ISO 45001 / OHSAS Transition

In March 2021 OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn, which means that if this is your current method of certification, you’ll need to migrate to ISO 45001.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 will help your organisation provide a safe and healthy workplace for your workers and other people, prevent deaths, work-related injury and ill-health as well as continually improve OH&S performance.

Although unlikely considering the transition time-frame, should you miss the March 2021 deadline then your business will need to start the entire certification process from scratch, so it is important that you begin looking at the transition in plenty of time.

The transition from the old certification and new should be fairly straight forward.
However, here is a list of 8 significant changes you need to know about the transition and any important modifications you should be aware of:

1. Risk-based thinking

One of the biggest changes in this standard is the introduction of risk-based thinking.

While planning has always been an important part of any management system, this new requirement asks businesses to identify risks and opportunities which have a potential to impact on the operation or performance of the OH&S; either positively or negatively.

These risks and opportunities can be internal and external and include the needs of interested parties such as stakeholders. Once identified, the new certification requires your business to note the steps which will need to be taken to address the risks.

2. Structure changes

A key benefit of the new standard is that it includes Annex SL.

Annex SL follows a high-level structure (HLS) which aligns your OH&S management system with other ISO management systems which your organisation may have in place and ensures that ISO 45001:2015 falls in with all ISO standards in order to present them in a more aligned and consistent way.

This HLS is now the required framework for all updated and new management system standards and all terminology will be the same making all standards easy to follow.

3. Leadership and Empowerment

ISO 45001 allows leaders of an organisation to show their commitment to safe and healthy workplaces in a way that hasn’t been seen before.

And not just that , it allows organisations that truly put their people first to demonstrate this by integrating broader wellness/wellbeing agendas into their management system.

At the same time, ISO 45001 recognises the value created by an actively engaged and empowered workforce.

4. Documentation

The terms “records” and “documented procedure” used in OHSAS 18001:2007 have both been replaced throughout the new standard by the phrase “documented information”.

This term is defined as “information that is required to be controlled and maintained by an organisation”.

It’s left to each individual business to determine the type and level of documentation required in order to control its OH&S, and this conclusion needs to be based on facts such as the size of the business and the complexities of its processes and interactions.

5. Inclusion of interested parties

As part of ISO 45001:2015, businesses are required to consider the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties which could influence the businesses activities.

Your business should identify any interested parties such as stakeholders, suppliers, customers, employees, consumer associations and legislation and then consider the impact these parties have on your product and/or service.

6. Understanding the organisation and its context

The new standard requires your business to determine the external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcome of its OH&S management system. The standard does not specify methods for this, but tools such as SWOT and PESTLE are useful for regular monitoring and recording of this information.

7. OH&S scope determination

The new standard requires that your business must determine boundaries and applicability of the management system in order to establish its scope.

8. Determination of legal and other requirements

Your organisation should have a process to determine and have access to health and safety legal requirements and other requirements applicable to its OH&S management system, and to determine how these requirements apply to that system.

The process should cover:

1. What are your organisation’s (legal and other) requirements and how are they determined, accessed and kept up-to-date?

2. How do these legal and other requirements apply to your organisation’s activities, processes, plant & equipment, workforce, hazard profile & associated OH&S risks, the overall OH&SMS and its OH&S performance?

3. How are your legal (and other) requirements taken into account when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving the organisation’s OH&S management system?

Your organisation must ensure that relevant workers know how to access information on legal and other requirements that are applicable to them.

If you’re struggling to understand what’s required, or how to implement the standard’s requirements into your business, then Synergos Consultancy can help. We have the expertise and knowledge to help you to upgrade your certification and get the most from ISO 45001.

Here to help you