The main differences are as follows:
ISO 45001 adopts a High-Level Structure – Annex SL (previously was ISO Guide 83) to simplify the process of implementing and integrating several management systems such as ISO 9001 and 14001 with consistent language and sub-clauses in your organisation.
2. Focus on organisation and its context
In the latter standard, a strong focus is placed on the organisation and its context. In developing an OH&S management system, your organisation shall consider internal and external issues, needs and expectations of interested parties (the government, customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and the surrounding community).
3. Appointment of Management Representative
In the OHSAS 18001, top management appoints a management representative responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the OH&S management system. However, in ISO 45001, the responsibility and accountability for the OH&S management system lie with the top management.
Top management may delegate the authority to report the OH&S performance to a member of another top management or a designated individual.
4. Participation and consultation of non-managerial employees
ISO 45001 encourages employees’ participation and consultation, including non-managerial employees, in developing an OH&S management system. Meanwhile, the former standard does not address this matter.
5. Opportunity and Risk Assessment
Under ISO 45001, your organisation is required to identify, assess and control OH&S risks and opportunities related to the organisation’s sustainability. Whereas in OHSAS 18001, only identification and control of OH&S risks are required.
6. Occupational Health and Safety Management in Procurement process
ISO 45001 requires your organisation to control occupational health and safety risks in the procurement process. This includes outsourced contractors because suppliers of goods and services are factors that can affect the organisation’s OH&S performance.
The former standard does not explicitly require this.
7. Document & Record vs Documented Information
In OHSAS 18001, the focus is on maintaining your documents and records in implementing an occupational health and safety management system. However, in ISO 45001, your documents and records are removed and replaced by a new term, documented information.
ISO 45001 does not require your documents to be in the form of procedures, hard copies or soft copies. Still, it allows this documented information in any format or media and any source.
8. Process Approach
ISO 45001 is dynamic in all clauses and uses a process approach. At the same time, OHSAS 18001 is based on a procedural approach that is more rigid and less dynamic.