Training Catalogue

    Transition from OHSAS 18001 to the New ISO 45001:2018

    Transition from OHSAS 18001 to the New ISO 45001:2018

    ISO 45001:2018 is the world’s first international standard specifically for occupational health and safety management. It provides a set of processes that, when implemented, will improve the profile of a company’s workplace safety considerably. The standard was officially published on 12 March 2018 and replaced the well-known and widely used OHSAS 18001. Companies have three years to make the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001:2018.

    What is the role of the standard?

    There are more than 2,7 million workplace-related deaths per year, as calculated by the International Labour Organisation, which is more than 7500 people dying of job-related incidents per day. Such a figure is certainly alarming and a great cause for concern. Apart from the high number of deaths, more than 370 million non-fatal work-related injuries and health conditions are reported per year. Something has to be done to make the workplace safer, and this is where ISO 45001:2018 comes in.

    It is an international standard relevant to an organisation of any size and in any industry. It affects everyone, from small companies to government agencies, stakeholders, and industry leaders. ISO 45001:2018 provides the much-needed framework for the above role players to help improve workplace safety around the world. ISO 45001:2018 provides the framework for improving workplace safety and is ideal for modern businesses.

    How does implementation help the organisation?

    Implementation of ISO 45001:2018 helps the organisation improve employee morale. Every health or safety incident in the workplace negatively affects worker morale. With it comes lower productivity, and this means lower profits for the company. In addition, injuries and health issues lead to higher insurance premiums. Implementation of the standard helps to reduce insurance premiums. It also helps to reduce the risks and create consistency in dealing with them. The organisation suffers fewer incidents and reduces costs to manage clean-ups, repairs of machines, and the costs associated with absent employees.

    It provides the framework for a generic management system that can be integrated with existing ISO management systems, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Organisations that are already OHSAS 18001-compliant will not have to make major changes to transition to ISO 45001:2018. However, the structures of the two standards differ markedly and training in ISO 45001:2018 is recommended before transitioning to the standard. Many of the roles and responsibilities in OHSAS 18001 are present in ISO 45001:2018, but there are also focus areas not previously covered. We can assist with e-learning-based courses on awareness, implementation, and audit training relating to ISO 45001:2018.


    At this stage, it is not obligatory to be ISO 45001:2018-certified. However, the standard replaces OHSAS 18001, and it is expected that more than 100 000 companies will have complied with the standard’s requirements by 2019. Widespread compliance is thus to be expected. Rather than being one of the latecomers to the party, your organisation will benefit from early compliance. With three years to make the transition, it is essential to start with training now to ensure the successful implementation of the standard within the allocated timeframe. It is a risk-based standard with no conflicts with other ISO standards; transitioning from OHSAS 18001 does not require a large investment. With the standard being risk-based, organisations can identify and anticipate risks and legislation, rather than waiting for them. Being proactive helps to reduce costs associated with incidents.

    How WWISE Can Help

    We provide a full range of courses to develop awareness of ISO 45001:2018, understand the requirements, and implement the standard successfully. We furthermore assist with the transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to the new standard, perform a GAP analysis, help with integration of the ISMS with your organisation’s existing management systems, conduct audits, and help with preparation for ISO 45001 certification.

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