19 February 2018

New Safety Management standard - ISO45001 to replace OHSAS 18001

OHSAS, the first Health and Safety Management system standard to be implemented globally, is to be replaced by the ISO45001 standard from March 2018.  

ISO45001 is an international standard to enable organisations, through their own management processes, to proactively improve their health and safety performance, regardless of size, industry and nature. 

The timing and need for this new standard make it crucial. Globalisation means that more and more organisations are trading across the world, facing new safety challenges and having to ensure compliance with different safety legislation requirements. Corporate clients are becoming much more involved in how safety is being managed by companies employed by them, particularly relating to construction. It is widely expected that the new safety standard will be used as an international benchmark to measure and evaluate safety performance      

Evidence of effective safety management systems and demonstrable compliance across key areas of high-risk activity management, auditing, communications, coordination and management best practice are seen as minimum requirements.  

With ISO 45001, there is a much greater focus on the organisation, and all aspects that impact on the external and internal safety factors affecting the company. Annex SL is a core element of the new management system, with requirements based on the existing Plan – Do - Act criteria.

Key areas include:

• Definition of the framework for a safety management system

• Greater emphasis on top management demonstrating visible commitment, and the integration of Health and Safety into business processes

• Accountability in achieving stated objectives in Health and Safety processes 

• Implementation of processes for change management and risk controls

• Confirmation that new competency needs are identified and implemented