ISO 45001 FAQs

ISO 45001:2018 has been published, it joins OHSAS 18001 as one of the International Health and safety standards. Organizations that are currently registered to OHSAS 18001 will have until the March 2021 to migrate to the ISO 45001 standard. Here are some FAQs to help you as you begin to explore the differences.

How much notice do we need to give NQA to change a standard OHSAS 18001 surveillance into a transition audit?

As much notice as possible - not only to allow NQA to make arrangements but for clients to undertake the mandatory GAP analysis and implement the revisions and changes that may be necessary prior to the NQA migration assessment. The system should be mature enough to demonstrate it is effectively implemented and achieving the required outcomes at the point of assessment.

What changes do the new definition of WORKER that includes top-level management persons bring to the management system and the certification audit?

Worker is an all inclusive phrase which would include workers of all levels within the organization, and those who are not directly employed such as contractors and outsourced service/product suppliers. As all organizations are unique, then this would need to be considered and demonstrated as appropriate for the system and audit.

How should an organization link 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 to determine its risks and opportunities?

When the organization understands the needs and expectations of interested parties and strategic corporate requirements, it can then use the knowledge to assess any risks and opportunities that may be present and then take action to address them.

Does ISO 45001 replace the need for the other certification ie. ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 respectively?

No - definitely not, ISO 45001 is designed for OHS systems and although they follow the same system structure, the requirements for ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 are focused on different disciplines - Environment and Quality.

What is the main difference between the terms "improvement" and "continuous improvement" ?

The phrase used in the standard is continual improvement - meaning stepped improvement over time - not continuous. A range of changes can contribute towards improvement including training, revisions to process, achievement of objectives and performance goals.

Because ISO 45001 is agreed globally, do you think it will be a 'watered down' version of OHSAS 18001?

No – it is a new standard using an established structure based on an effective management model, it is designed to be used as part of a business management system.

Legislation Registers / Aspects and Impacts Registers: Is there a minimum requirement for what they must contain?

No – the contents are based on the business activity, geographical location and local /national enforcement requirements. Each organization is unique.

Are there any other “new” requirements I need to know?

There seems to always be new or updated requirements. This is an important output of Clause 4.2, interested parties and the reason for an effective evaluation of compliance process It would be prudent to have robust process(s) in place which minds compliance obligations associated with identified interested parties within your context. For example: a new document, IAF MD22, was released in January of 2018. This document directly affects your certification body and may likely affect your organization too. Make sure that your communication process includes staying current with the compliance/obligation needs and expectations of your certification body.

If a company were to meet all the requirements of ISO 45001, would they also meet the requirements of OHSAS 18001:2007?

ISO 45001 expands and builds on the foundations of OHSAS 18001. Therefore meeting the requirements of 45001 are overall in place, but the way 18001 is written is different, and requires documented procedures and other subtle changes.

Can I still get OHSAS 18001 if it's still available for the next 3 years or is it better just to go for ISO 45001?

Although it is possible to be accredited to OHSAS 18001 up to March 2021, NQA would advise looking at the migration timeline for key milestone dates that may help with making the decision, specifically with regards to the ultimate migration that will be required to maintain certification.

Would you recommend keeping management systems separate?

It all depends on client needs, available resources and objectives. ISO 45001 adopted the annex SL framework and therefore is designed to efficiently integrate with other management systems by reducing redundancies.

Will the client application form be issued to the auditor when the work order is issued for stage 2?

A stage two assessment to ISO 45001 will not need further applications as it will already be against the requirements of ISO 45001.

What are the benefits of ISO 45001 over OHSAS 18001?

As stated earlier - ISO 45001 builds and expands on the foundation of OHSAS 18001 and is designed to integrate with other revised ISO management standards eg; ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. When effectively implemented it will integrate OHS in to the operations and should be considered as part of the business management system and not a bolt-on. ISO 45001 is flexible and capable of meeting the needs of the business whilst protecting workers and delivering improvement.

I would like to know how we address risks that that some of our Local Authorities require within our emergency plan, such as Earthquakes and Tornado's?

If these are requirements of enforcement agencies / interested parties then they will need to be considered and planned for. However these plans may also be part of other emergency considerations and responses in place - such as business continuity plans and responses. Review what you already have in place, and work from there.