The planned international standard, which will replace BS OHSAS 18001, had been delayed by rejection by international standards bodies of a previous draft, known as DIS1. The slow movement to date on a text that was originally due to be finalised in 2016 led some commentators to predict further delays that would have pushed publication into next year.
But a five-day meeting in Vienna of the 60-strong international PC 283 working group to discuss changes to a revised draft, DIS2, made good progress.
The amended DIS2 will be edited by the PC 283 secretariat sent to the national standards bodies for translation. The bodies will then consult nationally on the new version.
This process is expected to take around four months, so a final draft could be published in the middle of the year.
The next meeting is scheduled for 18 to 23 September in Malacca, Malaysia. If the draft is agreed then, the final text could be published by the end of 2017.
"Overall, there was a great sense of achievement and optimism, given the progress made and level of consensus reached," said IOSH head of policy Richard Jones, who represented the institution in Vienna.
ISO 45001 will join a suite of management systems standards including ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 for environment and quality systems respectively.