Organisations have adopted management system standards of various types for many years now and it would be fair to say that the majority have been focused upon what we could call, the ‘3 sister’ management system standards, that of occupational health and safety, environment and quality.
Environmental and quality management have been within the remit of ISO (International Standards Organisation) in recent times whereas occupational health and safety management system models existed outside of ISO such as the ILO-OHS 2001 model or BS 8800. Although these OHS standards provide a framework for developing and implementing a management system, they were not specifically designed to be audited and certifiable and also not specifically developed to seamlessly integrate with other management systems.
ISO 45001 continues the strong tradition of developing occupational health and safety management systems to manage risk and reduce workplace illness and injuries but it is a step change from the philosophy of the OHSAS model in that it follows a new standard format and has been designed with compatibility with other standards in mind. It also has some subtle but important differences such as changes in terminology and in approach, focusing on structures to prevent undesirable events including more of a focus on safety culture and leadership, which were generally absent from OHSAS 18001.
The change to ISO 45001 to manage OHS risk is an important development and the fact that it has taken so long to come into the public domain can be read that the many stakeholders involved in its review and approval process have also recognised its importance and its potential influence into the future.
For organisations looking to transition between the old and the new, it is an exciting challenge but once it has been established in industry we can truly look forward to real integrated management systems with ISO 45001 at their core.
It is goodbye to an old friend who has helped many organisations to improve their safety performance and welcome to a new ISO ‘kid on the block’ who will hopefully take us further into the future, hand in hand with the expanding ISO family of standards.
In this whitepaper, Andy Tilleard discusses the development of the new ISO 45001 standard, the changes from OHSAS 18001 to the ISO 45001 and mapping between the two frameworks.
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