A first Glance at ISO 45001, the OHSAS 18001 Successor: Changes & Timeline.
ISO 45001, the international standard that will replace BS OHSAS 18001, has now reached the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage. The standard sets requirements for occupational health and safety management systems and will be published towards the end of 2016. In order to assist organizations that wish to be certified with the transition from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, DQS will inform you of the latest developments on a regular basis.
What changes can we expect between BS OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?
Because the standard is currently still in development, we need to be careful with the conclusions we draw at this point. The aim of the standard remains the same: to set requirements for OH&S management systems, and thus to help organizations ensure the health and safety of the people who work for them.
While ISO 45001 largely stands in continuity with BS OHSAS 18001, there a couple of changes worth noting:
- The standard will have the same structure as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, and will also share the same terminology. This will make it easier to integrate OH&S management into the overall management system.
- The standard follows the normal Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model, which provides a framework for organizations to minimize the risk of harm. Although this focus on risk is not new, the emphasis in ISO 45001 on a risk-based approach places the standard more in line of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, which also take risk as their starting point.
- Minimizing the risk of harm also requires taking into account any concerns that can lead to long term health issues and absence from work. This may include psychosocial factors like stress, which can be managed within the OH&S framework.
- The fact that the standard will follow the same structure as ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 already indicated that there will be a stronger focus on the context of organizations. Organizations are required to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties (commonly known as stakeholders), and to take into account all internal and external issues that my affect the ability of the organization to meet its OH&S objectives.
- The notion of context requires organizations to look beyond health and safety within their own facilities and to take into account working conditions that are not under its direct control. This reflects on the work with subcontractors and suppliers. Supply and procurement policies should address impacts on any persons that carry out activities for the organization, or produce products or deliver services for it.
- Another change we can expect is the stronger role for top management. Health and safety will become a central aspect of the overall management system, requiring a firm commitment from top management. At the same time it will be necessary to involve all employees in reaching OH&S objectives.
- Stronger requirement to address legal and regulatory compliance issues in the entire management system, throughout all phases of the PDCA-cyle.
ISO 45001 will not define specific KPIs for health and safety, but rather requires continuous improvement in the KPIs an organization has set.
What is the timeline for the new standard?
ISO 45001 was originally scheduled to be published by the end of 2016. However, because the ISO members rejected an initial committee draft (CD), a second Committee Draft (CD2) had to be created. The publication may therefore have to be delayed until early 2017.
According to the latest information, the Draft International Standard (DIS) will be published in January or February 2016. If the DIS is received positively, the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) can follow in the summer of 2016 and the final publication can be expected anywhere between October 2016 and April 2017.