ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System

The ISO 45001:2018 standard, which replaces the OHSAS 18001:2007 Standard, is an International Standard that sets out the requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, along with a user manual to enable an organization to proactively improve OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill health. ISO 45001 is intended to be applicable to any organization, regardless of scale, type and nature. ISO 45001 enables an organization to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker health/welfare, through its OSH management system, however, it should be noted that an organization may be required by applicable legal requirements to address such issues.

What will be the benefits of using ISO 45001?

  • An ISO 45001-based OH&S management system will enable an organization to improve OH&S performance by:
  • Implementing OH&S policy and OH&S objectives
  • Establishing systematic processes that take into account its “context”, its risks and opportunities, its legal and other requirements
  • Identification of hazards and OHS risks associated with their activities; controlling to eliminate them or minimize their potential impact
  • Establish operational controls to manage OHS risks, legal and other requirements
  • Increased awareness of OHS risks
  • Evaluating OHS performance and trying to increase its performance by taking appropriate measures.
  • Enabling workers to take an active role in OHS issues

Together with these measures, it will ensure that an organization’s reputation as a safe workplace is supported and has more direct benefits such as:

  • Improving the ability to respond to regulatory compliance issues
  • Reducing the total cost of events
  • Reducing downtime costs in operations
  • Reducing the cost of insurance premiums
  • Reducing absenteeism and employee turnover
  • Recognition of achieving an international benchmark (which may affect customers who are concerned about their social responsibility)

Who are the target users of the standard?

The simple answer is all organizations. As long as there are people working on behalf of your organization or who may be affected by its activities, using a systematic approach to managing health and safety will benefit it. The standard can be used by small low-risk operations as well as high-risk and large complex organizations. While the standard requires that OH&S risks be addressed and controlled, it requires a risk-based approach to the OH&S management system itself to ensure it is developed a) effectively and b) to meet an organization’s ever-changing “context.” This risk-based approach is consistent with the way organizations manage other “business” risks and therefore encourages the integration of the standard’s requirements into organizations’ overall management processes.

How does ISO 45001 relate to other standards?

It follows the top-level structure approach applied to other ISO management system standards such as ISO 45001, ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment). In developing the standard, attention was paid to the content of other international standards (such as OHSAS 18001 or the International Labor Organization’s “ILO -OSH Guidelines”) and national standards, as well as the ILO’s International Labor standards (ILS) and conventions.

The ones who adopted the standard should find their requirements consistent with other standards once published. This will allow for a relatively easy transition from using an existing OH&S management system standard to using ISO 45001 and will also allow for alignment and integration of the requirements of other ISO management system standards into their organization’s overall management processes.