ISO 45001 FAQs

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 (, “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.”

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

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?

Lloyd’s Register has developed a range of training courses to support organisations with their migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. The training courses will prepare and upskill your management system team and auditors for the new changes that ISO 45001 will bring. Please view our training courses on the ISO 45001 training page.

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 Migration Support Club

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