Preparing for the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Occupation health and safety is a key consideration for any business and showing compliance is about to change. ISO 45001 is set to replace OHSAS 18001:2007, with the expected publication of the standard in March 2018.

We take a closer look at what companies can expect as they transition to the new ISO standard.

Why the change from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001?

ISO began developing the new standard for occupational health and safety back in October 2013 when the first working draft was completed. The burden of work-related accidents is heavy for any business and with this new framework in place, employee safety will be improved, along with a reduction in workplace risk and create better, safer working conditions.

The new standard will align with other key ISOs including ISO 9001 quality management and ISO 14001 environmental management. The aim of this is clear – with all three of these ISOs aligned, companies and organisations will be more efficient in their audits.

Do you need ISO 45001?

The standard, like most ISOs, is open to any organisation, business or company no matter how large or small they are, nor which sector they dominate. The standard can be integrated into other health and safety programmes, representing the majority of legal requirements in this important area.

When will the new ISO 45001 standard be available?

The complexity of the legislation has meant that the planned October 2016 deadline for replacing OHSAS 18001 was missed. The comment and ballot opened in May 2017 with interested parties having until July 2017 to feedback on the process and content. The expected publication date is expected to be March 2018, giving companies and organisations time to take a fresh look at their health and safety process and how the new standard could bolster their position.

Are many changes expected?

From feedback so far, it would seem that ISO 45001 is an alignment of the outgoing OHSAS standard so that there is no confusion over acceptable health and safety management system standards.

In the past, the market has been fragmented and as such, this can be unhealthy when attempting to audit your business and remain compliant.  But there may be some changes that affect who monitors what and how information regarding health and safety is kept.

What should you do now?

For organisations that are currently certified as meeting OSHAS 18001, there needs to be a vigilance in terms of future progress of the new standard and what changes will happen.

As soon as ISO 45001 is published, Synergos Consultancy will look to communicate all these changes and what needs to happen to our clients. If you would like to stay in touch with the changes and how they will impact on your business, simply contact us. Likewise, for companies who are interested in acquiring this new ISO standard when it is available, we’re ready and willing to help.

How can we help you?

Click here to download our new eBook, which will give you an overview of the ISO standards and the FAQs that will help you understand ISO better.

If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to certification or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing standard call 01484 817 444 or Email and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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