An important ISO 45001 Update

Industry News By Andy Taylor

After many years of planning, one final vote took place on Friday last week to decide whether ISO 45001 could be officially published or whether further public consultation was required.

We are delighted to announce that the final vote had a positive outcome and the ISO is expected to publish the final version in March this year. Organisations that currently use OHSAS 18001 will have three years to migrate their occupational health and safety management system to ISO 45001.

Through our work with David Smith, chairman of the committee responsible for the development of ISO 45001, we are able to provide a general overview of the changes between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001.

  • ISO 45001 will make health and safety the concern of an entire business. Leaders, managers, and workers will be expected to participate in the management of health and safety. All staff must work together to meet health and safety targets.
  • ISO 45001 places more emphasis on the planning stage of health and safety. It requires organisations to analyse available resources and consider the responsible staff involved at every stage of health and safety management.
  • Additional documentation will be required under ISO 45001, formalising goals and priorities more so than was required with OHSAS 18001.
  • ISO 45001 places greater emphasis on communication. Communication of objectives must be defined and measured for their effectiveness. Managers must also communicate with workers in areas such as policy, risk, and hazards.
  • At the heart of every ISO system is continual improvement. ISO 45001 is no exception. Nonconformity with rules and procedures must be identified and responded to with appropriate, timely action.
  • The structure is built around ‘Annex SL’ (ISO’s high level text for management system standards), similar to ISO 14001 and ISO 9001.

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