Already certified to OHSAS 18001, what are the next steps for migrating to ISO 45001:2018?
So the long-awaited ISO 45001:2018 standard is finally here. If your organisation is already certified to the Health and Safety Standard, OHSAS 18001, you may be considering what the next steps are. The good news is that if you’re already certified to ISO 9001:2015 or ISO 14001:2015 you are already half way there to migrating to ISO 45001:2018. Why? Because ISO 45001 is based on the new High Level Structure (Annex SL). These are the foundations which all new ISO standards in are generally based upon. This means that the new elements such as Context of the organisation (understanding your businesses internal and external issues), Leadership and Interested partied are also featured in ISO 45001:2018. Fundamentally, this approach lends itself well to a risk-based standard such as ISO 45001:2015.
In terms if next steps, I’d recommend…
- Developing a migration plan to coincide with a forthcoming OHSAS 18001 surveillance visit. This will mean you will not necessarily need to pay for an additional visit from your certification body. Ideally, you will need to allow a minimum of 6 months for the migration, although business with multiple sites or greater employee numbers (in excess of 100) should allow 12 months.
- Conduct a Gap Analysis to establish how you are currently complying with ISO 45001, and understand the gaps, so that an action plan can be produced. This can be done internally, or if outsourcing, Blackmores would allow one day for an on-site visit including report writing.
- Address the changes to the new standard – particularly in relation to Worker Participation (featured heavily in the new standard), Context of the organisation, interested partied and leadership.
- Update the Health and Safety Management System to reflect the new changes.
- Develop a Communication Plan to communicate the changes to employees and other ‘interested parties’ i.e. contractors, suppliers. This can include newsletters, posters, meeting agenda’s, H & S KPI’s, Screen savers, ‘ISO 45001 Awareness Week’.
- Conduct an Internal Audit to demonstrate how your business complies with the new standard.
- Confirm with your Certification body the date of the migration visit to ensure that the assessor is aware that they are assessing your business against the new requirements – not the old OHSAS 18001 standard. We wouldn’t want to let all that effort go to waste now, would we?
So is that it? Well yes, if you are happy doing the bare minimum. However, if your company would like to embrace a culture of Health and Safety Best Practice, it is worth focusing on firmly establishing metrics to manage continual awareness and Best Practice.