Health and safety at work affects all businesses. Implementing an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system is now a legal requirement in many countries. Additionally, companies are increasingly required to report on their health and safety performance. This makes it vital to demonstrate that your organization delivers on its policy commitments.
Independent assessment and certification of your occupational health and safety management system by DNV GL proves that you have a compliant system in place. Certification to an internationally recognized management system standard demonstrates that you are working to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill-health and that you are proactively working to improve your OH&S performance.
Up until March 2018, OHSAS 18001 has been the internationally recognized voluntary standard for OH&S. With the publication of ISO 45001 on March 12 2018, the official status of OHSAS 18001:2007 is “withdrawn”. There will be a three-year migration period, and OHSAS 18001 will be replaced by the ISO 45001 the end of that period, in March 2021. Companies certified to OHSAS 18001 have to migrate to the new standard within these three years.
What is the ISO 45001 standard?
ISO 45001 is based on OHSAS 18001 and other recognized OH&S standards and conventions. It applies the ISO High Level Structure (HLS), which defines the structure for all ISO standards. The new standard contains some significant changes from OHSAS 18001.
Applying a new standard for occupational health and safety within the ISO framework will be a great advantage for companies already certified to other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, making it easier to integrate the management systems. Like all ISO standards, ISO 45001 applies the ISO High Level Structure.
ISO 45001 is now the internationally accepted standard for OH&S management systems. It is applicable to any type of organization – large or small – within any business sector.
Like OHSAS 18001, it provides a framework based on the well-established management principles of Plan-Do-Check-Act. It requires the organization to identify the hazards and assess the occupational health and safety risks related to its activities and services, determine the necessary controls and to set clear objectives and targets to improve on its OH&S performance.
The standard requires an organization to identify and comply with the applicable OH&S legal - and other requirements. However, ISO 45001 also has some significant changes from OHSAS 18001.
Why is certification good for my business?
There are several benefits of applying ISO 45001, but the most significant are tangible and demonstrable improvements in OH&S performance and a greater level of control in the area of legal compliance.
ISO 45001 certification enables your organization to:
- Establish and continually improve an OH&S management system to eliminate or minimize risk to personnel and other interested parties who could be exposed to OH&S hazards associated with your activities or services.
- Work systematically to achieve improvements in occupational health and safety performance and prevent (re)occurrence of accidents and incidents.
- Assure its conformance with its stated OH&S policy and demonstrate such conformance to others.
- Continually comply with applicable OH&S legal requirements.
Where do I go from here?
Whether you are already certified to OHSAS 18001 and wish to migrate, or are looking for a new certification of your OH&S management system, DNV GL can support you. We have been an accredited third party certification body for OHSAS 18001 for decades, and our experts are fully equipped to guide you from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001.
We can also provide relevant training for your occupational health and safety system, and have IRCA accredited courses for ISO 45001. Learn more about our OH&S training offering here.