​On March 12, 2018, the final version of the new ISO 45001 standard was published by the International Standard Organization (ISO).

ISO 45001:2018 replaces OHSAS 18001:2007 as the globally recognized occupational health and safety management system certification standard. While it is similar to OHSAS 18001, the new ISO 45001 standard adopts the Annex SL top-level framework of all new and revised ISO management system standards.

ISO 45001:2018 is a key driver for any organization managing occupational health and safety in the workplace. The standard sets out key requirements for managing occupational health and safety and is a tool for facilitating improvement in overall health and safety performance. It encourages more internal and external stakeholder focus as part of the adoption of a risk-based approach to health and safety management.

If your organization currently holds accredited OHSAS 18001 certification, you will have three years from the formal publication of the new standard in which to migrate to the new ISO 45001 standard. To best prepare for this, holders of OHSAS 18001 are advised to work through the following steps:

Obtain a copy of the new standard
Set your company’s strategy and engage stakeholders
Develop an implementation plan
Ensure any new competency requirements are met and create awareness for all parties that have an impact on the effectiveness of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS)
Review and confirm leadership roles, responsibilities and accountabilities
Review systems for the management of outsourced products and services
Review and understand the requirements for risks and opportunities
Ensure that the requirements for “Documented Information” are understood
Update the existing OHSMS to meet the new requirements and provide verification of its effectiveness

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