Clause 10, the final major section, delineates the concept of continual improvement within the context of specific activities. Any organization wishing to adopt the principles of ISO 45001 must have a plan for addressing nonconformities in a timely manner. Organizations should take direct action to control conditions and deal with consequences. Nonconformities can be identified from investigations, audits, or other events. The corrective actions should be evaluated and the results should be documented. To achieve continual improvement, the organization shall have an OH&S management system that:

  1. Prevents the occurrence of incidents and nonconformities.
  2. Promotes a positive OH&S culture.
  3. Enhances OH&S performance

The organization should react accordingly to nonconformities and incidents, and take action to control, correct them, cope with their consequences, and eliminate their source so as to prevent recurrences.


10.1 General

Outputs from management reviews, internal audits, and compliance and performance evaluations should all be used to form the basis for improvement actions. Improvement examples could include corrective action, reorganization, innovation, and continuous improvement programs.

10.2 Nonconformity and corrective action

Prevention of incidents and elimination of hazards is a key facet of the OH&S Management System, and this is specifically addressed in the definition of organizational context (4.1) and assessing risks and opportunities (6.1). Taking action to correct and control problems when they occur, and then to investigate and take corrective action for the root causes of these problems when it is necessary, are critical to prevent recurrence of process nonconformity. The organization must

  • React to incidents in a timely manner.
  • Take direct action to control and correct.
  • Evaluate the root cause
  • Determine action
  • Review of assessment of OH&S risks prior to taking action
  • Communicate documented information to relevant workers

Reporting of incidents without delay can assist in the removal of hazard

10.3 Continual improvement

Through all of the actions to improve the overall OH&S Management System, the organization can achieve enhanced OH&S performance and promote a culture that supports worker participation in making the OH&S Management System better. The organization must:

  • Enhance OH&S performance
  • Promote a positive OH&S culture
  • Promoting the participation of workers in implementing actions
  • Communicate results
  • Retain documented information