Changes to the transition period for the ISO 45001 standard

Audit By Matthew Coombes

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on nearly all industries, and its reach has been global. Across the world, there have been major disruptions to workplaces, and changes have had to be made to allow people to return to work safely. As such the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has extended the deadline for converting from management system OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018. OHSAS 18001 certifications may be able to be extended by up to six months if it is not possible to perform evaluation activities, such as audits or exams. This means that the transition period for OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 is extended to the 30th of September 2021.

So what does this mean?
In short, it means that if you’re looking to convert your existing management system of OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, you have a little bit longer to do so. However, the 6-month extension still only provides just over a year to complete your transition to the new management system.
What’s next?
A gap analysis is where an experienced health and safety professional will come to your site(s) and conduct an analysis of your safety procedures in accordance with the ISO 45001 standard. If you have OHSAS 18001 in place, the analysis will show your business the steps that you can take to convert your management system to the ISO 45001 standard, with the current pandemic some activities can be done remotely with conference calls and emails if access to relevant documents can be arranged. This will likely include retraining and adjustments to your operations, for example, any auditors that are competent with the OHSAS 18001 standard will need to take a migration course to teach them how to apply their skills to the ISO 45001 standard.

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