ISO 45001:2018 is the first global occupational health and safety management system standard and was developed by experts from over 60 countries over the past 5 years. It will revoke and replace OHSAS 18001:2007 over the next three years and because of its structure and content will complement other management system standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 22301:2012.
A number of significant changes have been introduced by ISO 45001, not least of which is the introduction of the Annex SL format and terminology. Annex SL was developed in order to ensure that all future ISO management system standards share a common format irrespective of the specific discipline to which they relate.
Annex SL prescribes a high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and core definitions. ISO 45001 contains the following principal clauses:
· Clause 1 Scope
· Clause 2 Normative references
· Clause 3 Terms and definitions
· Clause 4 Context of the organisation
· Clause 5 Leadership and worker participation
· Clause 6 Planning
· Clause 7 Support
· Clause 8 Operation
· Clause 9 Performance evaluation
· Clause 10 Improvement
ISO 45001:2018 takes the majority of what is required by OHSAS 18001:2007 but has added a number of additional requirements that were not explicitly documented in the OHSAS standard, such as the need to contextualise the company’s operations and impose greater control on procurement and contractor activities. What we in Antaris are enthused by in the standard is the fact that ISO 45001 is a framework that enabled us to embed occupational health and safety best practice into our overall business processes. In addition, ISO 45001:2018 being a risk-based standard, allowed us to design and develop a management system that fits our own unique set of circumstances and takes into account the particular risks we face as an organisation. Interestingly, the new standard puts a greater emphasis on health than OHSAS 18001 did, reflecting the fact that occupational health issues can now be more problematic for service organisations’ such as ourselves, rather than safety which we can manage relatively well. Implementation of ISO 45001 allowed us to adopt a more holistic approach to occupational health and safety by integrating health and safety into our business processes, thereby promoting a positive health and safety culture throughout the organisation. In addition, greater participation of company personnel is encouraged at every level as required by clause 5.4 of the standard on consultation and participation of workers.
We have been certified to OHSAS 18001 since January 2004. We started the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 when the DIS version of the standard was published in 2017 by undertaking a gap analysis which allowed us to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement. We did this by checking each of the requirements of ISO 45001 against our current processes and procedures and then reviewed these for adequacy, suitability, effectiveness and conformity to the standard. Fairly quickly it became evident what areas required additional work.
One of the first observations that we made was that the ISO 45001 requirements are less prescriptive than those in OHSAS 18001:2007 and are based on continual improvement of performance, rather than on specifying how organisations should do things.
Other changes include a move from prescriptive requirements for specific ‘documents’ and ‘records’ towards the more inclusive term ‘documented information’. This allowed us to customise our occupational health and safety documentation to better reflect our unique circumstances. I will review the major changes that we have made to our occupational health and safety management system in subsequent blogs but the early effort we put into the transition enabled us to be the first company in the country to be certified to ISO 45001:2018.
Submitted by our training partners Antaris