ISO 45001 : 2018 Standard

The ISO 45001:2018 was released in March 2018 and any organisation with OHSAS 18001:2007 will have 3 years to transition to the new requirements. It has become one of the most eagerly awaited standards in the world, and is designed to improve levels of workplace safety and employee health and wellbeing.

The OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 both have an approach to identifying, assessing and controlling risk, and enabling continual improvement through risk reduction. One of the main changes and improvements to the standard is the increased emphasis on consultation and participation of workers. This will help empower all staff to make safety a priority and develop a health and safety culture within the business. Companies must ensure adequate resources for worker participation and training on incident reporting, investigations, risk assessment and other tasks. Directors must ensure communication objectives are defined and measured for their effectiveness e.g. on policies, risks and hazards etc.

ISO 45001 is process-based whereas the OHSAS 18001 is procedure-based. In addition, ISO 45001 focuses on risk and opportunities, as opposed to the OHSAS 18001 approach to just risk. Key changes to the standard include regulations and governance as well as your company’s culture and its impact on workers, customers, general public etc.

ISO 45001 follows the same high-level structure (Annex SL) as other international standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The common structure to management system standards makes it easier for companies to incorporate ISO 45001 (and other similar structured management system standards) into your pre-existing management system and overall management process through the PAS 99:2012 framework. This could help streamline processes and deliver efficiencies, saving time and money.

The benefits of adopting ISO standards into your company are endless when implemented correctly and by achieving third party certification you have the added endorsement that demonstrates to external parties that you have achieved full compliance with a specific standard.

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