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Management systems for safety and health at work.

ISO 45001 was published as revision 2018 on the 12.03.2018.
It replaces, after a transition deadline of three years, the late BS OHSAS 18001:2007.
The worldwide ISO-standard in the area of occupational health and safety was published on the 12.03.2018. The new standard offers organizations the chance to align their strategic orientation with their occupational health and safety management systems. If you are certified according to OHSAS 18001, your deadline to switch to the ISO 45001 ends with March 2021. After that, the OHSAS 18001 will be retracted.

OHSAS 18001:2007 vs. ISO 45001:2018

OHSAS 18001:2007

ISO 45001:2018

1 Scope 1 Scope
2 References and publications 2 Normative references
3 Terms 3 Terms
4 Requirements for an H&S management system 4 Context of the organization
4.1 General requirements 5 Leading and participation of employees
4.2 H&S policy 6 Planning
4.3 Planning 7 Support
4.4 Implementation and maintenance 8 Operation
4.5 Verification 9 Evaluation of service
4.6 Evaluation of the management 10 Improvement

ISO 45001: 2018 transition period

The IAF (International Accreditation Forum) has set the transition period at three years from the date of publication of the final version of the standard (12.03.2018). After the deadline (11.03.2021), all BS OHSAS 18001:2007 certificates will expire.

The revision of ISO 45001 - changes in detail

The revision of ISO 45001 - changes in detail
In 2012, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) invented guidelines for the developers of all management systems standards as to how they should be structured: They have a common basic structure consisting of ten sections- this is called the “High level structure”. This makes life easier for companies which are using other management systems like ISO 9001 for quality or ISO 14001 for environmental protection in addition to ISO 50001. In all standards, the requirements on certain topics can now be found in the same paragraph, therefore it will be easier to merge different systems. At the same time, the HLS contains a basic text for all standards and consistent definitions of terms which make the interaction of different management systems easier.

What innovation comes with the HLS?
Due to the common basic text of the HLS, the requirements for an occupational health and safety management system (OH&S) are extended. Most importantly, the strategic integration of the OH&S must be ensured. For this purpose, internal and external topics relevant to the OH&S as well as interested parties which are important to the OH&S and their requirements must be identified. The determination of legal and other requirements to which the organization has committed itself is therefore extended to include an analysis of internal and external influences on the occupational health and safety management system. Such influences can be e.g. politics, consumer associations, available techniques or interests of owners and employees. The risks and opportunities for the OH&S resulting from the analyses must be investigated and, if necessary, taken into account in the planning

Even more changes?

Compared to BS OHSAS 18001, some changes come along with the new ISO 45001:2018

  • Compared to OHSAS 18001, chapter 5.2 of OH&S Policy now calls for safe and healthy working conditions and risk management in accordance with the hierarchy of measures "elimination of hazards, substitution by less dangerous substances, processes, etc., technical measures, organizational measures and personal protective measures" (TOP).
  • In contrast to 9001:2015 and 14001:2015, an additional chapter 5.4 "Participation and consultation" has been defined. This includes rules for outsourcing, purchasing and contractual partners. It may be interesting for German companies that some of these requirements are covered by labour laws, such as the Works Constitution Act.
  • The hazard identification in chapter 6.1.ff has been extended, compared to the previous BS OHSAS 18001 chapter 4.3.1. It now also includes organizational and social factors, workload, working hours, leadership and corporate culture.

Advantages of an OH&S management system:

An OH&S management system based on ISO 45001:2018 allows an organization to improve its OH&S management system performance through the following aspects:

  • Development and implementation of an OH&S policy and OH&S goals
  • Establishment of systematic procedures which consider the risks, chances and legal and other requirements
  • Determining the dangers and risks related to OH&S management systems and its actions; the attempt to eliminate them or to bring them under control to minimize their potential effects.
  • Introduction of operational controls for the management of its OH&S risks and their legal and other requirements
  • Growing awareness for its OH&S risks
  • Evaluation of its OH&S services and the attempt to improve them through appropriate measures
  • Ensuring that employees play an active role in the OH&S management system

These measures combined are improving the image of an organization as a safe workplace which leads to further advantages:

  • Improvement of the ability to react to regulatory compliance-problems
  • Reduction of the total costs of incidents
  • Reduction of downtime and the costs of operational interruption
  • Reduction of the costs of insurance fees
  • Reduction of absence periods and fluctuation rates