COVID-19 threw the world into confusion and turned business plans upside-down. As a result, the ISO (International Organisation of Standardisation) extended the transition period of OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 by six months.
Businesses with OHSAS 18001 now have until 30 September 2021 to make the switch to ISO 45001. After this time, the certification will be withdrawn, and the OHSAS Standard may not be accepted by third parties.
Why make the switch to ISO 45001?
In March 2018, with the help of many leading industry experts, the ISO published a new Standard, ISO 45001.
This new Standard was developed to supersede the existing international documents, namely the International Labour Organisation Guidelines on OSH Management Systems (ILO-OSH 2001) and OHSAS 18001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements (developed by the British Standards Institution).
ISO 45001 benefits from the input of safety practitioner bodies such as the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
With much experience in this field, the ILO has also provided input on the importance of the involvement of top management and the essential role of workers in the health & safety management system’s development and operation.
Work has also been carried out to ensure that there is no conflict with existing, widely adopted health & safety standards.
ISO 45001 is a more comprehensive Standard and encourages businesses to examine health & safety throughout their company. It also places more emphasis on the business’ interactions with its environment and requires them to consider opportunity as well as risk.
By updating to the latest Standard, you are proving to customers, employees and stakeholders that you prioritise health & safety in the workplace and conform to the most recent and widely accepted health & safety Standards and practices.
How to upgrade
The extension granted by ISO means you have an additional six months before OHSAS 18001 is retired from use.
This gives you plenty of time to plan your transition and get your management system up to scratch before you request an audit against the new requirements.
To help you prepare, you can think about who your interested parties are, work out what factors may pose a health & safety risk to your business, and how you will address, manage and control these risks.
But you don’t have to get your management system ready by yourself. Our consultants have in-depth experience in the field of health & safety management systems and can help you to adjust your existing OHSAS 18001 system to make the upgrade as quick and hassle-free as possible.
To find out more about the extension and the process of upgrading, get in touch with us today on 0333 344 3646. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.