Conflicts Arising in the Generation Process of the ISO 45001 Standard

  • Iñaki Heras-SaizarbitoriaEmail author
  • Ander Ibarloza
  • Alberto Díaz de Junguitu
Part of the Measuring Operations Performance book series (MEOP)


The process involved in the design, acceptance and launching of the ISO 45001 standard is turning out to be long and tortuous. It has been confirmed that, like its predecessors in the environmental (ISO 14001) and corporate social responsibility (ISO 26000) spheres of activity, this may prove to be conflictive as it deals with substantive social aspects such as those referring to labour issues. Disagreements can easily arise between stakeholders, and although some approaches may not show evidence of this, occupational health and safety is a complex area that is replete with multidisciplinary components that influence the daily tasks performed by employees—multidisciplinary components that are so deep-seated and controversial as cultural, political and ethical matters. The design and launching process for standards such as ISO 45001 has been under-researched in scholarly literature that focuses on the study of meta-standards. Priority is given to those of a technical nature or those that simply appear to rehash previous literature with regard to the phenomenon itself subject to study. In order to fill this gap, this contribution based on a work in progress aims at shedding light on the process involved in generating the ISO 45001. Extensive field work has been designed for such purpose that was currently underway at the time this contribution was completed, given that the ISO 45001 design and launching process has not yet concluded. Preliminary results obtained from the work evidence two types of main discrepancy—on the one hand, discrepancies in terms of form and specific content and, on the other, underlying discrepancies such as those that raise doubts about the raison d’être of the standard itself.


ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety Management system standards Meta-standards Production of standards 



This chapter is a result of a Research Group funded by the Basque Autonomous Government (Grupos de Investigación del Sistema Universitario Vasco; IT1073-16).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ander Ibarloza
    • 2
  • Alberto Díaz de Junguitu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Management, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of the Basque Country UPV-EHUSan SebastianSpain
  2. 2.Department of Financial Economics I, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of the Basque Country UPV-EHUBilbaoSpain
  3. 3.Department of Applied Economics I, Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of the Basque Country UPV-EHUSan SebastianSpain

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