencies that could impact the surrounding community

4) The organization shall determine which of these needs and expectations are, or could become, legal requirements and other requirements

Determining which of the identified needs and expectations could become legal requirements or other types of requirements (such as industry standards or contractual obligations) involves a systematic process of analysis and research. Here’s how you can go about it:

  1. Begin by conducting a comprehensive review of all relevant local, regional, national, and international laws and regulations pertaining to occupational health and safety (OH&S). These regulations can come from government agencies responsible for workplace safety, labor, and environmental protection.
  2. Carefully analyze the regulatory framework to identify specific legal requirements that directly relate to the needs and expectations you’ve identified. These requirements may include safety standards, reporting obligations, training mandates, and more.
  3. Stay updated with changes in OH&S laws and regulations. Regulations can change over time due to legislative updates, court decisions, or shifts in government policy. Continuously monitoring regulatory updates is essential to ensuring compliance.
  4. If necessary, consult legal experts or attorneys with expertise in OH&S law. They can provide valuable insights into the legal obligations associated with specific needs and expectations.
  5. Research and assess industry-specific standards, guidelines, and best practices. These may not be legal requirements, but they can often serve as de facto standards that organizations are expected to follow to maintain a competitive edge or meet customer expectations.
  6. Examine contracts, agreements, and procurement documents with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. These contracts may impose specific OH&S requirements that your organization must adhere to as part of the business relationship.
  7. In some cases, it may be beneficial to engage with regulatory authorities or government agencies directly to seek clarification on specific requirements or to discuss compliance strategies.
  8. Create a structured document or database that tracks all identified legal and other requirements associated with each need and expectation. Include details such as the source of the requirement, its specific content, and any compliance deadlines.
  9. Keep the document tracking legal and other requirements up-to-date as regulations change or new requirements emerge. This should be an ongoing process to ensure ongoing compliance.
  10. Integrate the identified legal and other requirements into your organization’s OH&S management system. Ensure that your policies, procedures, and practices align with these requirements.
  11. Educate relevant personnel within your organization, including employees, managers, and OH&S professionals, about the identified legal and other requirements. Make sure they understand their roles in compliance.
  12. Conduct regular internal audits or assessments to verify compliance with legal and other requirements. Correct any non-compliance issues promptly.

By following these steps and maintaining a proactive approach to tracking and understanding regulatory and other requirements, your organization can ensure that it remains compliant with OH&S obligations and maintains a commitment to safety and health in the workplace. Few examples of how the needs and expectations of interested parties can evolve into legal requirements and other types of requirements:

  1. Worker Safety Training:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Workers expect comprehensive safety training to perform their jobs safely.
    • Legal Requirement: Based on this expectation, regulatory authorities may establish legal requirements that mandate specific training programs and certification for workers in certain industries, such as construction or healthcare.
  2. Community Environmental Concerns:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: The local community is concerned about the environmental impact of a manufacturing plant.
    • Legal Requirement: In response to these concerns, government regulators may impose legal requirements on the plant, such as emissions limits, waste disposal regulations, and reporting obligations to address environmental concerns.
  3. Supplier Safety Standards:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Suppliers expect that organizations they work with maintain a safe working environment.
    • Other Requirement (Contractual Obligation): Organizations may include safety and health requirements in their supplier contracts, obligating suppliers to comply with specific safety standards and practices as a condition of doing business.
  4. Customer Product Safety Expectations:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Customers expect that products they purchase are safe to use.
    • Legal Requirement: Government agencies may establish legal requirements for product safety testing, labeling, and recall procedures to ensure that products meet safety expectations.
  5. Worker Involvement in OH&S Decisions:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Workers want to be involved in decisions related to safety policies and procedures.
    • Legal Requirement: Labor laws in some countries may require worker participation in OH&S committees or decision-making processes, aligning with this expectation.
  6. Community Emergency Preparedness:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: The local community expects the organization to have effective emergency response plans.
    • Other Requirement (Community Agreement): The organization may enter into agreements with local authorities or community groups to develop and maintain emergency response plans that align with community expectations, even if not legally mandated.
  7. Customer OH&S Audits:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Customers expect suppliers to comply with OH&S standards.
    • Other Requirement (Market Demand): While not a legal requirement, suppliers may need to undergo OH&S audits by their customers to ensure compliance with specific OH&S requirements, as a condition of being a supplier.
  8. Worker Reporting of Safety Incidents:
    • Interest Party Need/Expectation: Workers expect protection from retaliation when reporting safety incidents.
    • Legal Requirement: Whistleblower protection laws may be enacted to safeguard workers from retaliation for reporting safety concerns, in line with this expectation.

