new standard for occupational health and safety management


What’s New in ISO 45001:2018?

  • Introducing “High Level Structure”.
  • Focusing on Leadership Commitment.
  • Emphasising worker’s consultation and participation.
  • Understanding possible issues and expectation of interested parties.
  • Understanding and addressing risk and opportunities on the effective 
    implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Management System

To survive in today’s competitive global marketplace, organisations must proactively manage all types of risk to the business, and the issue of occupational health and safety is no exception. Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in March 2018, ISO 45001 marks a significant step in the overall effort to improve occupational health and safety standards worldwide. The new standard enables organisations to proactively improve injury prevention and reduce ill-health, while protecting the organisation’s longevity.

ISO 45001 supersedes the OHSAS 18001 standard, which was first introduced in 1999 and revised in 2007, replacing it as the primary international standard for OH&S management systems.

Organisations which currently hold OHSAS 18001 certification now have three years to re-certify, in order to meet the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard. For an overview of key benefits and requirements, take a look at our ISO 45001 infographic.

Key features of ISO 45001

Although ISO 45001 constitutes a fully new standard, its foundations already exist and are formulated in OHSAS 18001. Companies that have already implemented an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with OHSAS 18001, and actively apply it in everyday company practice, can therefore expect a smooth transition to ISO 45001.

Nevertheless, there are some fundamental differences, such as:

ISO 45001 implements the ‘High Level Structure’ (HLS), giving it a common framework with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

ISO 45001 places great emphasis on the responsibility of senior management. This aspect has already been implemented in the revised ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. 

ISO 45001 explicitly includes persons who are not permanently employed, but are in other ways working under the responsibility of the organization/company, such as subcontractors, as well as processes that have been outsourced in their entirety. 

The standard also introduces the term “opportunities”, as a new aspect in the field of occupational health and safety. This covers issues that go beyond the mere elimination or minimisation of occupational health and safety risks.

ISO 45001 will provide new impetus for occupational health and safety practices in organisations. Even experienced health and safety professionals will find that the new regulations provide new incentives for further process enhancements. This translates into additional opportunities for protecting and promoting employees’ health and performance, as well as a sustainable improvement of employee motivation.

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