Policy on migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Policy on migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

General picture

The new standard for Occupational Health & Safety management systems, ISO 45001, has been published in March 2018. It will replace the existing BS OHSAS 18001:2007; a British standard that has been used succesfuly in many countries for almost 20 years.

For organizations that already hold a certification to OHSAS 18001, a period of 3 years (until March 2021) has been agreed to migrate their certification to the new ISO 45001.

More about ISO 45001, here on ISO website and also in this Youtube video, a conversation with the experts involved in the development of the standard.

Main changes in ISO 45001

ISO 45001 uses the HLS (High Level Structure) that is common now to all management system standards published by ISO. This facilitates integration with other popular standards like ISO 9001:2015 or ISO 14001:2015.

ISO 45001 requires the organizations to identify internal and external issues as well as the needs and expectations of interested parties; all those elements as part of the requirement called Context of the organization. This requirement was not included in OHSAS 18001 but it is present in a similar form in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

The organizations are required to identify and assess OH&S specific risks (as it was required by OHSAS 18001) but also other risks related to the establishment, implementation, operation and maintenance of the management system.

The concept of opportunities is a new element compared to OHSAS 18001. The organizations are required to assess OH&S specific opportunities but also other opportunities to improve the Occupational Health & Safety management system.

The documents and records are replaced in ISO 45001 by documented information, like in the new versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Taking into consideration the realities of modern economies, ISO 45001 has specific and explicit requirements for contractors and outsourcing. This aspect was addressed briefly in OHSAS 18001 (in requirement 4.4.6. – Operational control).

ISO 45001 has a stronger emphasis on top management who is required to be actively engaged in and accountable for the Occupational Health & Safety management system.

Worker participation and consultation, although present as a requirement in OHSAS 18001, are more detailed in ISO 45001, as the standard recognizes the importance of worker involvement in the improvement of the OH&S performance.

Although there are some new elements and some changes brought by the new ISO 45001 we consider that an organization with a functional and effective OH&S management system will not have major difficultiles migrating from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001.

Migration plan

For organizations certified to OHSAS 18001 by RIGCERT, we recommend initially a gap analysis to identify the changes required in their management system to comply to the new ISO 45001.

We can help you with this online training course on the requirements of ISO 45001.

We recommend that the assessment of the migration to ISO 45001 be performed during a regular surveillance or recertification audit.

As required by its customers RIGCERT will continue to issue OHSAS 18001 accredited certifications until 01.03.2020.

Oragnizations certified to OHSAS 18001 shall finalize the migration to the new ISO 45001 until 01.03.2021.

After the migration period accredited OHSAS 18001 certificates are not valid.

For any other information on the migration to ISO 45001 or any aspects concerning your OH&S management system certification please get in touch.