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Experts weigh-in on ISO 45001 - What Does It Mean for Practitioners?

Tamara Parris

Many of us have been hearing about the ISO 45001 Standard published in March 2018. 

I have had members asking what exactly is it for, and why should we use it?

In a nutshell, think of the ISO 45001 standard as a framework you and your team can work through to develop out what other industry experts view as best practices to follow and parts essential to develop a solid foundation for your Occupational Health and Safety systems, processes and polices within your organization.

What makes this standard different than the 18001 is within the 45001 standard is a section dedicated to providing insights on what to consider to increase the accountability of your leadership teams in terms of liability, answerability and responsibility to deliver an OH&S management system which will align with the strategic objectives of your organization.

In our open discussion sessions many questions have been asked, and answered, such as;

  1. what does this mean for us as practitioners? 
  2. when is OSHS 18001 being phased out?
  3. when do we have to decide to move to the ISO 45001 Standard?
  4. what exactly are we needing to do?


In this post we strive to answer a few of these questions and provide a list of resources which will help you to drive deeper into gaining a deeper and broader understanding.

What does this mean for us as practitioners? 

With anything new we look to understanding how this applies to our workplace and organizational needs in practical terms. You will find in the core scope of this standard is a framework that aims to encourage creation of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy that promotes the health and safety of its workforce, a safe work environment and ensuring processes and systems meant to maintain and uphold responsibility for the way in which an organizations activities impacts others such as contractors, visitors and the wider community, are planned out collaboratively and integrated thought out the organization at large.

This standard has a focus on the role of our leadership in OHS and how as a best practice their involvement to uphold and instill these value drivers within their organization is a pillar for success of the OHS system.  This standard really starts to lean on our top management to engage and become a critical part of creating a workplace culture where the value of OHS performance drives all teams to put systems and processes in place that deliver on the goals written out in the company’s OHS policies. It is a piece of standard which really encourages our top management to reflect on and accept the need to get involved with workers, both in consultation and participation, to meet the core requirements of the standard. The standards allow for duties to be delegated to designated individuals, however it holds the overall responsibility for the delivery of the OHS management system with top management.  Key to this is they must be well informed of and kept up-dated on the performance of the OHS management system and its compliance with the Standard.

When is OSHS 18001 being phased out?

What I understand is this new ISO 45001 standard will eventually replace OHSAS 18001.

When do we have to decide to move to the ISO 45001 Standard?

Although the 18001 will not be phased-out until 2021, experts are recommending if you are currently seeking new certification to go for the ISO 45001. If you are currently certified OHSAS 18001 standard you can transition to the ISO 45001 upon your next renewal period.

Is the community having more discussion on this?

For upcoming live discussion on this topic visit our community events page! Click here for upcoming events

Our community industry experts have shared great resources and continue to deliver quality open discussion on the ISO 45001. Enjoy these community posts from our industry experts:
EHSQ Online Discussions Update: ISO 45001: Tips for Preparing your Team to Become Certified 
ISO 45001: Tips for preparing your team to become certified
ISO 45001 OHS Management System. Guide to Requirements: Practical Interpretation of ISO 45001!
ISO 45001: Leadership and Commitment infographic
Gap analysis ISO 45001 to OHSAS 18001 
What will ISO 45001 OHSMS mean to my organization? 

We invite members to post their questions below for our industry experts to join us and share their insights and knowledge. Please use the @mention feature to call @chrisjward @janestanderwick @peterdavis into our conversation!

April 25, 2018 @ 04:42 PM EDT Health & Safety

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