What is the difference between OHSAS 18001 (ISO 18001)  and AS 4801?

Both OHSAS 18001 (or ISO 18001 as it is sometimes incorrectly referred to) and AS 4801 set out the requirements for an organisation to develop an effective Health and Safety Management System with the goal of an injury and illness free work environment. There are few major differences between the two, however different emphases are evident.

OHSAS 18001

OHSAS 18001- Is it finished?Has a stronger emphasis on health (as opposed to injury)  and a stronger focus on legal requirements.


ISO 18001  has more international standing and would be suitable for companies with strong export or international characteristics.


AS/NZS 4801

AS/NZS 4801 is the Australian Occupational Health and Safety Standard and is suitable for organisations of all sizes and across all industry types. While primarily an Australian/ New Zealand standard- AS 4801 has been adopted by other countries.

Compared to OHSAS 18001, it has a stronger focus on elimination of injury and more specific guidance around reporting and evaluation of hazards, risks and controls.

Which should we choose for certification?

Most companies operating out of Australia/ New Zealand opt for AS 4801 whereas companies with international representation choose OHSAS 18001. However once the new ISO 45001 standard comes out, this may all be a moot point as these two standards could cease to exist. For more information about this transition, see our blog article.

To learn more about any of our health and safety services or if you require an OHSAS 18001  or AS 4801 consultant in Australia, contact Integrated Compliance Solutions on 1300 132 745 today.

back to top