In 2013, ISO approved the creation of a new project committee to develop an International Standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S). The work is being overseen by ISO Project Committee (PC) 283. The ISO project committee has been tasked with transforming OHSAS 18001 into an ISO standard, ISO 45001. The secretariat of ISO/PC 283 has been assigned to BSI, the British Standards Institution. There are currently 50 countries/organisations working on or involved in producing ISO 45001, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
With the revisions of the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management and ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Standards in mind, the new ISO 45001:2016 will be aligned with these so as to ensure that they work seamlessly together and complement each other.
Even though the BS OHSAS 18001 is a British Standard, there are businesses in over a hundred countries that have adopted the standard.
The new standard will focus on the following aspects:
- Reduce the risks to personnel and additional relevant parties.
- Create a focus of continual improvement so as to constantly seek to improve health and safety standards in the workplace.
- Ensuring that all activities are carried out, along with a company’s health and safety policy are in line with an internationally recognised standard.
I’m currently certified to OHSAS 18001. What do I need to do?
Continue with your current programme. Should you decide to transition certification from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 in the future, your client manager will advise you of necessary actions and when they need to be taken. We will support you through any transition process within an agreed transition period and we will provide you with guidelines and training to help you make transitioning as smooth as possible. In addition to this we will support you through standard changes and revisions, helping you to understand how the changes affect – and benefit – your organization.
I’m interested in certifying to OHSAS 18001 now. What should I do?
OHSAS 18001 is still valid and it is envisaged may well be for some time after the new ISO Standard is published. Companies will still benefit from implementing and certifying against OHSAS 18001.
ISO 45001:2016 is likely to be published in the last quarter of 2016 and your client manager will be able to advise you on developments and what you need to do should you decide to certify to the new standard at a later stage.
I am interested in the Health and Safety Standard, what should I do?
With the revision nearly 2 years away and the ISO allowing businesses plenty of time to transition to the new standard, there is no reason why your business should not implement the OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management Standard.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
In terms of comparison between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001, similarities include: using the
‘plan, do, check, act’ model; setting policies and objectives; and conducting internal audits and review. Currently there are a number of differences, including:
- there are now ten sections; whereas OHSAS 18001 had four sections
- more focus on continual improvement and hierarchy of control
- more focus on risk management and ongoing assessment of risk and opportunities
- more focus on the need to demonstrate and understand compliance status at all times
- subsections on contractors, procurement and outsourcing
- more on use of performance indicators
- context of organisation – such as its supply chain, local community and cultural, social, political, economic and governance environments
- leadership – top management need to take an active role e.g. strategic planning and leading organisational culture
- documented information – includes electronic and processed information e.g. use of smartphones or tablets
The proposed content is: scope; normative references; terms and definitions; context of the
organisation; leadership; planning; support; operation; performance evaluation; and improvement.