ISO 45001 FAQs

ISO 45001 project committee met in September 2015 to agree a version of the standard, which may progress to the Draft International Standard (DIS) following review of the comments received against the second Committee Draft (CD2).

Find out the answers to common questions to help you and your organisation prepare for the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001.

What are the major differences between OHSAS 18001 and the new ISO 45001?

The overall aim of ISO 45001 is the same as OHSAS 18001, which is to align the range of national health and safety management standards into one standard with the intention of ruling-out confusion and market fragmentation.

However, as with all new and revised ISO standards, ISO 45001 follows the common terminology and structure of Annex SL and is the single major difference between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001.

With ISO 45001 using Annex SL there becomes a much stronger focus on the Context of an Organisation and role of Top Management and Leadership. 

David Smith, Chairman of project committee ISO/PC 283, goes into more detail (www.iso.org), “In the new standard, an organization has to look beyond its immediate health and safety issues and take into account what the wider society expects of it.

“Organizations have to think about their contractors and suppliers as well as, for example, how their work might affect their neighbours in the surrounding area. This is much wider than just focusing on the conditions for internal employees and means organizations cannot just contract out risk.”

ISO 45001 also expects occupational health and safety aspects to be fully embodied into an organisations structure, by including a greater degree of employee participation in the development of the standard.  Additionally, the standard wants to guarantee there is a stronger buy-in from top management by ensuring the role cannot be solely delegated to a Health and Safety Manager.

David Smith continues, “This will be a big change for users who may currently delegate responsibility to a safety manager rather than integrate this entirely into the organization’s operations. ISO 45001 requires health and safety aspects to be part of an overall management system and no longer just an added extra.”

We're currently certified to OHSAS 18001. Should we be looking at transitioning to ISO 45001?

Once DIS/ISO 45001 is published, buy a copy of the standard and familiarise yourself with its requirements.  By completing our Pathway self-appraisal tool, ‘ISO 45001: understanding the standard’, you will be issued with an overall score indicating how much you fully understand the new standard.  Once satisfied with you score, you can start looking at the standard requirements to enable you to implement or transition to ISO 45001.

When is the voting on the second committee draft due to start?

The Project Committee responsible for the development of ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety), ISO/PC 283, last met in September  to perform a review of the comments on the second Committee Draft (CD2) of ISO 45001.

The purpose of this meeting was to agree a version of ISO 45001 which may progress to the Draft International Standard (DIS) following review of the comments received against the second Committee Draft (CD2).

The DIS will now be submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for review before it is made available to the national standards bodies.

Following the end of a translation period (currently expected January/February 2016), the DIS will then be subject to a three month review and ballot by the national standards bodies.

Further meetings of ISO/PC 283 are planned for late May/early June 2016 and if necessary, based upon the volume of comments received against the DIS, a second meeting in September 2016 may also take place.

Based upon this, the ISO 45001 publication date could be as early as July/August 2016 or as late as March 2017.

Should any comments received against the DIS be of a significant technical nature, the project committee will be required to follow the FDIS process and this can add an additional six months to the timescales. 

When should we expect the DIS to be published?

We’re anticipating the DIS will be published in Quarter 1 2016.  Once published, it will enable you to prepare and become an early adopter of ISO 45001.

By buying a copy of the standard and completing our Pathway self-appraisal tool, ‘ISO 45001: understanding the standard’, you will be in an ideal position to start looking at implementing or transitioning to ISO 45001.

What should we be doing to help us with the transition to ISO 45001?

Once DIS/ISO 45001 is published, buy a copy of the standard and familiarise yourself with its requirements.  By completing our Pathway self-appraisal tool, ‘ISO 45001: understanding the standard’, you will be issued with an overall score indicating how much you fully understand the new standard.  Once satisfied with you score, you can start looking at the standard requirements to enable you to implement or transition to ISO 45001.

Are there any training courses we can attend to help us with the transition?

LRQA will be developing a range of training courses to help you understand ISO 45001, as well as, guide you through the transition process should you be approved to OHSAS 18001.

Depending on the DIS stage progression, we will be looking at launching our first workshop sessions early 2016:

  • Annex SL – the new high level structure for all revised ISO standards
  • What's new in ISO 45001
  • What these changes mean for your organisation
  • Practical tips to help you transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001.

By joining our transition club you will not only be kept in the loop of any major developments in ISO 45001, but we will make sure you’re the first to hear about our new training courses.

Next steps

Talk to LRQA; as a member of the Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC), we are a member of all the major ISO technical committees helping to shape the new standards. 

LRQA’s System and Governance Manger, Steve Williams, is a member of the Project Committee (ISO/PC 283), so we’re ideally placed to keep you informed of any recent developments to ISO 45001. 

By joining our transition club, we can send you regular updates and the latest news on ISO 45001.

ISO 45001 Transition Club

Keep up-to-date with the latest news on the new occupational health & safety management system, ISO 45001.