During 2015, the first draft of OHSAS 18001’s replacement – ISO 45001 was published. As is the case when any standard begins its journey towards internationalism, numerous parties become involved in its evolution and differences of opinion are a natural and regular occurrence.
The new ISO 45001 standard is being developed with input from more than 50 countries, and in addition to the ISO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has also been involved. It should come as no surprise then, that the initial ISO 45001 draft has failed to achieve total acceptance, and been subsequently returned to the standard’s Working Group, that now must come up with a second draft.
Release of the finalised ISO 14001 standard was expected this year, but it is most likely not to happen until Q3 of 2017. UK businesses presently certified to OHSAS 18001 will be granted a grace period in which to effect the transition to ISO 45001.
ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 – the difference
ISO 45001 will not alter the methodology and requirements of OHSAS 18001 beyond all recognition.
Because it shares a similar structure and common sections of ISO 9001 (QMS) and 14001 (EMS), businesses can consolidate the management controls for their quality, environmental and occupational health and safety arrangements in one fully-integrated system and benefit from the efficiencies resulting from this rationalisation.
ISO 45001 will require an organisation to look beyond ‘routine’ health and safety issues and take into account the expectations of interested parties and wider society. For example, organisations will have to consider the actions and behaviours of their contractors and suppliers, as well as the actual / potential effects their activities may have on neighbouring communities.
It will also provide a framework and specifications for
• formal, systematic analysis and management of risk
• promotion of safer work practices
• evaluation of occupational health and safety performance
• greater emphasis on risk management and ongoing assessment of risks and opportunities to prevent, or reduce, undesired effects
• strengthening the requirement to maintain regulatory compliance
Businesses currently certified to OHSAS 18001 do not need to make the transition to ISO 45001 immediately; in fact, upgrading from an existing 18001 system, using any draft version of 45001, is not recommended.
Closer to the transition date we will be at hand to help, should you require assistance.