Systematic occupational safety – OHSAS becomes ISO 45001

3. April 2019

ISO 45001 is the new management standard for occupational health and safety. As the successor to the previously internationally established BS OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001 takes over essential content and develops these approaches even further.

Every company is obliged to identify and avoid health and accident risks for its employees. An occupational health and safety management system such as the new ISO 45001 offers a suitable basis for reconciling strategic orientation and occupational health and safety.
It helps to establish internal structures and facilitate processes, describes and plans processes and continuously improves corporate organization and performance through targeted measures. General and industry-specific requirements are defined by internationally valid standards such as ISO and form the basis for certification. In some industries, a management system such as ISO 45001 or ISO 9001 is required when awarding contracts.

The ISO standards are gradually being brought into the so-called high level structure. They all follow the same design and structure. Content-related requirements also emerge from this. In all management systems, more emphasis is now placed on the analysis and inclusion of “interested parties” and “internal & external issues”. In addition, risks and opportunities must be determined from the context analysis. By adapting to the high-level structure, the requirements of all standards can be better incorporated into an integrated management system (IMS) in the future. This also applies to ISO 45001.

What’s new? Compared to the old OHSAS, ISO 45001 is more comprehensive – both on the management and compliance level, as well as in terms of risk identification and the involvement of suppliers. While the OHSAS 18001 was process-oriented and mainly looked at the risks, the ISO 45001 is process-oriented and includes the analysis of risks and opportunities. In contrast to the old standard, ISO 45001 focuses on the interaction of a company with its business environment and includes suppliers and all interested parties. No concrete indicators are required for the planning and compliance with measures, but the constant review and improvement of self-set KPIs.

The conversion from OHSAS to ISO takes place in two stages: An on-site readiness assessment (level 1 audit) in which the internal project plan for the conversion and the changes to the management system are checked and a full system audit on site (level 2 audit) . A new 3-year cycle begins with the certification. The transition is possible at any time. There is a three-year transition period for the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. This ends on March 12, 2021.

We have summarized all the information for you in our info paper ISO 45001.

Image source: Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash