The new ISO450001has been published and is found to surpass OHSAS18001. There is no doubt that ISO45001 is of International standards. The new standard is applicable to the ISO High Level Structure and it is attuned with 2015 ISO 9001 and also with 2015 ISO14001. They can be integrated easily with the systems of management and it will provide more value to organizations. The ISO 45001 release is arguably the best for EHS managers and will enhance emphasis on worker involvement, management commitment and risk control.

Note: Companies that have ISO certification to OHSAS 18001 are having 3 years’ to get into the new standard and to become certified.

As adopting in the coming three years to the new standard will lead to several questions in evaluating the safety processes and current health, comprehending the differences between ISO45001 and OHSAS18001 is the priority and foremost step. Here are a few key differences and similarities


Differences and Similarities between ISO 45001 and OHSAS 18001

ISO 45001: ISO 45001 was available from March 12, 2018 and it is the new international standard for (OH&S) occupational health and safety management. ISO45001 points out the requirements for OH&S system of management and offers guidance to the organization to provide healthy and safe workplaces so that work-related injuries and fatalities are prevented; thereby there is improvement in the OH&S performance. This new standard of ISO45001 is suitable to all size, nature or type of organization. It replaces OHSAS 18001 and companies are given time up to 12 March, 2021 to switchover to ISO 45001.



  • Intent: The intent overall to create a framework to manage the prevention of employee illnesses, injuries, and fatalities is identical for both standards.
  • PDCA: The PDCA cycle refers to Plan-Do-Check-Act in both standards and this remains the main operating principle.
  • Other Similarities: Many requirements covered in OHSAS 18001, although relocated, consolidated, or expanded are found in ISO 45001, this encompasses policy requirements; legal identification and other requirements; awareness requirements; improvement objectives; proficiency requirements; resources to support the system; and the need for measuring, monitoring, and analyzing OH&S improvement and performance.



OHSAS 18001 is embraced widely, ISO45001 is going to bring the same safety while ISO45001 is now taking a proactive approach to control risk starting with health and safety incorporation as the organizations overall management system, thereby they drive top managements to enjoy stronger leadership in health and safety roles.

OHSAS 18001 offers a reactive approach to safety management personnel by delegating hazard control responsibilities into the organizations overall management system.

Comprehending the differences is important for employers while they move to explore the new system organizational possibilities.

 Here are the other main differences in these two standards:

Management Commitment

Management commitment in ISO 45001 is the key to the standard’s integration and effectiveness. There will be a shift in the new standard towards managerial ownership. The organizations safety culture will be supported by the workers and management engagement. Instead of endowing with program oversight, management must work as true safety leaders.

It means a participatory, active role is apparent in the health and safety of an organization. Workers protection and performance improvements are leadership roles under ISO45001.


Worker Involvement

Workers have broader participation with employees joining hands with management to apply the SMS, safety management system. Employees should acquire training and education aiming to identify risks and this helps the company in creating a thriving safety program. Risk assessment results and internal audits should be shared openly with workers and it entertains employee input. As per ISO 45001, in an organization, the safety management responsibility belongs to everyone.


Risk versus Hazard

The new ISO 45001 adheres to a preventative process that requires the hazard risks to be assessed and remedied, against hazard control, in OHSAS 18001. Considering the new standard of ISO45001 as proactive is best, rather than reactive. Adopting ISO 45001 indicates your organization will identify hazard risks before it results into accidents and injuries. The job safety analyses and audits help in monitoring the workplace conditions that will be crucial to ascertain the proactive approach.



An apparent difference is in the structure of ISO45001 and OHSAS 18001. The new ISO45001 is Annex SL based, and it applies a universal terminology, structure, and definitions. You may be aware of this structure in case you use ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.  Employing the same structure, it is easy to implement multiple management systems in an efficient way and streamlined manner.


Ultimately, ISO 45001 offers a proactive approach for the whole-company, to incorporate a safety culture. This is a framework taking your organization in safety and health to the next level. Thus, taking ISO certification 45001 is inevitable, if you are considering the best for your organization.