The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across all sectors, industries, companies and organisations. Given the knock on effect this has had on audits, the transition period has been extended by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), pushing back the deadline for all recently revised ISO management system standards by another 6 months.
This includes an extension of the migration deadline for those transitioning from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 certification.
What Is ISO 45001?
ISO 45001 is an international standard for health and safety that is applicable to organisations across all sectors, of every size and operational scope. This robust standard enables businesses to incorporate the necessary health and safety aspects through their own Occupational Health Systems, ensuring that the specific requirements needed to be compliant with the H&S legislation are met.
This vital certification provides the essential framework and information needed for businesses to be able to make valuable, beneficial changes that improve their occupational health and safety performance. This has a positive effect on everything from reducing workplace health issues and injuries to improving the overall safety, wellbeing and happiness of the employees.
What Is The Difference Between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?
Occupational Health and Safety has been proven in recent years to be an integral part of running a safe, efficient, successful and sustainable business. Although the two standards may differ in their approach, for organisations who have an existing management system established with OHSAS 18001, this solid platform makes for an easy migration over to ISO 45001.
Some of the differences between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 include;
- ISO 45001 focuses more on the interaction between the organisation and its business environment whereas OHSAS 18001 is more aimed at managing OH&S hazards.
- OHSAS 18001 is what is referred to as procedure-based, but ISO 45001 is process-based.
- OHSAS 18001 was designed to deal solely on the risks side of things, ISO 45001 considers both risk and opportunities which make it that much more effective.
- ISO 45001 includes the views of interested parties, unlike OHSAS 18001.
The overall objective and intentions of ISO 45001 have not altered from those of 18001, but it takes into account the significant changes, advances and improvements in the way that health and safety is managed and carried out. The aim remains the same, to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, customers, workers, employees and anyone involved with the organisation by reducing risks and working to improve the overall working conditions.
What Does It Mean For Businesses That Need To Transition?
The 6 month extension for the migration deadline issued by the IAF means that organisations now have until 11th September 2021 to make the transition from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018.
In response to the pandemic and the affect that it has on audits being carried out in person at the physical location, the IAF has also removed restrictions on the use of remote technology for auditing and is now utilising them in order for migration audits to be undertaken 100% remotely.
The extension of the deadline and the changes that have been made to the way that the audits are carried out are all aimed at giving organisations some much needed breathing space to ensure that they are working towards the new standards across their OH&S management systems and that they are compliant with the necessary updates.
Overwhelmed By The Migration Process?
With the migration over to iso 45001 postponed, some companies may feel like they have everything handled and that they have been given the much needed extra time to get everything ready before September 2021 rolls around.
However, if you are feeling confused, overwhelmed or unsure of what needs to be done in order to reach compliance then ISO 45001 certification consultation services could be exactly what you need. At JR Consultants our professional, reliable team are here to help and support clients throughout the pandemic, working to guide them through the transition process ahead of the required deadlines.
This not only takes the pressure off the inhouse personnel who are already overwhelmed with everything going on, but it provides a straight forward, cost effective path to ISO 45001 certification that helps to improve the overall business and open up a world of opportunities.