ISO 45001 Certification

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ISO 45001: Your standard for occupational safety

Healthy and motivated employees are a vital factor for business success, and in many companies occupational health and safety management systems now make a major contribution to avoidance of injury and ill health. The systems provide a framework for identifying potential and existing health and safety risks at the workplace and also promote a proactive approach in order to minimise and eliminate them. This means that organisations not only demonstrate a sense of responsibility, but can also reduce costs through lower accident and illness rates − whilst at the same time increasing employee satisfaction.

Since 12 March 2018, the new international Standard ISO 45001 has provided the basis for continuous improvement of occupational health and safety throughout the world. It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and replaces the previous British Standard BS OHSAS 18001 as the key to certification of internationally-recognised occupational health and safety management systems.

Why ISO 45001? Your benefits

  • Systematic approach and continuous improvement of occupational health and safety
  • Identification of potential risks and hazards and elimination of these
  • Cost saving through reduction of the accident and illness rates 
  • Raising awareness of employees for safety issues
  • Fulfilment of customer requirements
  • Increased motivation and qualification for employees

Structure and main focus of ISO 45001

The essential aim – to optimise processes for companies in all industries in order to protect life and health of employees as much as possible – will also apply with the new standard. The most important new aspect is the introduction of a so-called High Level Structure (HLS) with the objective of applying a harmonised structure to all management system standards.  


There is now greater focus on the environment of the organisation. One important aspect is that the working conditions should be considered in future along the entire value chain in addition to the conditions of the organisation’s own employees. This means that external employees who are working within the area of responsibility of the organisation also have to receive instruction on relevant occupational health and safety measures.

Organisations are also expected to identify opportunities for improvement of occupational safety within a dedicated process. In addition, important functions and requirements within the framework occupational of health and safety management are extended and transferred to the uppermost management levels.

The "new" DIN EN ISO 45001:2023-12

In December 2023, a new German version of the international standard for safety and health at work was published: DIN EN ISO 45001:2023. The requirements of ISO 45001:2018 remain largely the same. The standard was only editorially revised by the responsible German DIN Standard Committee. With the unchanged adoption of the currently valid international standard ISO 45001:2018 by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) as EN ISO 45001:2013, there is therefore no immediate need for action: the issued certificates remain valid without a transition period.



ISO 45001 – When did it enter into force and how long is the transitional period?

ISO 45001 entered into force on 12 March 2018. The rules for transition from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 were laid down for all certification bodies by the IAF (International Accreditation Forum) on a global and binding basis.

There is a transitional period which has been extended by six months due to the COVID-19 outbreak  and which ends on 30 September 2021. All certificates based on OHSAS BS 18001:2007 will then become invalid. Up to the expiry deadline, organisations can change over to the new standard within the framework of a recertification or surveillance audit, or possibly a special audit.

What must be considered in connection with risks and opportunities in the context of ISO 45001?

ISO 45001 follows the approach of risk-based thinking. This means that organisations have to consider their risks and opportunities more carefully than before and identify them accordingly. Instead of reacting to consequences that have already occurred, organisations have to make specific plans beforehand as to how potential effects are to be handled. Assessment of risks and opportunities can relate, for example, to investments (new machinery), in-house infrastructure, innovations or suppliers.

What must be taken into account regarding the certificates within the framework of recertification or surveillance?

When the recertification process is complete, you will receive certificates according to ISO 45001, which are valid for three years. The period of validity follows on directly from the previous certificate. That means that the expiry date of the new certificates corresponds to the normal three-year period (expiry date of the old certificate plus three years) if the process is carried out within the stipulated deadline or if the audit and the NC management (Non-Conformity) are completed on schedule. If the transition is made during a surveillance audit, the new ISO 45001 certificate takes on the period of validity of the existing certificate.

What is the structure of the new standard?

The new ISO 45001 follows the so-called “High Level Structure” (HLS). This standardised structure ensures simple integration of the new ISO 45001 management system into existing ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 management systems. This results in two very important benefits: Firstly, definitions and structures can be used for all the standards and secondly, standards are easier to understand and synergies are possible when different standards and certifications are combined. This saves time and money when introducing ISO 45001 into the organisation.

What changes in the audit process itself?

Within the audit process, it is important to ensure that the participants named in the standard and the accreditation rules are taken fully into account. In ISO 45001, the participants are now more clearly defined with regard to their roles: 

  • management personnel with legal responsibility for health and safety at work, 
  • management personnel, along with permanent and temporary employees, 
  • employee representatives with responsibility for health and safety at work, 
  • the personnel responsible for monitoring the health of the employees for example company doctors and nurses.

In the audit, the management and employees of contractors should be interviewed at the site of the audited organisation if possible.

If the transition is not to take place in a recertification or surveillance audit, what are the possibilities?

There is the possibility to change over to ISO 45001 in a special audit. This consists of an additional audit scheduled between the regular audits. The additional cost is higher than in a surveillance or recertification audit. This results from the additional time needed for preparation and post-processing work and for taking any changes since the previous audit into account. In addition, there are travel expenses.

If you are not sure what changes you need to make in order to change over to the new standard, we are also happy to offer you a “gap audit” or preliminary audit. The gap audit can be attached to the next surveillance or recertification audit. You can obtain further information or request an offer by filling in our contact form.

Whitepaper ISO 45001

Health and safety at work play an important role for every company. But what needs to be considered in order to reduce accidents and lost time at work and at the same time to achieve higher employee motivation? This support is provided by the health protection management system. While BS OHSAS 18001 was previously considered a common standard in this area, ISO 45001 is now taking its place.

In our Whitepaper you will find the most important information about:

  • The new ISO 45001 standard
  • Comparison: BS OHSAS 18001 vs ISO 45001
  • Changes in the individual standard chapters
  • How does the transition from BS OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 work?

Certification with TÜV NORD

TÜV NORD is recognised as a well-established and reliable provider of inspection and certification services, assessing fulfilment of legal regulations and voluntary standards all over the world. We employ experienced specialists in all our areas of activity. As a matter of principle, our auditors are trained to a very high level and use standardised methods.This means we can guarantee neutrality and continuity in all our services to you.

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