In each of these examples, the needs and expectations of interested parties, whether they are workers, customers, the community, or suppliers, have influenced the development of legal requirements or other types of requirements. These requirements serve to address and meet these expectations while ensuring safety and compliance within the organization’s operations and its relationships with stakeholders.

Documented Information required


  1. Stakeholder Identification and Analysis: Document the process used to identify and analyze the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties. This can include procedures, reports, and meeting minutes.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Describe how the organization plans to engage with interested parties, including methods of communication, frequency, and responsible parties.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Registers: Maintain a record of relevant OH&S laws, regulations, and standards applicable to the organization. This register should be regularly updated.
  4. Industry Standards and Guidelines: Document industry-specific OH&S standards, guidelines, and best practices that are relevant to the organization.
  5. Risk Assessment Documentation: Record the results of risk assessments related to OH&S, including identified hazards, risk levels, and control measures.
  6. Reports on Stakeholder Feedback: Document feedback and input received from workers and other interested parties through surveys, interviews, or other feedback mechanisms.


  1. Stakeholder Engagement Records: Maintain records of all interactions and communications with stakeholders, including meeting minutes, emails, and correspondence.
  2. Compliance Records: Record evidence of compliance with applicable OH&S legal requirements and regulations, including audit reports and inspection records.
  3. Training Records: Document records of OH&S training and education provided to workers and other relevant parties.
  4. Incident Reports: Maintain records of OH&S incidents, accidents, near-misses, and their investigations.
  5. Risk Assessment Records: Keep records of risk assessments, including the identification of hazards, assessment of risks, and the implementation of control measures.
  6. Change Management Records: Document changes to OH&S processes or practices made in response to the needs and expectations of interested parties.
  7. Performance Metrics: Maintain records of OH&S performance metrics, such as incident rates, near-miss reports, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  8. Communication Records: Record the distribution of OH&S-related information, including safety alerts, training materials, and safety bulletins.
  9. Action Plans: Document action plans developed in response to identified needs and expectations, including timelines and responsible individuals.

Example Procedure: Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Workers and Interested Parties

Objective: The objective of this procedure is to systematically identify, analyze, and document the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties related to the OH&S management system.

Scope: This procedure applies to all functions, processes, and activities within the organization that have an impact on OH&S performance.


  • Management: Responsible for overall oversight and approval of the procedure.
  • OH&S Team: Responsible for coordinating and conducting stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Department Heads/Managers: Responsible for providing input and feedback related to the needs and expectations of workers and interested parties within their respective departments.

Procedure Steps:

  1. Determine Relevant Interested Parties: The OH&S team, in collaboration with relevant department heads, shall compile a list of potential interested parties. This may include employees, worker representatives, regulatory authorities, customers, suppliers, community members, and other stakeholders.
  2. Identify Needs and Expectations:
    • For each identified interested party, the OH&S team shall determine their needs and expectations. This can be achieved through various methods, such as:
      • Reviewing applicable laws, regulations, and standards.
      • Conducting surveys and interviews with workers and stakeholders.Analyzing incident reports, near-misses, and complaints.
      • Reviewing customer feedback and contracts.
      • Engaging with worker representatives and unions.
    • Needs and expectations should be documented, specifying the source and context for each requirement. Consider the following factors:
      • Safety and health concerns.
      • Legal requirements and regulatory expectations.
      • Industry-specific standards and best practices.
      • Community and environmental concerns.
  3. Assess and Prioritize Requirements: Assess the importance and relevance of each identified need and expectation in the context of OH&S management. Prioritize these requirements based on factors such as legal obligations, potential risk, stakeholder influence, and organizational priorities.
  4. Communication and Engagement: Develop and implement a communication plan to engage with stakeholders and communicate how their needs and expectations are being addressed. Share relevant information with workers and interested parties, ensuring transparency in the process.
  5. Integration into OH&S Management System: Incorporate the identified needs and expectations into the organization’s OH&S policies, objectives, procedures, and risk assessments. Ensure that relevant departments and functions are aware of and aligned with these requirements.
  6. Monitoring and Review: Regularly review and update the list of interested parties, their needs, and expectations to ensure relevance and currency. Monitor OH&S performance against the identified requirements and take corrective actions as necessary.
  7. Record Keeping: Maintain records of stakeholder engagement activities, including meeting minutes, survey results, and documented needs and expectations.
  8. Training and Awareness: Ensure that employees and relevant stakeholders are trained and aware of their roles in addressing the needs and expectations identified in this procedure.

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