Transition Process from

BS OHSAS 18001 2007 to

ISO 45001 2018



The ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health& safety Management system standard was published in March2018.    Organizations are granted a three-year transition period from that date to comply with the requirements of the  new standard. This means that after the end of March 2021, a certificate based on OHSAS 18001 will no longer be valid. This also means that you may have surveillance audits against the OHSAS 18001 standard until March2021. Organizations currently certified against BS OHSAS 18001 will need to transition to the new requirements by Latest March 2021.

Some certification bodies have announced that they will stop issuing new certificates against OHSAS 18001 by February 2019, so it is advised that you consult your own certification body regarding your organization’s circumstances if you are pursuing your initial ISO 45001 accreditation, or if your current OHSAS 18001 certificate expires in 2019 .

Considering the complexity of the standard and its importance for ensuring a healthy and safe working environment, the transition process needs to be planned thoroughly.

Time is the most important factor for making the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001. In order to transition successfully, a company needs to start on time and avoid waiting until near the deadline. Waiting until the last minute will leave less time to correct problems –increasing the chances of not being certified on time. It is important to transition early, to reduce the risks and costs to your business.

Thirteen –steps of the Transition Process to ISO 45001 : 2018


The easiest way to make the upgrade to the ISO 45001 standard is by following these 13steps:

1.   Identify the context of the organization

Identification of the context of the organization is a completely new requirement. When defining the context of the organization, you must consider internal and external issues relevant to your company’s purpose, its strategic direction, and its ability to achieve the intended results of the Occupational Health and Safety(OH&S) Management System.

2.List all interested parties

This also belongs in clause 4, and it is also a new requirement.ISO 45001:2018 requires understanding who the interested parties are related to the OH&S Management System and the implications that the Occupational Health and Safety Management System might have on these parties.

3.Review the scope of the OH&S Management System

This requirement will assist your organization in better determining the scope of the OH&S Management System. Although the requirement to define the scope of the OH&S Management System existed in the previous version of the standard (OHSAS 18001), the concept in the ISO 45001:2018 standard is relatively new, and therefore will demand reference to the issues requested in paragraph 4.1 and the requirements referred to in 4.2.The scope can be documented in the Scope of the OH&S Management System, or in the OH&S Manual.

4.Demonstrate leadership

There is a significant change in the leadership requirements in the new standard, which appear in clause 5. The new  standard calls for leaders to be active and responsible, rather than the more passive role that could be interpreted from the previous standard.

5.Assess risks and opportunities

This is a new and key requirement of the new standard and appears in clause 6. Risks and opportunities now need to be considered for all aspects of the OH&S Management System, including all compliance requirements and even the context of the organization. After this, there should be a documented plan for how the business should address that risk. Risk-based thinking is definitely the hottest change compared to the old standard. Of course, among all risks and opportunities, the organization needs to determine which ones are relevant for the OH&S Management System, and then plan actions to address them.In addition, the organization needs to maintain documented information on OH&S risks and opportunities,

6.Identify and assess the hazards

This, of course, is not a new requirement, and the changes made are aimed at making the requirements clearer and more precise. The organization needs to establish a process for hazard identification that is ongoing and proactive. The transition is a good opportunity to reassess and update the existing assessment of occupational health and safety hazards by considering past relevant incidents, social factors, culture within the organization, routine and non-routine activities and situations, changes in knowledge, etc. The best way to approach this issue is to compare your existing procedure to the requirements of the new standard and see what are the exact changes that need to be made.

 7.Determine the compliance obligations

Complying with legal and other requirements is the bedrock of the OH&S Management System. You cannot be conformant to ISO 45001 or any other standard without being compliant with regulatory and statutory requirements. The new standard, like the old one, provides the framework for identification of, and achieving compliance with, legal requirements. The organization needs to establish a process to determine and have access to legal and other requirements that are applicable to its hazards, OH&S risks, and OH&S Management System. In order to monitor information about the legal requirements and keep them up to date, the organization must document them in some kind of List of Legal and Other Requirements.

8. Action Plan

The processes of determining risks and opportunities and compliance obligations are meant to define the current situation of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and the next step is to address these issues. The organization needs to plan actions to address risks and opportunities and legal and other requirements, as well as to plan actions to prepare and respond to emergency situations.

 9.Set OH&S objectives and plans for achieving them

The new standard requires the organization to ensure that the OH&S objectives are compatible with the strategic direction of the company. The standard also requires that plans for achieving these objectives must be created. Therefore, it is critical that you document this plan for audit purposes against the new standard.The objectives must be measurable, monitored, and updated as appropriate. In addition, the objectives need to be consistent with the OH&S Policy and take into account legal and other requirements.The objectives and the plan for achieving them can be documented in theOH&S Objectives and Programs.

10.Control documented information

Procedures and records are now defined under the new term “documented information.” During the process of aligning your existing documentation to the new clause numbers, the transition from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 is a perfect opportunity to improve your existing documentation. For example, as “documented information” and a “process approach” are now critical, why not consider replacing some of your more wordy or cumbersome process instructions with one single process diagram? While improving your documentation is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate continual improvement, you are advised to ensure that your existing documentation still meets the needs of the new standard.The process for document and record control is not required to be documented ;however, creating a Procedure for Document and Record Control can be beneficial.

11.Establish operational controls

Improving operational control versus the stated criteria is one of the goals of the new standard. The stated criteria are those which your organization must define for its processes, and to ensure that necessary documentation and resources are in place. This can be done by documenting a Procedure for Operational Control.

12.Evaluate OH&S performance

And, at the end of your transition project, you will need to evaluate the performance of your OH&S management system and check whether it is compliant with the standard ,and ensure that it complies with legal and other requirements.

Compliance with the requirements of the standard is just the first step. The OH&S Management System must be effective in order to ensure health and safety in the workplace; so, therefore, the performance of the system must be monitored.
Once the organization gathers information from the internal audit and performance monitoring, it can conduct the management review as an ultimate check of the system and a necessary step towards continual improvement. The standard requires the Management Review Minutes to be documented, and having  a  documented Procedure for Management Review can be helpful as well.

13. External audit by certification body

 After the satisfactory Internal audit & management Review, the organization can apply for certification audit during surveillance, recertification or  special audit to achieve ISO 45001 certification.


Resources for helping in the Transition process; 

Free white paper on ISO 45001 – Transition process :

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Free White paper on ISO 45001 :

 This will allow you to see a clause –by-  clause explanation  required by the ISO 45001standard.You write an email to , to get a free  white paper on ISO 45001 2018 standard .


Free supplementary guidelines  on ISO 45001

 This will allow you to see a sample of the policies and  procedures required by the ISO 45001standard. You write an email to , to get a free  copy of supplementary guidelines on ISO 45001.


Free ISO 45001 Gap analysis checklist:

You write an email to , to get a free   gap analysis audit checklist of  ISO 45001 2018  standard . This will   help you to make a self evaluation of your preparedness before the external audit of ISO 45001 by the certification body.


Basic Foundation/ awareness training  on ISO 45001 :

In order to help you remain on track with the implementation process of the new ISO 45001,we have developed an online/ onsite awareness program  to  help  you make the transition process smoother