What changes can we expect between BS OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?
The aim of the standard remains the same: to set requirements for OH&S management systems, and thus to help organizations ensure the health and safety of the people who work for them.
While ISO 45001 largely stands in continuity with BS OHSAS 18001, there are a couple of changes worth noting:
- The standard has the same High Level Structure (HLS) as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, and will share the same terminology. This will make it easier to integrate OH&S management into the overall management system.
- The standard follows the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model, which provides a framework for organizations to minimize the risk of harm. Although this focus on risk is not new, the emphasis in ISO 45001 on a risk-based approach places the standard more in line of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, which also take risk as their starting point.
- Minimizing the risk of harm also requires taking into account any concerns that can lead to long-term health issues and absence from work. This may include psychosocial factors like stress, which can be managed within the OH&S framework.
- The fact that the standard follows the same structure as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 implies a stronger focus on the context of organizations. Organizations are required to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties (commonly known as stakeholders), and to take into account all internal and external issues that may affect the ability of the organization to meet its OH&S objectives.
- The notion of context requires organizations to look beyond health and safety within their own facilities and to take into account working conditions that are not under its direct control. This reflects on the work with subcontractors and suppliers. Supply and procurement policies should address impacts on any persons that carry out activities for the organization, or produce products or deliver services for it.
- Another change is the stronger role for top management. Health and safety becomes a central aspect of the overall management system, requiring a firm commitment from top management. At the same time, it will be necessary to involve all employees in reaching OH&S objectives.
- Stronger requirement to address legal and regulatory compliance issues in the entire management system, throughout all phases of the PDCA-cycle.
ISO 45001 does not define specific KPIs for health and safety, but rather requires continuous improvement in the KPIs an organization has set.
WHAT IS THE TRANSITION PERIOD FOR THE NEW STANDARD?
There will be a 3-year transition period for all certified sites, with BS OHSAS 18001 being formally withdrawn on March 12, 2021.
How will this affect existing certificates?
All certificates against BS OHSAS 18001 will expire on March 12, 2021 at the latest. Certified sites will need to transition to the ISO 45001:2018 during this time. During this transition period, new certificates for BS OHSAS 18001 can still be issued; however, irrespective of when the audit was conducted, the certificates will also expire on March 12, 2021.
How does this affect the audit planing?
We will be assisting our customers to ensure a smooth transition and bridge the gap between the two standards. Transitioning from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 is possible at two moments in the certification cycle:
- Transition during the recertification audit: the audit will include a “readiness review” to evaluate the changes, status and understanding of the revised standard before the system audit takes place. This is the recommended way.
- Transition during a surveillance audit: additional time will need to be added to the surveillance audit.
If you would like to begin preparing for the transfer process for ISO 45001, please contact us directly.