ISO 45001 – The new path to occupational health and safety management systems

What is the purpose of ISO 45001?

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), work-related accidents and illnesses continue to be at a high level. Besides the negative impacts on the families of those affected, this results in considerable costs for individual companies and for the economy as a whole. ISO 45001 is the first worldwide international standard for occupational health and safety. It provides a framework to enable all organizations – regardless of size or sector – to reduce workplace risk in a proactive way, and to demonstrably improve health and wellbeing at work.

What is the content of ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 now also follows the High Level Structure (HLS) with the aim of facilitating development of an efficient overall operational management system. The new standard is closely aligned with ISO 14001:2015 in order to create optimal synergies for integrated management systems. This means that extension of the OH&S management system to comply with other standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 50001 is even easier and is advantageous in many cases. In the new standard, there is also a requirement for risk-based thinking in association with the process approach and a further new aspect is the need to consider all persons who work within the sphere of responsibility of an organization (employees, agency workers, service providers, contractors) within the framework of ISO 45001. A further theme is the active integration of employees into the OH&S management system, consideration of the context of the organization, greater responsibility of top management, consideration of opportunities, and systematic root cause analysis if accidents occur.


What is the timeframe?

International standard ISO 45001:2018 was published on 12 March 2018. A three-year transition period has been laid down for migration of certification from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 and this ends on 11 March 2021. On this date, all certificates according to BS OHSAS 18001 will become invalid. The migration can take place within the framework of a regular recertification or surveillance audit or can take place in a special audit. At least one additional audit day is needed, depending on the size of the organization and the health and safety risk. We recommend that migration should take place at the latest at the time of the recertification audit. The new standard has introduced some important new aspects, which means that more time is needed during preparation of the audit and the audit itself. Certification according to ISO 45001 can be undertaken immediately.


What are the next steps?

In view of the transition period of three years, you have sufficient time to transform your health and safety management system to the new ISO 45001:2018 and to discuss the necessary changes with our auditors without pressure. Organizations who would like to establish how well they fulfil the standard can make use of a consultant or have gap analyses or preliminary audits performed by our auditors. We also recommend participation in training events such as those offered by TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) on 14/4/2018 & 30/4/2018, as well as the training courses that we already offer (ISO 45001:2018 FOUNDATION TRAINING COURSE, ISO 45001:2018 INTERNAL AUDITOR, ΙSO 45001:2018 AUDITOR/ LEAD AUDITOR, ΙSO 45001:2018 AUDITOR TRANSITION COURSE). More information about this is available at


If you have any questions, please contact or write to us:

Certification Division: Mrs. Katerina Economidi, tel. 215-215-7-462, e-mail: 

Training Division: Mrs. Sophia Georgali, tel. 215-215-7-470, e-mail: 

Health and Safety Management Systems refer to all companies that aim to:

  • Prove their interest for the safety of their employees as well as of all the involved parties to everyday function (customers, subcontractors, visitors etc)
  • Establish a reliable system for the identification, documentation, assessment and control of all dangers that could appear during their operation
  • Eliminate the incidents/accidents. For that reason, enterprises should take actions for the achievement of specific health & safety targets, within an implemented Health & Safety System
  • Establish a safe working environment, as well as a health and safety culture understood by the whole of the company’s employees

Through the identification of all mentioned above, The International standards Organization (ISO) is designing ISO 45001, the first international standard for Health & safety at Work, which will gradually replace OHSAS 18001:2007. The release of the new standard is scheduled for the end of 2016, early 2017.

TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) performs audits and awards certificates accredited by the German and the Greek Accreditation Councils (DAKKS and ESYD). The added value of the provided services of TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) is the experienced auditors in the field of health and safety in a wide range of business activites (industry, construction, services). This establishes the credibility of the TÜV HELLAS (TÜV NORD) audits, as they target and reveal the health and safety issues of each company separately, thus benefiting the company by adding value.

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