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ISO 45001 Key Themes - Your Questions Answered

28 July 2021
During 2021 (and before) NQA have been providing a range of webinars supporting clients with the migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, and during these events a range of questions and themes have been explored.

In this blog, we have gathered some of the common themes and questions together to provide you with additional support and clarify the issues raised.

Question: When will OHSAS 18001:2007 be withdrawn?

Answer:  The withdrawal date for the old Health & Safety Standard is 30th September 2021. From that point OHSAS 18001:2007 will no longer exist as a registration scheme, and certificates will not be valid.

To maintain a registered conformity to an OHS system you must migrate to ISO 45001:2018.

Question: Can you tell us more about ISO 45003?

Answer: ISO 45003 was published in June 2021 and is a guidance standard to be used in conjunction with ISO 45001 (the management system) to specifically focus the management system on the ‘Psychological health and safety at work / Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks’ is the term used.

It contains examples and general information for organisations.

ISO 45003 cannot be used for certification. It does however follow the familiar structure of ISO 45001 and is designed to be adopted as part of ISO 45001 systems.

NQA are developing supporting information and we will shortly be providing further webinars and training to support clients in the coming weeks.

Question: Where does the standard state that internal auditor training is a requirement?

Answer: The standard does not specifically state that – it does however in section 7.2, require organisations to determine the necessary competence and take action to acquire and maintain the necessary competence.

Question: Where are internal audits set out as a definite requirement?

Answer: Section 9.2 – Internal Audits

Question: Internal Audits - What needs to be demonstrated?

Answer: That the system and operations are delivering the intended benefit and outcome. You need to look at how you can measure this, what you can use to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the processes you have in place.

Question: Can performance be evaluated without the use of internal audits?

Answer: Most certainly - examples could include:

  • Accident and hazard reporting and data analysis

  • Absence information and analysis

  • Occupational health assessments and performance reports

  • Equipment inspection reports

  • Worker participation information and meeting minutes etc.

Remember that Internal Audits are still required as a part of the management system in ISO 45001:2018.

Question: If a company is certified to ISO 9001, then as far as ISO 45001 is concerned, the context of the organisation and the scope will be the same, is that correct?

Answer: The context may be similar but would be enhanced with the additional interested parties and their requirements.

These additional requirements would include both legal and other requirements. There would also be the risks and opportunities in relation to OHS to consider. The scope of registration may remain the same.

Question: What are the benefits of a Gap Analysis & do you need to provide evidence, or is it ok to answer 'yes/no'?

Answer: To get the maximum value from a Gap Analysis, evidence is best, but this can also be confirmed through discussion and confirmation of how it actually happens etc.

The Gap Analysis template is a supporting document to confirm coverage across the system requirements. To benefit from the gap analysis activity, whoever is undertaking it, they are trying to confirm arrangements deliver the requirements, and therefore evidence would be used.

If conducted internally by the organization, the gap analysis should confirm arrangements and not assume based on existing knowledge – findings should be evidence based.

Treat the Gap Analysis like an external assessment. It can also be repeated either in its entirety or just for areas of development – It is a tool to be used to aid the implementation of the system.

Authored by: Terry Fisher, NQA Occupational Health & Safety Principal Assessor

If you have further questions or need clarification on any of the information seen above please feel free to contact us and a member of the team will be happy to help.