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.”