ISO 45001 Update

ISO 45001 Update

  • Date: Thursday 20th July 2017
  • PDF: Download

ISO 45001 is a forthcoming internationally recognised standard for occupational health and safety management systems.  It will replace BS OHSAS 18001:2007 when it is launched, utilises the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach and will bring the system in line with the high-level structure of all management systems standards from Annex SL.

DIS2 now released

The ISO 45001 standard has been a long time coming and has been plagued with delays since its proposal back in March of 2013.  The process of updating or releasing new standards can be very complex as agreement must be reached on the content and phraseology to ensure the international recognition and universal application of the standard.

Following an initial draft standard being released in November 2015, a second draft international standard (DIS) has recently been released and is currently out for public consultation.  This enables key stakeholders to assess and comment on the content of the draft, before it proceeds to final draft status and ultimately issue of the new standard towards the end of 2017 or early in 2018.

A copy of the second draft international standard is available to IOSH members free of charge, but can also be purchased online from various suppliers.

What’s in the second draft?

The DIS2 is built using the Annex SL high-level structure and contains the following clauses:

  • Context
  • Leadership and Worker Participation
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance Evaluation

Each of these contains various sub-clauses required to establish, implement and maintain the fundamental building blocks of a compliant OH&S management system in line with the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. 

Annex SL introduces various new requirements, such as the need for organisations to look at the ‘bigger picture’ when building and maintaining their systems.  This is achieved through the ‘Context’ clause, where factors relating to the micro, meso and macro business environment should be considered in terms of what affects or could be affected by the system.  An example of a relevant issue for many companies in the UK might be ‘Brexit’ and its emerging ‘risks and opportunities’.

Getting Ready 

Despite significant changes to the structure of the new standard there are many elements which have been migrated over from OHSAS 18001, and even uncertified systems may already be far more compliant than they realise.  The most important thing is that companies identify requirements which are not currently fulfilled by the existing management system.

SSG can support companies in conducting a ‘Gap Analysis’ to evaluate existing business processes and systems in order to produce a targeted action plan for the journey to certification.  Compliant elements should be retained, and the ‘gaps plugged’ to facilitate holistic compliance, as there’s no point re-inventing the wheel if what is in place is fine as it is.  For more information on ISO consultancy services please contact a member of the SSG team.


Source: Chris Prior, SSG

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