On 18 January 2018, the International Accreditation Forum Inc. (IAF), in cooperation with the OHSAS Project Group and ISO, published a mandatory guidance document covering the migration requirements for ISO 45001:2018.
ISO 45001:2018 is the International Standard of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. It is expected to officially launch later this year.
The document confirms the requirements for the migration from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018, to help increase the understanding of the context of ISO 45001. Organisations certified to OHSAS 18001: 2007 will have three years from the date of publication to migrate to the new standard, at which point the official status of OHSAS 18001:2007 will be considered ‘Withdrawn’.
ISO 45001:2018 background
An OHSAS Standards and Certificates survey in 2011 demonstrated that 127 countries were using OHSMS standards, mainly based on the adoption of OHSAS 18001. This indicated a need for an International Standard in this field. In 2013, an ISO project to develop ISO 45001:2018 was formed with the main objective to harmonize the two standards and to share best practice.
What does this mean for businesses certified to OHSAS 18001: 2007?
Organisations using OHSAS 18001 are advised by IMS International to liaise with their IMS auditor for migration arrangements. Also, to obtain a copy of the final draft of ISO 45001 to perform a gap analysis.
It is recommended that organisations begin preparations for the migration, however there may still be further technical changes until the standard is published (expected in the first half of 2018). As such, significant changes to the OHSMS should not be implemented until the technical content is finalised.
Planning activity can include:
- Identifying organisational gaps which need to be addressed
- Developing an implementation plan, providing appropriate internal training and awareness
- Updating existing OHSMS to meet the revised requirement
- Providing verification of effectiveness
IMS will help guide its clients through the migration process so they don’t risk losing their certification. This is not a transition as the standard is migrating from OHSAS to ISO, therefore the rules for transition do not apply. Three years may seem a long time, however there some significant changes, so forward planning is key.
We are currently developing migration plans to address:
- Training and verification of auditors to ISO 45001:2018
- Advise and communications to clients
- Auditing conformity to the new standard
- On-going conformity to OHSAS 18001:2007 through the migration process
- Evaluation activities during the draft stages
- Actions for clients that fail to complete the migration within the three-year deadline.
IMS expect that the new standard will include requirements from existing standard OHSAS 18001, ILO ISH guidelines and other national and international standards. We also anticipate that it will incorporate the new ‘High Level Structure’, common to all new ISO standards. It will place an increased emphasis on the organisations context, risk management, and the role of top management.
We will continue to keep you updated with the development of this standard.