Is ISO 45001 a replacement for OHSAS 18001?

What has changed in ISO 45001:2018?

To begin, both standards include many of the same requirements because they are used to create an OHSMS. While both standards emphasize the management of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) hazards and legal requirements, as well as the importance of top-level management involvement, the ISO 45001:2018 standard includes some new requirements that will benefit your company even more. See the article 4 Key Benefits of ISO 45001 for Your Business for more information on the benefits that ISO 45001 can provide.

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One of the most significant changes is the organization of the ISO 45001 standard to match the ISO management system standard format, known as Annex SL so that the structure and format match those of other management systems such as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. This organization assists you in better aligning the various management systems that you may implement and makes it easy to see the common processes that can be done together (such as the internal audit) See the article ISO 45001 requirements and structure for more information on the structure.

One significant change is the way we think about risk in the OHSMS. Whereas OHSAS 18001 only addressed the risks associated with OH&S hazards in the workplace, ISO 45001 addresses other risks and opportunities in addition to OH&S hazards. The article contains information about the new risk-related requirements. What are the new ISO 45001 requirements for risks and opportunities? With more risks and opportunities to assess, many businesses will want to implement a more formal risk management process than they did with OHSAS 18001. More details about what this could entail can be found in the article.

The new method of documentation

The new requirements for documented information, which are included in ISO 45001, are one change to all ISO management system standards that some people have found confusing. The new requirements are essentially an amalgamation and simplification of the previous requirements for creating and maintaining OHSMS documents and records. The standard defines documented information as information for the management system and its processes, information created for the organization, and evidence of achieved results.

In general, the process established in OHSAS 18001 for document and record control will meet the requirements of ISO 45001. The article New approach to ISO 45001 documentation provides a more detailed explanation of the new approach.

It is important to note that there is no requirement in your OHSMS to change your terminology from “documents and records” to “documented information.” Continue to use terminology that your audience understands. The new standard also has different expectations for what documentation you will need, so compare your current documentation list to the new requirements. This free white paper: Checklist of mandatory documentation required by ISO 45001 is a useful tool for this, or you can search the standard for the keywords “documented information” to find out what is required to be documented.

It is important to note that there is no requirement in your OHSMS to change your terminology from “documents and records” to “documented information.” Continue to use terminology that your audience understands. The new standard also has different expectations for what documentation you will need, so compare your current documentation list to the new requirements. This free white paper: Checklist of mandatory documentation required by ISO 45001 is a useful tool for this, or you can search the standard for the keywords “documented information” to find out what is required to be documented.

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It is important to note that there is no requirement in your OHSMS to change your terminology from “documents and records” to “documented information.” Continue to use terminology that your audience understands. The new standard also has different expectations for what documentation you will need, so compare your current documentation list to the new requirements. This free white paper: Checklist of mandatory documentation required by ISO 45001 is a useful tool for this, or you can search the standard for the keywords “documented information” to find out what is required to be documented.

As a result, it is clear that ISO 45001 has replaced OHSAS 18001. You now require a plan for your transition. This should begin with a gap analysis comparing what you are doing now to the ISO 45001:2018 standard requirements. In this gap analysis, go through each “shall” statement and determine whether or not you meet the requirement. Determine what you need to do to meet each requirement that isn’t being met, and then make the necessary changes. It may appear simple, but it can take some time to complete.

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