OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety

OHSAS 18001 has been withdrawn and replaced by the new international Standard for OHS, ISO 45001. Much of the DNA from OHSAS 18001 can be found in ISO 45001, but many enhancements are delivered in ISO 45001 including stronger leadership, better worker involvement and a focus on health, particularly mental health.

ISO 45001 is set to drastically improve levels of workplace safety and productivity. This new standard, which will replace OHSAS 18001, follows the approach of other management systems such as ISO 14001 and ISO 90001. While ISO 45001 draws on certain aspects of OHSAS 18001, it is a new and distinct standard, not a revision or update

Migrating to ISO 45001:2018

OHSAS 18001 has been withdrawn and replaced by ISO 45001 to align organisations with international best-practices.

The deadline for organisations certified to OHSAS 18001 to migrate to ISO 45001 was end of March 2021. Businesses who do not transition over to an ISO 45001 certification will find themselves without an accredited occupational health and safety management system and will lose the benefits that come with that title.
What are the key differences between OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001?

The main difference between the two standards is ISO 45001 takes a proactive approach that requires hazard risks to be evaluated and remedied before they cause accidents and injuries, while OHSAS 18001 takes a reactive approach that focuses solely on risks and not solutions.


  • Objectives & Performance: In ISO 45001, there is an increased focus on objectives as drivers for improvements and performance evaluation. These objectives can range in topics like participation of workers, internal and external communication, and procurement.
  • Structure: ISO 45001’s structure is based on Annex SL, which is the framework for other ISO management system standards—making implementation easier and more efficient.
  • Leadership & Management Commitment: ISO 45001 requires a stronger emphasis on top management to actively incorporate health and safety into the overall management system of the organisation.
  •  Risk & Opportunity Management: With ISO 45001, companies determine, consider, and take action to address both risks and opportunities that may disrupt production. Although ISO 45001 considers both, OHSAS 18001 deals exclusively with hazards.
  • Worker & Third-Party Involvement: ISO 45001 introduces enhanced focus on the needs and expectations for all workers and interested parties and requires employee training and education to identify risks. OHSAS 18001 does not allow for broader employee participation.
Prepare for Migration to ISO 45001
  1. Undertake a gap analysis to help identify the gaps in your certified OHS management system
  2. Update the existing OHS management system to address the new requirements in ISO 45001
  3. Ensure all parties are aware of the changes in the management systems processes with an effective communication plan.
Missed the Migration Deadline of March 2021?
  • Your OHSAS 18001 certification will no longer be valid
  • If an audit to ISO 45001 is completed within 6 months past the migration period of 11 March 2021, then a Stage 2 audit will be required
  • If you don’t complete the migration within this 6 month period, you will be treated as a new applicant. A Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit will be required

Next Steps

We can help your organisation migrate to ISO 45001.

  • Contact SAI Global to discuss requirements, timeframes and costs
  • Review and accept proposal to book audit dates
  • Perform a Gap-Analysis
  • Your migration audit can occur during your next Surveillance, Recertification or Scheduled audit
  • Upon successful certification, display the ‘Five Ticks’ StandardsMark™
  • Contact us today to discuss your migration plan

Start Your Migration Journey to ISO 45001 with a Process Analysis

This Gap Analysis helps you self evaluate the compliance of your existing OHS management system to ISO 45001