Key Points / Main Changes in ISO 45001:2018 as compared to OHSAS 18001:2007

As per ISO 45001:2018, following are the main changes as compared to OHSAS 18001:2007:

  1. ISO 45001:2018 is being developed in line with High Level Structure (HLS). It is a common structure used for all new standards being published by ISO since 2015.The first standard published as per HLS is ISO 9001:2015.As per HLS, all new standards have same common titles of the clauses starting from clause no.1 and ending with clause no.10. From Clause no. 4 to clause no.10, Requirements for documentation, implementation, training and auditing are being described. These clauses from 4 to 10, standard say what to do. How to do depends upon individual organization .In sector specific standards the title of each clause from 4 to 10 changes if required.
  • As per HLS, now all the standards needs Risk Based Thinking to be considered from planning stage itself, in addition to PDCA cycle.
  • Clause No. 1 describes Scope, Clause No.2 describes normative references and Clause No.3 describes Terms and definitions related to the standard. All these 3 clauses are not audited by the certification agency.
  • Clause-wise titles in ISO 45001:2018 are as below:
  • Clause No. 4     Context of the organization;
  • Clause No.5      Leadership and worker participation;
  • Clause No.6      Planning;
  • Clause No.7      Support;
  • Clause No.8      Operation;
  • Clause No.9      Performance Evaluation;
  • Clause No.10    Improvement.

 In above, from clause no. 4 to clause no.7 ISO 45001:2018 describes PLANNING phase of PDCA. Clause No. 8 describes DO phase of PDCA. Clause No.9 describes CHECK phase of PDCA. Clause No. 10 describes ACT phase of PDCA.

All the clauses, from clause no. 4 to 10 are based on Process Approach and Risk based thinking. Every next clause is the probable output of the previous clause. It means clause no.5 is the output of clause no.4 and so on.

  • In clause no.4 emphasis is given on determination of external and internal issues, needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties.

 Interested party word is being added and used in the standard to prescribe as “Person or Organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive it to be affected by a decision or activity”.

Internal Interested party includes other departments, top management and managerial and non managerial employees.

External Interested party includes contractors, suppliers, visitors, customers, legal bodies etc.

Here importance is given to workers and as per definition given in ISO worker means a person performing work or work related activities that are under the control of the organization.

  • In clause no.5 overall responsibility and accountability is being given to Top Management for the prevention of work related injury and ill health, as well as the provision of safe and healthy workplaces and activities.

As per this clause Top Management have to ensure the integration of OHS management system requirements into the organization’s Business Process.

An important responsibility and accountability given to top management is to protect workers from reprisals when reporting incidents, hazards, risks and opportunities.

Top management has also being given the responsibility for establishing OHS Policy and ensuring that responsibilities and authorities to the relevant roles are being assigned.

Now as per ISO 45001:2018, exclusive Management Representative is not required. It means all the relevant employees are Management Representatives.

Consultation and participation of workers is given importance specifically to non managerial workers to ensure that their active involvement avoids hazards, incidents, emergency situations and fatality by virtue of risk based thinking and providing them sufficient training on regular basis.

  • In clause no.6 methodology for Risk and opportunities is being addressed. This clause also describes Hazard identification and assessment of risks and opportunities. Hazards can be avoided.

Risks can be mitigated but cannot be removed. Effect of risks can be positive or negative.

OHS Objectives and planning to achieve them is being addressed with What, Who, When, Why, Whom and How and the integration of OHS objectives with organizations Business Processes.

  • In clause no.7 competence, awareness, communication and documentation methodology is being described.

 It is a shall requirement for the awareness to ALL managerial and non managerial employees for  OHS Policy and OHS Objectives, OHS Performance improvement, Incidents and investigation, hazards, OHS risks and ability to remove themselves from serious dangerous situations to avoid fatality and ill health.

In communication again What, Who, When, Why, Whom and How methodology is clearly described for implementation for internal and external interested parties.

Retain word is used in place of record in the standard at various places. Also Documented Information word is used in appropriate clauses to address the requirement of documents and records as applicable.

No Procedure or No Manual is required to be documented as per ISO 45001:2018, but organizations can develop these according to their need. But if these are developed, then certification agency will audit this documentation of manual and procedures.

  • In clause no. 8 Management of Change – Temporary or permanent – Intended or Unintended is now to be considered for the continual improvement of OHS performance in the organization. Because as per the standard changes can result in risks and opportunities.

Change can be in products, services, system, processes, work place locations and surroundings, work organization, working conditions, equipment, work- force, legal and other requirements, knowledge or information related to hazards and OHS risks, technology. All these changes needs to be considered explicitly to mitigate risks and for continual improvement.

Procurement and outsourcing is being separately described in this clause with the intent that because of the activities of the contractors or its personnel should not create hazards and emergency situations for the organization.

In emergency preparedness and response, now all relevant interested parties should be considered as appropriate, according to their needs and capabilities.

  1. Clause no.9 describes monitoring, measurement, analysis and performance evaluation related to OHS management system documentation and implementation including legal and other requirements, internal audit and Management review.

As per ISO 45001:2018, It is the responsibility of Top management to communicate the relevant outputs of management review to workers (managerial and non managerial employees).

Clause no.10 describes Incident, non conformity and corrective action methodology and addresses   the SHALL requirement for Continual Improvement. Preventive action concept is not in existence in HLS and so in ISO 45001:2018 Preventive actions is being replaced by Risk based thinking and is linked to opportunities for improvement through OHS Objectives, identification of more near messes, and mitigating risks.