The positive impact of introducing occupational safety and health (OSH)
management systems at the organization1 level, both on the reduction of hazards and
risks and on productivity, is now recognized by governments, employers and workers.
These guidelines on OSH management systems have been developed by the
International Labour Organization (ILO) according to internationally agreed principles
defined by the ILO's tripartite constituents. This tripartite approach provides the
strength, flexibility and appropriate basis for the development of a sustainable safety
culture in the organization. The ILO has therefore developed voluntary guidelines on
OSH management systems which reflect ILO values and instruments relevant to the
protection of workers' safety and health.
The practical recommendations of these guidelines are intended for use by all
those who have responsibility for occupational safety and health management. They
are not legally binding and are not intended to replace national laws, regulations or
accepted standards. Their application does not require certification.
The employer is accountable for and has a duty to organize occupational safety
and health. The implementation of an OSH management system is one useful approach
to fulfilling this duty. The ILO has designed these guidelines as a practical tool for
assisting organizations and competent institutions as a means of achieving continual
improvement in OSH performance.
1 See glossary for definition.