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  • Nicky Roberts

What does ISO45001 mean for your AS4801 certification?

AS/NZS 4801, for its time, was a fabulous standard. For most Australian businesses, there was never a need to implement BS OHSAS 18001:2007, which was the globally recognized equivalent - or almost equivalent. Essentially AS 4801 focussed on the elimination of work-related injury, while OHSAS 18001 took it to the next level with the prevention of work-related injury and ill health. Both are now more than 10 years old, and with 7,600 people dying EVERY DAY around the world from work-related accidents or diseases, the ISO stepped in and developed BS ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System - Requirements to minimise harm to workers through leadership and participation.

ISO 45001:2018 was published in March 2018. It supersedes BS OHSAS 18001, and companies with OHSAS 18001 certification have 3 years from March 2018 to migrate to the new standard. (It's a "migration", not a "transition", because it is going from one standard to a new standard).

Standards Australia confirmed, as expected, on 17 October 2018 that ISO 45001 has been published as a joint Australian/New Zealand Standard. It is believed (though not yet official) that Standards Australia have decided to withdraw AS/NZS 4801, but no timeframe has been confirmed. Given that AS/NZS 4801 is referred to in legislation, the legislators need to catch up first.

The bottom line is that while ISO45001 is an improved standard, AS4801 should be available for certification for some time yet.


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