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The ISO 45001 standard for occupational health and safety has been published

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has today released the final version of ISO 45001, replacing OHSAS 18001. This marks the start for the 3-year migration period for certified companies, as OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn.

The release of the standard finalizes a 5-year development period. The standard successfully passed the draft stage with 57 votes of approval (93%) in late January, and was released as expected today.

The final standard has only minor and cosmetic changes compared to the FDIS version from November 2017. Hence, if you have already started preparing for the migration from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001, you do not have to change course. If you have not started you are now able to securely start planning for the migration.

“Companies certified to OHSAS 18001 will have three years to migrate to ISO 45001. There are significant changes in the new standards compared to OHSAS 18001, and we recommend to start preparing as soon as possible to comply with new clauses in the standard,” says Shahram G. Maralani, director of technology and services in DNV GL – Business Assurance.

By March 2021, OHSAS 18001 certified companies have to complete their migration, while companies that are planning to certify a new Occupational Health & Safety Management System should focus on the new ISO 45001 standard.

“DNV GL will seek certification body accreditation as soon as it is possible. We already know the new standard and the changes well, and can help existing and new customers to adapt and certify to the new standard,” says Maralani.  

About ISO 45001

The standard is based on OHSAS 18001, as well as International Labour Organization's ILO-OSH Guidelines, various national standards and the ILO's international labour standards and conventions. It applies the ISO High Level Structure (HLS), which defines the structure for all ISO standards. The new standard contains some significant changes from OHSAS 18001, which up until now has been the internationally recognized voluntary standard in this area. Applying a new standard for occupational health and safety within the ISO framework will ensure a smoother transition for companies already certified to other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Click here to read more about the changes in ISO 45001.

Get started on the migration process

“In DNV GL, we see that companies often have questions when starting a migration or transition process to a new standard, and many seek support when the process is in course in order to make the process towards compliance as smooth as possible. Hence, we have developed three packages to support companies in all phases of the migration,” explains Maralani.

With support from the packages, companies can start preparing, assess their level of readiness and efficiently complete the migration. The packages cover the preparation, development and implementation phases, with adapted services, material and support in every phase. 

The packages include:

  • Self-study material, including webinars, e-learning, migration guidance, self-assessment checklists and classroom training courses, tailored to your needs.
  • Gap analysis of your current state of readiness
  • Migration audits and benchmarking tools

For more information about ISO 45001, key changes and the migration packages, please visit our dedicated ISO 45001 web area.