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Top 5 Differences: ISO 45001 vs. OHSAS 18001

Video Transcript:

Today at IBEC Intelligence, we’re going to walk you through the TOP 5 differences between OHSAS 18001 and the new ISO 45001 standard.

Now, this is something that has been widely discussed, but there are several misconceptions out there that we hope to clear up for you today.

The first and perhaps the most obvious difference is the basis upon which each standard is built. Whereas OHSAS is procedure-based, ISO 45001 is process-based.

Another important difference between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001 is the structure. The new standard is based on Annex SL, which replaced ISO Guide 83, and applies universal structure, terminology and definitions.

You’re probably well familiar with this structure if you use other systems such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Through using the same structure, multiple management systems are easier to implement in a more streamlined and efficient way.

Ultimately, ISO 45001 can be best summarized as a whole-company, proactive approach to incorporating a safety culture. It’s a framework that can take your organization to the next level in both safety and in health.

Next, we have the variable of dynamics. ISO 45001 is dynamic in all clauses, while OHSAS 18001 is not, and later in the video, we'll go over the implications of this difference.

Now, we also want to look at key considerations. While ISO 45001 considers both risk and opportunities, OHSAS 18001 deals exclusively with risk.

Perhaps the largest difference is that of interested parties. ISO 45001 includes the views of interested parties, while OHSAS 18001 does not. Now, when we say “Interested party”, we mean a person, or organization that can affect, or be affected by, a decision or activity.

And, it’s important to note that this constitutes one of the most common terms and core definitions for the ISO management system standards, provided by Annex SL of the Consolidated ISO Supplement, in part 1 of the ISO-IEC Directives.

Also, in ISO 45001, management commitment is central to the standard’s effectiveness and integration. The shift in the new standard is toward managerial ownership.

The safety culture of the organization will be supported by the engagement of management with workers and demonstrated by a top-down emphasis. Instead of providing oversight of the program, management should act as true safety leaders.

Now, workers also have broader participation in the new standard, with employees working alongside management to implement the safety management system or SMS.

Employees should be provided training and education, in order to identify risks and help the company create a successful safety program.

Internal audits and risk assessment results should be openly shared with workers, and allow for employee input. According to ISO 45001, the responsibility of safety-management belongs to everyone in the organization.

We hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions, visit to schedule a consultation.


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