Moving to ISO 45001

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 is a product of collaboration between more than 70 countries, and is the first global standard of its kind. Designed to work with any organisation, large or small, the universal framework is designed to improve employee health and safety, reduce workplace risks, and create healthier, safer working conditions.

Australian experts contributed heavily to ISO 45001 to deliver a standard outlining international best practice. Organisations of every size and in every industry now have guidance available to achieve a minimum level of workplace health and safety thanks to the publication of this standard.

ISO 45001 aligns with ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 14001 (Environment Management) and builds on OHSAS 18001 (Controlling Risk).

Whilst there are changes, the standards within ISO 45001 are not entirely new and many companies may already have processes in place to satisfy 45001, making the new standard accessible for even the smallest business.

You just need a systematic approach to ensure all aspects are considered when directing operations in the workplace. It stresses the responsibilities of those in authority and acknowledges the necessity of everyone in the workplace to participate.

Moving from OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZ 4801 to ISO 45001

  • While the main goal remains generic, the language and text in ISO 45001 has been simplified.
  • ISO 45001 is designed to align with other ISO management system standards, facilitating organisations that need to maintain more than one standard simultaneously.
  • With a ‘top-down’ philosophy, ISO 45001 requires management and leadership to take greater responsibility for health and safety issues. 
  • New concepts include: context of the organisation, leadership and worker participation, planning, support and operations. 

In October 2018, Standards Australia adopted the new ISO Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, standard as AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018. Australian businesses have already been warned that existing safety standards would be phased out and that they would be given a three-year transition period to move from AS/NZS 4801 to AS/NZS 45001.

A growing number of Australian businesses have already adopted the new standard AS/NZS ISO 45001, and Standards Australia has now officially classified AS/NZS 4801:2001, Occupational health and safety management systems as “available superseded”, but is still being maintained as a reference for regulatory purposes.

SA head of stakeholder engagement, Daniel Chidgey, said “the objective of this standard is to reduce workplace injuries and fatalities which is exactly why Standards Australia has been working with industry, government and the general public to ensure the current standard available to Australian organisations contains the most relevant and up to date information available.”

If you would like more information about ISO 450001 visit the Standards Australia website or contact us to arrange for one of our experienced consultants to help you transition across to ISO 450001 today.

Source: Standards Australia, 16 October 2019.