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What are the major differences between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001

OHSAS 18001The ISO 45001 was one of the world’s most anticipated standards and outlines the requirements for an occupational health and safety management system within an organisation and provides guidance for its use. ISO 45001 was published in March 2018 and effectively replaces OHSAS 18001.

The goal of ISO 45001 is to help businesses make their workplaces safer and healthier for employees by preventing injuries and diseases. It is considered a significant step forward and helps businesses demonstrate that they are committed to the overall wellbeing of their workers.

Managing Director & Lead Auditor Muhammad Ali of WWISE, on why businesses should pay attention to this standard“It’s been just over a year since the international occupational health and safety (OH&S) standard, ISO 45001, was published. The 3-year transition period will be here in a blink of an eye. Businesses need to begin taking the steps towards the new requirements now.”

How ISO 45001 will benefit your business

Globally, thousands of lives are lost on a daily basis due to workplace fatalities and work-related diseases. ISO 45001 aims to prevent such incidents and ensure an overall safe and healthy work environment. Because ISO 45001 provides guidance for its use, the standard offers businesses a single, clear framework for all organisations wanting to improve their occupational health and safety.

The ISO 45001 offers a variety of benefits:

  • Organisations that implement the standard will garner a reputation as an industry leader and an overall safe place to work.
  • This will lead to a boost in employee morale which builds healthy relationships between management and their workers.
  • By proving workplace safety and that the appropriate measures are in place, insurance premiums will ultimately be reduced.
  • ISO 45001 builds trust. Because top management shares the responsibility of ensuring a safe workplace, workers are assured that management cares about their wellbeing.
  • Employee productivity will increase as workplace injuries are decreased and ultimately eradicated. By identifying risks and therefore preventing accidents, workers will require less sick leave.
  • New and existing clients will develop a sense of trust in the company.

What are the major differences between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?

While the overall goal of the two standards remain the same, ISO 45001 is considered a major improvement over the OHSAS 18001 standard. Aside from this, the main differences between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 include:

  • ISO 45001 calls for the training of employees to identify potential hazards in the workplace. Consequently, a successful safety program is established within the organisation. This means that health and safety within the organisation is the responsibility of everyone including top management.
  • OHSAS 18001 focuses on hazard control whereas ISO 45001 places emphasis on the evaluation, reduction and prevention of risks.
  • ISO 45001 focuses on leadership and requires top management to be more proactive when it comes to OH&S matters. Previously, only safety management personnel handled health and safety matters.
  • The ISO 45001’s structure is based on Annex SL, the framework used in other ISO management system standards. This makes implementation easier and more efficient.
  • ISO 45001 is not seen as an upgrade to OHSAS 18001, it is the world’s first international standard for organizational health and safety whereas OHSAS 18001 is solely a British standard.

Should your company come into compliance?

The ISO 45001 is suitable for all organisations regardless of its size, industry or location. While being certified is not currently a legal requirement, it is recommended. Ask the following questions to determine if ISO 45001 is suitable for your business:

  • Does your business being fully compliant with international standards matter to you?
  • Do you want to improve your businesses’ overall performance and productivity?
  • Do you want to ensure the health and safety of your staff?
  • Do you want to decrease your monthly insurance premiums?

Being certified is ultimately your decision but take into consideration that ISO 45001 will greatly benefit your business on a local and international scale.

The migration process from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

The migration process from one standard to another may have its challenges, but through planning and commitment, everyone within the organisation will benefit. Businesses that are currently OHSAS 18001 certified have until March 2021 to migrate to ISO 45001. The following steps will help businesses to migrate from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001:

  1. Perform an impact analysis/gap assessment
  2. Obtain a copy of ISO 45001
  3. Identify the gaps in the current organizational health and safety management system (OHSMS) which need to be addressed to meet any new requirements.
  4. Develop an implementation plan.
  5. Ensure that any new needs are met in terms of competence
  6. Update the existing OHSMS to meet the new requirements of ISO 45001 and provide verification of its effectiveness.

Furthermore, staff needs to be trained to fully implement changes.

How WWISE Can Help

We provide a full range of courses to develop awareness of ISO 45001:2018, understand the requirements, and implement the standard successfully. We furthermore assist with the transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to the new standard, perform a GAP analysis, help with integration of the ISMS with your organisation’s existing management systems, conduct audits, and help with preparation for ISO 45001 certification.

Contact us today if you need help with the migration process.