ISO 45001 – What’s the Difference for Construction Companies?

ISO 45001 – What’s the Difference for Construction Companies?

25th April 2018

Last month we brought you news of the new global standard for occupational health and safety management and then followed up with some information on what this new standard, ISO 45001 means for construction company owners and managers.  Today we’re going to take a look at what’s changing with the introduction of ISO 45001.  There are several key differences for UK organisations which operate a formal management system standard in accordance with the requirements of BS OHSAS 18001:2007 which has now been withdrawn.  Today, we’re going to take a look at the key differences between the two standards so that you can make an informed decision as to whether to adopt ISO 45001.

  • Although ISO 45001 draws heavily on OHSAS 18001:2007, it is a completely new standard rather than a revision of the OHSAS standard.  The main difference is that ISO 45001 focuses on interaction between an organisation and its business environment, rather than focusing on managing hazards and other internal issues.  The new standard is:
    • Process based, rather than procedure based.
    • Is dynamic in all clauses.
    • Considers risks and opportunities, rather than risks only.
    • Requires that the views of interested parties are taken into account (guidance to the standard provides a detailed list of interested parties).
  • Clause 4 – requires an understanding of the organisation and its context, which will result in linking health and safety to the wider business agenda.  This means understanding and influencing the safety culture of an organisation.
  • Clause 5 – places greater focus on leadership and commitment, and requires that management be responsible and accountable.  Key activities should ensure:
    • That health and safety objectives are compatible with the strategic direction of the organisation.
    • The integration of the OH&S management system requirements into the organisation’s business processes.
    • The importance of effective management and of conforming to the management system requirements is communicated throughout the company.
    • Ensuring that the appropriate financial, organisational and human resources required are available.
    • That the organisational culture is led and promoted.
  • Clause 5 also offers recommendations in relation to the consultation and participation of workers in applying the management system and must identify and remove the barriers to participation and minimise those that cannot be removed.
  • Clauses 6 – 10 – deal with the requirements of OHSAS 18001 but with differences, such as:
    • The need to assess health and safety opportunities to improve performance.
    • More detailed requirements for external communication.
    • Additional clauses in relation to procurement and the implementation of change.
  • The clause on procurement is designed to recognise the increased use of supply chains and has been included to ensure that risks are considered and controlled much earlier, at the tender stage.

Whether it’s certificated or not, organisations currently using the OHSAS 18001 standard will have to migrate to ISO 45001.  Next week we’ll be bringing you more information and the migration and integration of the new standard.  Make sure you don’t miss out by following us on Facebook or Twitter.