OHSAS 18001 Migration to ISO 45001

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OHSAS 18001 has been replaced by the world’s first occupational health & safety standard which was first published on 12th March 2018.

OHSAS 18001 is due to be withdrawn in March 2021 and during the transition period before this date it is important that businesses ensure they make the necessary arrangements to migrate to ISO 45001 in order to maintain their certification.

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is an internationally recognised management system suitable for organisations of all sizes, across various industries and operational scope. It works by putting in place vital structures to ensure that effective processes are put in place to help manage potential risks, prevent accidents, meet legal requirements and reassure clients.

The way that ISO 45001 is structured means that is easily integrated with their existing management systems – helping the way businesses operate to be simpler than ever before whilst also improving the safety, health and wellbeing of all staff.

What are the Benefits of ISO 45001?

No matter what type of industry you are in it is important to ensure that you have the correct health and safety measures in place to help identify and resolve potential issues before they arise. By having a robust health and safety management system such as ISO 45001 in place, companies are able to better protect their employees and contractors which leads to a happier, healthier and more productive workplace.

Some of the ways that ISO 45001 can help businesses include;

  • Reduces the number of work related injuries
  • Decreases work related staff health issues
  • Greatly improves the overall wellbeing of employees
  • Ensures better employee safety
  • Decrease the risk of on-site accidents
  • Reduces the number of sick days and staff absences
  • Improves overall OH&S performance

How is ISO 45001 Different to OHSAS 18001?

Focus – One of the main changes between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 is the new standard’s focus on organisational context. ISO 45001 requires that participants view occupational health and safety management in a much broader context, widening the scope in order to allow it to integrate health and safety with other goals. This includes regulations and governance as well as organisational culture and its impact on all stakeholders, workers, customers and more.

Responsibility – ISO 45001 makes health and safety an organisation-wide concern and changes several requirements for management participation to a more general leadership provision. This subtle distinction is designed to help empower all staff to make safety a priority. Consultation with workers is required and will include things such as team meetings, inspections and open forums to give opportunities to the staff to be involved in the H&S management system.

Communication and Consultation – Communication takes on an increased significance with ISO 45001 requiring that all staff be aware of their responsibilities and work together to meet health and safety goals. In order to facilitate this, businesses will need to provide adequate resources for consultation with their workforce, worker participation and training on key areas such as incident reporting, investigations and risk assessments. The focus on training and awareness ensures that managers effectively communicate with workers on policies, risks and hazards, as well as the results of any accident investigations and other official inquiries and potential changes.

Planning – Defining objectives, identifying opportunities and managing risk is a key aspect of ISO 45001. The new standard addresses opportunities, measures of effectiveness, legal requirements and more so that when setting health and safety objectives, organisations have to properly consider the available resources in order to identify the responsible staff, timelines and associated metrics for gauging success (SMART).

Documentation – ISO 45001 abandons many procedural requirements in favour of more extensive documentation, mandating that only certain documents be defined. The guidelines and requirements for documentation at all stages of processes helps businesses to successfully plan, execute and evaluate in order to continuously approve and achieve compliance and will vary from one organisation to another.

Risk Management – ISO 45001 introduces several new requirements for risk control, eliminating hazards and outlining the hierarchy of control according to the HSE and best practice. It requires awareness of change and how we respond to it, for example new personnel, new equipment, changing working conditions, new regulatory requirements and more.

Contractors – Selection and control of contractors is a new part of 45001 that will definitely need to be addressed with suitable controls implemented. The new provisions strengthen requirements related to outsourced tasks and procurement processes, as well as controls and communication when working with any internal and external contract workers.

Compliance – ISO 45001 includes more detailed requirements for regulatory compliance. These changes are designed to actively engage relevant workers who are required to know the organisation’s current compliance status, while management must inform workers and relevant interested parties of audit results.

Continuous Improvement – One of the core tenets of every ISO system including ISO 45001 is the goal of continual improvement. Within it, occupational health and safety management systems must identify and respond to nonconformity with action, abandoning the idea of preventive action as a distinct concept.

For example, following an incident, compliant organisations must investigate it and make the appropriate

changes to ensure similar incidents don’t recur. This ensures that prevention becomes a fundamental requirement of the system in its entirety and that it is no longer merely reactive — instead, incidents of nonconformity help drive the continual improvement cycle.

Migrating to ISO 45001 with JR Consultants

Here at JR Consultants we are busy currently upgrading all of our clients that currently have OHSAS 18001 to ensure compliance to the replacement standard ISO 45001 by March 2021.

For organisations that are currently using OHSAS 18001 there is a set timeframe remaining in which to migrate their occupational health and safety management system to ISO 45001 before this period expires.

Our knowledgeable consultants are on hand to help our clients make their migration over to ISO 45001 as seamless as possible by providing expert services to;

  • Review current H&S Policy and Safety Management System
  • Work with the client to incorporate any changes and/or additions for the new upgrade
  • Provide advice and practical examples on how to achieve compliance to the new standard
  • Introduce any new policies/procedures should they be required
  • Advise on business risks, scope and context of organisation in relation to the upgrade
  • Assist the client in Implementing any changes
  • Update all relevant documentation
  • Ensure compliance to the new version of the standard by completing internal audits

To find out more about migrating over to ISO 45001 and how we can help your organisation stays compliant, contact JR Consultants today.

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