ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001.

ISO 45001 - ISO's first standard for occupational health and safety management systems.  The ISO 45001, which sets requirements for occupational health and safety management systems, was inspired by OHSAS 18001, and is designed to help companies and organizations worldwide protect the health and safety of the people who work for them.

“There has been significant interest in ISO 45001 to build on existing International Labour Standards (ILO) and national mechanisms to further enhance worker protection.

A major motivation for the ILO's participation in the meeting is to help ISO develop this standard to arrive at a result that is consistent with the international labour standards and guidelines that cover this subject.

The major differences between OHSAS 18001 and the new ISO 45001?

The overall aim of the standard remains the same and those familiar with OHSAS 18001 will recognize many of the themes in the new ISO standard. However, there have been some very interesting developments related to the new rules for developing International Management System Standards.  There is now a much stronger focus on the “context” of an organization as well as a stronger role for top management and leadership.

What do you mean by the “context” of an organization?

In the new standard, an organization has to look beyond its immediate health and safety issues and take into account what the wider society expects of it. Organizations have to think about their contractors and suppliers as well as, for example, how their work might affect their neighbours in the surrounding area. This is much wider than just focusing on the conditions for internal employees and means organizations cannot just contract out risk.

How is the role of the organization's leadership different?

ISO 45001 insists that these occupational health and safety aspects now be embodied in the overall management system of the organization, requiring a much stronger buy-in from its management and leadership. This will be a big change for users who may currently delegate responsibility to a safety manager rather than integrate this entirely into the organization’s operations. ISO 45001 requires health and safety aspects to be part of an overall management system and no longer just an added extra.

The Need for ISO 45001 as an ISO standard?

Firstly, many organizations are already using a number of ISO management system standards, so an occupational health and safety tool that can be easily integrated with other existing ISO Based standards making the process  a lot easier. The area of focus has been on easy integration with ISO 14001 as many organizations, especially small businesses, have one person that looks after both safety and environmental concerns. In addition, the ISO Standard name and recognition will give further credibility to the standard and drive wider adoption.

What are the major benefits of using this standard?

The implementation of the system and structure as prescribed can reduce the risk of causing harm to the people within the organization. 


ISO 45001 is due to be published in October 2016.