Two key standards have been increasingly popular in occupational health and safety (OHS) management systems: OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001. In the field of OHS standards, the switch from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 was a critical turning point. It has never been more important to grasp the distinctions between these two standards as companies worldwide try to improve their safety procedures. Many businesses are actively looking for ISO 45001 Training and researching the advantages of an audit.
In this blog, we’ll detail the fundamental differences between ISO 45001 Audit and OHSAS 18001 Audits.
Table of Contents
Differences between ISO 45001 & OHSAS 18001 Audits
1. Publication and Framework
OHSAS 18001: It was first introduced in 1999 by several international organisations and acted as the norm for almost a decade. Although it had a significant impact on increasing workplace safety, it didn’t match up well with other ISO management standards, creating integration issues.
ISO 45001: 2018 saw the release of ISO 45001, whose design uses the High-Level Structure (HLS) utilised by previous ISO standards. The compatibility promotes unified management systems, streamlining business processes and the implementation of policies.
2. Stakeholder Involvement
OHSAS 18001: By emphasising personnel more, OHSAS adopted a more constrained strategy, frequently excluding crucial external stakeholders. Although internal participation was emphasised, there was little interaction with outside parties, which frequently led to a more solitary viewpoint on health and safety issues.
ISO 45001: It ensures a thorough review of OHS consequences and requirements by acknowledging the crucial role of various stakeholders, including vendors and local communities. This increased engagement improves the organization’s viewpoint while also bolstering the system’s robustness. The OHS management system is promoted to be more comprehensive, well-rounded, and efficient by incorporating the perspectives of various stakeholders. Including a range of perspectives makes it easier to foresee problems and create solutions that satisfy more general societal and commercial requirements.
3. Risk Management
OHSAS 18001: By taking a reactionary approach and focusing primarily on hazard reduction, OHSAS was able to address pressing issues without demonstrating long-term planning. The approach focused primarily on locating the issues now and fixing them, frequently ignoring the underlying causes or the potential for concerns in the future.
ISO 45001: The proactive form of risk management emphasised by ISO 45001 requires businesses to anticipate risks, identify potential hazards, and develop preventative measures. Organisations are encouraged by ISO 45001 to take a holistic approach and comprehend the full risk environment rather than merely reacting to risks. This entails identifying the weaknesses that exist today and evaluating possible problems, observing trends, and foreseeing problems in the future. By doing this, businesses may develop a safety culture that is preventive by being better prepared to stop events before they even happen.
4. Leadership and Commitment
OHSAS 18001: Assigning specific positions, such as safety managers, to oversee duties was frequently done when delegating OHS obligations.
ISO 45001: Increasing the importance of leadership, ISO 45001 requires direct participation from top-tier management. This strategy firmly establishes OHS as an organisational priority rather than a separate function.
5. Organisational Context
OHSAS 18001: Adherence to the requirements of the standard was the primary goal, but individual, organisational settings were not thoroughly examined.
ISO 45001: In order to properly customise the OHS system, ISO 45001 requires organisations to reflect and comprehend their specific internal and external elements.
6. Performance Measurement
OHSAS 18001: It frequently ignored the importance of results and their practical implications since it was firmly rooted in process adherence.
ISO 45001: It encourages organisations to evaluate their effectiveness in relation to specified OHS targets, ensuring that means and ends are aligned. It does this by balancing procedures with observable results.
7. Continuous Improvement
OHSAS 18001: Despite mentioning the fundamentals of ongoing improvement, the path was unclear, resulting in erroneous applications. The focus was on raising OHS performance, but no clear structure or path was offered. As a result, organisations frequently had difficulties with regard to successfully monitoring and putting improvements into practice.
ISO 45001: Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is a cycle that is clearly incorporated within ISO 45001, which streamlines the process. This methodical approach guarantees ongoing improvements, ensuring a constantly changing environment for safety. ISO 45001 gives more comprehensive rules, resources, and measures to track advancements in addition to just a cyclical procedure. It emphasises the value of reviewing and improving strategies, learning from past mistakes, and adapting to changing conditions in order to establish a more dynamic and responsive safety culture.
8. Worker Participation
OHSAS 18001: Although employee safety was a top priority, it wasn’t always followed by including them in strategy development or decision-making.
ISO 45001: Championing a bottom-up model, it emphasizes direct employee involvement, ensuring devised strategies resonate with ground realities.
9. Scope and Application
OHSAS 18001: This standard emphasises direct employee participation and advocates a bottom-up approach, ensuring that developed initiatives align with practical considerations. Organisations began using it as a certification badge to demonstrate their dedication to OHS, frequently ignoring its wider applicability.
ISO 45001: With a more open-minded perspective, ISO 45001 adapts to various organisational scales and industries. Despite certification goals, it markets itself as a flexible framework.
OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 conversion represents a development in occupational health and safety standards. A more comprehensive, proactive, and integrated approach to OHS management is introduced by ISO 45001. Transitioning will require organisations having OHSAS 18001 certification to comprehend these major distinctions and possibly take ISO 45001 training. The work put in to comply with and implement ISO 45001 promises significant gains in workplace efficiency and safety thanks to the advantages and enhancements it brings.