How OHSAS migration to ISO 45001 will improve health and safety


Will the new ISO 45001 standard improve health and safety? Organisations have until March 2021 to migrate to the new standard, which is raising questions from organisations about what this means for them and what benefits it will bring. Here’s exactly how ISO 45001 will improve health and safety in all businesses.

Everyone is involved

Because OHSAS 18001 was the delegated responsibility for health & safety managers, it was easy for other workers to shirk that responsibility, maybe even rolling their eyes at what they thought was simple common sense.

This potential problem is resolved through ISO 45001, which introduces the requirement that all staff undergo health and safety training and education. This moves the responsibility from a select group to the entire workforce, encouraging them to take ownership of their workspace and work proactively to identify potential risks.

Management commitment

The other difference is how the management within your business is expected to take stronger leadership roles when it comes to the safety of their teams and workspace.

This means it is no longer left to the safety manager to oversee the entire organisation. Whether they work in finance, IT or sales, each manager will have to identify risks and serve as a contact point for staff who have concerns or questions.

This does more than just reassure staff, clients and stakeholders that your organisation takes safety seriously; it embeds safety at the core of your workforce, ensuring that there is safety oversight across the entire organisation.

Easier implementation

As all ISO standards have the same framework, ISO 45001 is much easier to implement as a new standard. This doesn’t make your office safer, but the engagement of key stakeholders will.

To reduce the risks of making errors and overlooking something in your occupational health and safety management system, there is ongoing maintenance, improvement and assessment of the standard. This will be familiar and easier to deal with alongside any existing ISO certification.

Risk vs hazard

OHSAS 18001 placed an emphasis on hazard control, which supported regulations and legislation already in place, ensuring appropriate controls are in place to protect people from known dangers.

The old standard encouraged safety managers to highlight and monitor known hazards, whereas ISO 45001 has a more proactive approach that could keep your staff even safer.

New risks to staff can often make their way into the workplace before regulations or legislation can be written, especially when new technology is produced for example. Rather than waiting for regulations to catch up, ISO 45001 focuses on being proactive at identifying risks and ensuring measures are put in place to prevent risks exacerbating.

Supplier and contractors

ISO 45001 has a more ambitious approach to safety than OHSAS 18001, as it incorporates your organisation’s responsibilities to suppliers and contractors.

Both suppliers and contractors are treated the same as your staff under the new standard, which will include all of the existing and new OH&S requirements. Dangers to your suppliers or contractors are now accounted for, not just the ones to your staff. This also means every manager or member of staff is responsible for the health and safety of outside workers.

Commitment to safety

Migrating to ISO 45001 represents your commitment to safety improvements with an internationally recognised standard, but it won’t just make your workplace safer; it will tell the world that you value that safety.

You also demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to occupational health and safety with the newest standard, impressing your staff, stakeholders and both new and existing clients.

Training course solutions

Safety Media provide over 100 e-Learning courses including a wide range of Health and Safety training. They’re designed to meet the requirements of large or small organisations.

Would you like to find out how our courses have already helped organisations work towards ISO standards?

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