Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process
  • Key Success Factors
  • OHSAS 18001
  • ISO 45001

Workforce health and safety continues to be a challenge worldwide. Over 370 million accidents occur on the job annually and over 2.78 million people die each year as a result of work-related activities.

An occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems standard provides your organization with a structured framework that can help foster a safe and healthy work environment, minimize workplace-related injuries and illnesses, meet your OH&S legal and policy requirements, control your OH&S risks and continually improve overall OH&S performance.

ISO 45001:2018 is the new ISO occupational health and safety standard which will take the place of the current standard, OHSAS 18001, in spring 2018. Once ISO 45001 is published, companies certified to OHSAS 18001 have three years to migrate their certification to ISO 45001.

Whether you are seeking new certification or wish to upgrade to ISO 45001, our team of seasoned professionals can add value to your business.

Reference: https://www.iso.org/iso-45001-occupational-health-and-safety.html

Benefits of Certification

By adopting ISO 45001:2018 an organization is be able to:

  • Improve worker health and safety
  • Reduce long- and short-term social and economic costs associated with health issues and lost work days
  • Improve worker and customer satisfaction
  • Demonstrate corporate responsibility and meet supply chain requirements
  • Protect brand reputation
  • Improve risk management through clear identification of hazards and mitigation of potential risks through planned monitoring, measurement and control measures
  • Potentially increase business opportunities with the added credibility of independent third-party certification

Certification to international standards establishes credibility and demonstrates your product or service meets customer expectations. In some sectors or industries, third-party independent certification is a legal or contractual requirement.

Why Work With NSF?

Protecting the health and safety of your workforce is essential to achieve effective business continuity, maintain your safety record and safeguard the reputation of your organization. With a full range of solutions including baseline audits, documentation reviews and the option of combined/integrated audits, NSF-ISR can conduct your OH&S audits seamlessly along with other compatible systems including ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001, Environmental Management Systems.

Our team of seasoned professionals can add value to your business through our structured and collaborative occupational health and safety management systems audits that focus on your objectives. Our structured audit process includes working with your company to complete a comprehensive assessment of all requirements of the standard and to ensure that the OH&S management system is effectively implemented, maintained and working to improve the health and safety of your workers as well as your overall OH&S performance metrics.

NSF-ISR is consistently ranked as one of the top registrars for overall customer satisfaction. Let us help you improve your systems and protect the health and safety of your workers.

Certification Process

The NSF-ISR OHSAS management systems certification process involves these steps:

  1. Application, Proposal and Contract
    Your company submits an application, NSF-ISR makes a proposal and you sign a contract (master agreement).
  2. Audit Team Assignment
    NSF-ISR assigns an audit team.
  3. Documentation Review
    We perform a document review for the management system and issue a report of conformance or nonconformance. (This is usually done in conjunction with the Stage 1 audit but may also be done separately.)
  4. Stage 1 Audit (On-Site Readiness Review)
    We review the level of implementation of your core OH&S management system requirements and verify the readiness of the system to undergo the Stage 2 audit.
  5. Stage 2 Audit (Certification Audit)
    Our audit team conducts a comprehensive on-site audit to verify conformity to the OHSAS 45001 or other OH&S management systems standard.
  6. Independent Internal Review
    An NSF-ISR certification board reviewer verifies that all components of the certification process were performed as per procedures, that the audit covered all the requirements of the standard and that the report and associated documentation accurately reflect the level of implementation based on the recorded observations, before making the final certification/recertification decision.
  7. Notification of Certification
    We notify your organization in writing, issue the certificate and publish the certification in our online listings.
  8. Surveillance Audits
    NSF-ISR performs semiannual or annual surveillance audits to verify that the management system is maintained and continues to meet requirements.
  9. Reassessment
    NSF-ISR performs a reassessment audit every third year in accordance with requirements.

Key Success Factors

ISO 45001 will provide an internationally recognized framework enabling organizations of all types, sizes, activities and locations to provide a safe and healthy workplace. Key success factors in implementing an OH&S management system depend on:

  • Leadership that promotes a culture supportive of OH&S
  • Ongoing commitment throughout the entire organization
  • Participation from all levels of the organization in identifying OH&S hazards and risks
  • Integration of OH&S management systems with an organization’s business practices

OHSAS 18001

OHSAS 18001 has been an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems since 1999. In spring of 2018, it will be replaced by ISO 45001. Both standards help organizations of all sectors, types, sizes and locations demonstrate occupational health and safety management to a globally recognized international standard. Implementation of an OH&S system can motivate your workforce and engage customers looking for businesses that take the health and safety of their employees seriously.

What Happens to OHSAS 18001 When ISO 45001 Is Published by ISO?

Organizations currently certified to OHSAS 18001 will have a three-year period (from 2018 to 2021) to migrate to ISO 45001. At the end of the three-year period, OHSAS 18001 will no longer be an accredited certification. It is a migration and not transition because OHSAS 18001 was not an ISO standard.

There are many benefits moving to the ISO standard, including global recognition of the standard and the standard’s universal framework, which allows for smooth integration of ISO 45001 with other international management system standards such as ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, making it easier than ever to have a truly integrated business management system and to obtain process efficiencies.

ISO 45001

ISO 45001 is an international standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems that is replacing the OHSAS 18001 standard. This ISO standard helps organizations of all sectors, types, sizes and locations demonstrate occupational health and safety management to the most globally recognized international standard. Implementation of an OH&S system can motivate your workforce and engage customers looking for businesses that take the health and safety of their employees seriously.

In order to help organizations understand the new standard, NSF-ISR has developed resources to simplify the process: 


NSF-ISR recorded a number of webinars that detailed the progress of the ISO 45001 standard as it made its way to final publication. NSF-ISR will keep you informed about what is in the new standard, and what is different or new compared to OHSAS 18001. We will also host webinars supporting your organization to make registering to the standard more straight-forward. You can download the entire series of webinars on demand at no cost. Download Our Webinars

Other Resources in Development

Once the standard is officially published, it is important for your organization to obtain copies of the standard available to staff within your organization. Like all ISO standards, ISO 45001 is copyrighted and can be purchased from NSF’s bookstore.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a number of answers to questions that your organization may have regarding the ISO 45001 transition. Download the FAQ

Transition Guide

Use our guide to the ISO 45001 transition to identify areas of the standard that have been updated and the major themes of the standard. Download the Guide

For information about other transitioning management systems standards, visit our ISO standards updates webpage.

ISO 45001 Upgrade Planner and Delta Checklist

NSF-ISR has developed an exclusive document that captures areas of new requirements, changes and updates from the previous version of the standard. Once completed, you can send it to our expert lead auditor who will do a half-day minimum desk audit. Download the Planner and Checklist

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