A new standard on the block

A new standard on the block

The international standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS) has been replaced with SANS/ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standard.

In a webinar hosted at the end of August by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), clients and interested parties were given an overview of the changes and the deadline to migrate from OHSAS 18001 to SANS/ISO 45001.

“SANS/ISO 45001 is crucial for all organisations in South Africa, as it provides the framework, processes and system for the management of all workplace hazards, health issues and incidents,” says Sadhvir Bissoon, standards executive at the SABS. “The effective implementation of the performance-based standard will reduce the number of fatalities and injuries in the workplace, and promote a healthier and happier workforce.”

All organisations that are certified to OHSAS 18001 will have to migrate to ISO 45001 by September 2021. The deadline was initially set by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for March 2021 and has been extended to September 2021 as a result of the delays experienced worldwide due to Covid-19.

The new SANS/ISO 45001 is more comprehensive than the previous OHSAS standard and requires involvement by the whole organisation.

“While SANS/ISO 45001 is a voluntary standard, there are some references to the standard included in regulations that have been developed by the Department of Labour. Organisations that are certified to OHSAS 18001 should be aware that their certification will no longer be valid at September 2021,” Bissoon advises.

“It is important to note that this standard does not replace regulatory requirements; however, an implementation of the management system will enable an organisation to meet most regulations relevant to occupational health and safety.”

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