ISO 45001:2018

ISO 45001:2018, “Occupational health and safety management systems — Requirements with guidance for use”, is now available. ISO 45001 is a replacement for OHSAS 18001:2007.

ISO 45001 adopts Annex SL, thus sharing the same clause structure, core text, and terms and definitions as ISO 9001:2015 (quality management) and ISO 14001:2015 (environmental management).

ISO 45001 specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system and gives guidance for its use. It enables organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as, by proactively improving OH&S performance.

The new standard is applicable to any organization that wants to establish, implement, and maintain an OH&S management system to improve occupational health and safety, eliminate hazards and minimize OH&S risks (including system deficiencies), take advantage of OH&S opportunities, and address OH&S management system nonconformities associated with its activities.

ISO 45001 helps an organization to achieve the intended outcomes of its OH&S management system. Consistent with an organization’s OH&S policy, the intended outcomes of an OH&S management system include:

a) continual improvement of OH&S performance;
b) fulfilment of legal requirements and other requirements;
c) achievement of OH&S objectives.

ISO 45001 applies to any organization regardless of its size, type, and activities. It is applicable to the OH&S risks under the organization’s control and considers factors such as the context in which the organization operates and the needs and expectations of its workers and other interested parties.

ISO 45001 doesn’t state specific criteria for OH&S performance, nor is it prescriptive about the design of an OH&S management system. It doesn’t address issues such as product safety, property damage, or environmental impacts, beyond the risks to workers and other relevant interested parties.

ISO 45001 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve occupational health and safety management. However, claims of conformity to ISO 45001 are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization’s OH&S management system and fulfilled without exclusion.

According to an ISOFocus article, the main change is that ISO 45001 concentrates on the interaction between an organization and its business environment, while OHSAS 18001 was focused on managing OH&S hazards and other internal issues.

The standards also diverge in other ways, for example:

  • ISO 45001 is process-based – OHSAS 18001 is procedure-based
  • ISO 45001 considers both risk and opportunities – OHSAS 18001 deals exclusively with risk
  • ISO 45001 includes the views of interested parties – OHSAS 18001 does not

You can order ISO 45001:2018 at this ISO webpage for about $168.