National management system standard AS/NZS 4801:2001 has recently been superseded by AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018, and AS/NZS 4801:2001 will require transitioning to AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018 within the next three years according to The International Accreditation Forum’s (IAF) Requirements for the Migration to ISO 45001:2018 from OHSAS 18001:2007 Mandatory Document.
Section 2.1 of the document stipulates that existing certificate holders must transition within three years after the ISO 45001:2018 has been publicised – which was March 2018 while Standards Australia decided to officially adopt the standard in October 2018.
Standards Australia also recently announced that AS/NZS 4801:2001 was superseded but was being maintained as a reference for regulatory purposes.
“AS/NZS ISO 45001 has given health and safety professionals in organisations of any size a new way to help manage the many safety risks in workplaces across the country,” said Standards Australia’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Daniel Chidgey.
“While AS/NZS ISO 45001 has now been published, this means that AS/NZS 4801:2001, Occupational health and safety management systems - Specification with guidance for use is now available superseded.”
The Technical Committee of Standards Australia responsible for these standards, SF-001 Occupational Health & Safety Management, has met many times to discuss 4801 and 45001 and how the two interact with legislation across the country, said Chidgey.
AS/NZS 4801:2001 remains a current Australian Standard cited in legislation across Australia, and Chidgey said it is important to note that it is up to government authorities to decide whether available superseded standards should be referenced in legislation.
The IAF Mandatory Document said that the IAF, OHSAS Project Group and ISO will communicate using all necessary channels about the migration process to AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018.
JAS-ANZ has flagged the transition process and noted that it “will be adhering to requirements of IAF MD21:2018 in the migration, tailored and amended to the operating environment of its accredited certification bodies and their certified clients.”
Roland Tan, recent member of the Standards Australia committee SF001, responsible for reviewing the Standard: ISO:45001, said that OHSAS 18001 and other national standards will not be recognised as the international management system standard for OHS by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF); which is the global authority regulating the certification of the international series of management system standards by ISO (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001) conducted by conformance assurance bodies (CABs).
Tan noted that the transition to AS/NZS ISO 45001:2001 should not be onerous to organisations which are already certified to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 as the majority of their core text are similar.
However, organisations which are familiar only with AS/NZS 4801:2001 would need to understand the differences between ISO 45001:2018 and AS/NZS 4801:2018 (such as context, objectives, targets and programs, leadership, training, corrective action) – the earlier being more dynamic in relation to its context and leadership requirements and inclusion of opportunities in risk assessment, Tan observed.