History and Background of ISO 45001

ISO 45001 is an international standard that outlines the requirements for Occupational Health and Safety, or OH&S, with the intent of enhancing workplace safety by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its OH&S performance. Every year, thousands of individuals lost their lives as a result of fatal workplace accidents that could have been avoided. It is highly crucial to enhance safety at the workplace to avert unforeseen incidents thus implementing improved workplace culture keeping in mind the safety aspects.

This standard applies to any organization no matter its size, type, or segment. It also utilizes the High-Level Structure (HIS) as used with other ISO standards. OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series is now withdrawn and replaced by ISO 45001. The British Standards Institute introduced OHSAS in 1999 and later updated it in 2007 to better align with ISO 14001. Moreover, it was also mandatory that all organizations must switch to ISO 45001 by 11 September 2021.

ISO 45001 is easily compatible with other management standards such as ISO 9001 in regards to quality management and ISO 14001 in regards to environmental management, which makes this standard a perfect partner for integrating into any management system.

What is New in ISO 45001:2018?

ISO 45001:2018, the new standard for occupational health and safety came into effect on 12 March 2018, and it replaced OHSAS 18001. Organizations had a three-year transition period to convert to ISO 45001 and the validity for organizations that have been issued with the OHSAS 18001 during this process will be expiring towards the end of this transition period.

Major changes include the enhancement of focus on the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties and active top management engagement and accountability for the management system's effectiveness. The standard combines the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Model along with a risk-based approach and reduces workspace hazards by providing management tools to companies. The standard also calls for strengthening worker safety and improving employee health and wellbeing.

Key Changes:

  • A new and uniformed High Level (HIS) Structure common for ISO standards
  • Increased attention to risk reduction and prevention
  • Enhanced focus on needs and expectations for workers and other interested parties and worker involvement.
  • Stronger emphasis on top management to actively engage and take accountability for the effectiveness of the management system
  • Improved focus on initiating new responsibilities in the organization
  • Consideration for the health and safety of the employees and the sub-contractors
  • Procurement, including outsourced processes, and contractors
  • Incorporating health and safety practices in the overall management system

Business Context: Chapter 4.1 – Introduces new clauses for monitoring of business context, taking into consideration both internal and external issues

Workers and contractors – Chapter 4.2 – Introduces enhanced focus to meet the needs and expectations of employees and contractors to understand and manage the workforce concerns within the management system

Risk management – Chapters 6.1.1,, 6.1.4 – Take actions to address the risks and opportunities that could impact the possibility of achieving intended results and taking corrective actions

Management and leadership – Chapter 5.1 – Take stronger and more effective steps to engage and take measures for the effectiveness of the management system

Performance and objectives – Chapters 6.2.1 and 6.2.2 – Strengthen the objectives for improvement

Chapters 9.1.1 – Evaluating the performance

How to Implement ISO 45001:2018?

Implementing the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety standard entails fulfilling the standard's numerous requirements. The following steps will help you understand the implementation process:

  • Management support
  • Knowing the legal requirements
  • Defining the scope
  • Defining the processes and procedures
  • Implementing the processes and procedures
  • Training employees and bringing awareness
  • Monitor the Performance
  • Choosing the certification body
  • Using the management system and maintaining records
  • Conducting internal audits
  • Management review
  • Taking corrective actions
  • Certification audits

How to Become ISO 45001:2018 Certified

    • Learn about the standard and its requirements
    • Conduct a gap analysis and risk analysis
    • Review and analyze these results
    • Execute a plan to make your organization meet the requirements of the standard
    • Train your employees on the roles and responsibilities of OH&S
    • Design and document the occupational health and safety processes and procedures
    • Follow these procedures throughout your organization and improve your system
    • Internally audit your OH&S performance of your company
    • Get registered by a third party verification with the help of a registrar

How Omnex Can Help With ISO 45001:2018

Learn from Omnex's MS experts on how to implement ISO 45001 systems including risk management methodology with disciplined problem-solving methods. Omnex's MS experts also support integrating the various management systems.

Specialized services offered by Omnex

  • Consulting, Implementation, & Coaching
  • Training and Competency Development
  • Software - Digitalization & Collaboration Platform
  • Quality Outsourcing
  • Product Design

Implementing the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard is the first step towards sound practices and helps to establish a basic framework for achieving an effective Health and Safety performance

Contact us for more information on how Omnex can help your organization.


Key Requirements - ISO 45001

To implement ISO 45001, organizations are required to satisfy the specified requirements by the occupational health and safety standard. There are ten clauses in the standard with a defined structure and corresponding requirements that must be met. Sections 1 to 3 describe the scope, references, and explanations of the standard, while sections 4 to 10 define the requirements.

  • Section 1 – Scope 
  • Section 2 – Normative references 
  • Section 3 – Terms and Definitions
  • Clause 4 – Organizational context 
  • Clause 5 – Leadership 
  • Clause 6 – Planning  
  • Clause 7 – Support 
  • Clause 8 – Operation 
  • Clause 9 –Performance Evaluation 
  • Clause 10 – Improvement

Benefits of ISO 45001:2018

  • Implementing the ISO 45001:2018 standard will improve various occupational health and safety performances in the organization.
  • Using ISO 45001, an organization can develop and implement a set of policies and objectives for occupational health and safety.
  • Setting up a systemic process that includes the risks and opportunities, legal aspects, and other requirements
  • Identifying risks and hazards that are associated with occupational health and safety
  • Eliminating and controlling the identified hazards to reduce the potential risks or effects
  • Initiating operational controls to minimize the risks associated with occupational health and safety
  • Mitigating the legal aspects and other such requirements
  • Bringing greater focus and awareness on the occupational health and safety risks
  • Assessing the occupational health and safety performance and consistently striving to improve productivity and performance
  • Take necessary steps and make informed decisions to improve the occupational health and safety risks
  • Make sure workers participate and are actively involved in occupational health and safety concerns

Other direct benefits include:

  • Reduction in overall costs of accidents/ incidents
  • Reduction in cost for insurance premiums
  • Reduction in costs of operational disruption
  • Reduction in employee turnover rates
  • Reduction in absenteeism of employees
  • Reduction in downtime
  • Achieving recognition of having achieved an international benchmark
  • Improvement in the ability to respond to regulatory and other compliance issues
  • Increased awareness on social responsibilities
  • Improved trust among stakeholders

Omnex Certificate Accreditation – Exemplar Global QM, AU & TL

Omnex follows Exemplar Global, a worldwide recognized "Training Provider and Examiner Certification Scheme (TPECS)", and depending on the courses and examination you have chosen to become qualified. The courses offered by Omnex are comprised of three separate Exemplar Global Competency Units with the following objectives:

  • Exemplar Global-QM (Understanding the QMS requirements)
  • Exemplar Global-AU (Understanding the Auditing requirements)
  • Exemplar Global-TL (Understanding the Lead Auditing/Team Leader requirements)

Omnex Methodology

Omnex provides extensive services for ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and ISO 45001 Safety Management Systems. With more than 500 client sites, Omnex consultants have developed and implemented numerous Quality, Environmental, and Safety Management Systems and methodologies. The benchmark we have set is a zero non-conformity certification to the standard.

Omnex is an Exemplar Global Certified TPECS provider for Exemplar Global QM, AU, and TL Competency Units. Our seminar leaders have conducted implementations, coaching, training, competency development, and auditing in QMS, EMS, and OH&S at various client locations worldwide.