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Migration from BS OHSAS to ISO 45001

28th October 2019

A recent resolution from IAF (International accreditation forum) is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies, stated that accredited certification bodies ( CB’s) are required to migrate their OH&SMS service to the new standard by 12th March 2020, and that their certified clients will need to migrate to ISO 45001: 2018 by the 12th March 2021. At that time certificates to BS OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn.

This migration is required because unlike other standards a transition was not applicable; 18001 was not an ISO standard.

It may seem a long way off until March 2021 but the differences between 18001 and 45001 are not insignificant.

In addition to the change to the Annex SL format, where identical 10 sections numbering of sections is used there are major elements to address:

  • Definition of context of the organisation;
  • Needs and expectation of workers and other interested parties;
  • Determination of risks and opportunities;
  • Increased emphasis of leadership and engagement of top management;
  • Increased focus on objectives;
  • Preventive action removed as it is no longer applicable;
  • Participation and consultation of workers to a much higher degree
  • Greater emphasis on risk control.

The work involved in this migration should not be underestimated; it is not just changing a few words in the OHSAS documentation. Start now and make sure you are ready in good time.

There are many migration guides available from CB’s and it would make a great deal of sense to use the one from your own certification body. The assessment for 14001 is far more stringent than that for 18001.

Information on IAF

All country Accreditation Bodies are signatories to IAF (UKAS is the sole accreditation body in the UK).


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