ISO 45001 Certification & Safety Consulting for Your Australian Business

– Transition to ISO 45001 Certification

ISO 45001 OHS Consultants for Your Australian Business

As Australian businesses seek to achieve certification to the OHS standard (ISO 45001), many will appoint management consultants for support and advice on meeting the ISO 45001 certification requirements.

ISO 45001 Certification Specialists

At Integrated Compliance Solutions, we are specialists in ISO 45001 Safety Consulting.

We help smaller businesses, startups as well as larger mature businesses develop effective compliance systems and solutions to fit their differing needs. When you work with us, our team of experts will assist in improving your business and saving you money, by:

  • Integrating all your ISO standards (where possible) to create seamless systems for success;
  • Minimising change by customising your business system solution to your unique needs and culture;
  • Creating user-friendly tools that are easy to maintain and change, as your needs do;
  • Saving time and resources by limiting duplication of documentation.

Our ISO 45001 Certification Services

Integrated Compliance Solutions has ISO 45001 consultants ready to provide support to SMEs Australia-wide. Our team of dedicated OHS consultants can help your business meet the requirements of changing to an ISO safety management system by guiding you through the framework, leveraging off your existing strengths and ensuring that you have everything you need to achieve compliance.

The following information may be useful in deciding whether your business should update to ISO 45001 Certification.

What Is ISO 45001 Australia And How Will My Business Be Affected?

ISO 45001 is the international OHS standard published in March 2018. Among others, ISO 45001 has the stated aim of improving requirements outlined will facilitate the improvement of an organisations’ OHS performance management, and reducing the number of workplace related injuries and illness.

ISO 45001 has replaced the management system standards AS 4801 and OHS/AS 18001. Australian businesses who wish to be/ remain certified to a safety standard, will need to review their conformance against ISO 45001.

Transitioning To The New ISO 45001 Safety Management System

Prior to the pandemic, you had three years from the publication of ISO 45001 to make your transition and achieve certification. However, this deadline was then extended to:

  • The 12th of September 2021 to migrate from OHSAS 18001:2007 certification to ISO 45001:2018
  • The 13th of July 2023 to migrate from AS/NZS 4801:2001 certification to ISO 45001:2018

The first step to achieving conformance to ISO 45001 is to audit your current processes and identify organisational gaps, which must be addressed in order to meet the new requirements of the ISO 45001 certification. You then need to develop a plan to fill those gaps and to implement the new systems.

Based on similar changes to the other standards, you should expect that increased management involvement is a requirement of ISO 45001. There is also an increased focus on identifying and considering all key stakeholders, based on risk, using a process approach and effectively monitoring impacts through the whole supply chain.

Once you have brought your management systems into line with the new ISO 45001 requirements and developed your new processes, you will need to arrange training for all stakeholders that are involved in the success of your safety management system.

Managing Health and Safety Legislation Updates

Health and Safety Legislation changes and is updated regularly. Thus, it’s crucial that your business has systems in place to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest requirements.

If you’re aiming for ISO 45001 certification, then identifying relevant legislation and complying with both National and State health and safety legislation is crucial.

Those businesses who aren’t operating in compliance with health and safety laws leave themselves exposed to considerable fines and legal action. Further, and arguably more importantly, their employees are at greater risk of being injured or becoming unwell in the workplace.

Getting ISO 45001 certification will require making the ongoing health and safety of your staff members a priority. Get in touch with our team for expert assistance in achieving continued compliance with the health and safety legislation updates that are relevant to your business.

Need Some Help Obtaining the ISO 45001 Certificate?

It’s important not to underestimate the work involved in transitioning between older and newer versions of standards, or reaching compliance to a new standard, as this may result in you leaving it too late. Assessing your current processes to identify gaps can be a time-consuming process, as can formulating and implementing a plan to fill the gaps.

On the other hand, preparing the documentation for certification doesn’t need to be onerous if you creatively integrate the requirements into your existing systems.

Our ISO 45001 Safety Consulting services can help guide you through this process via a gap assessment audit and action report, which you can then use to DIY if you have the resources to do so.

Time poor or not relishing the job ahead? Integrated Compliance Solutions can quickly and effectively manage the entire process for you, freeing up your time to grow your business. Our team of professional OHS consultants and ISO 45001 consultants offer everything you need to streamline this process and ensure it is done correctly every step of the way.

Contact our OHS Consultants for More Information

If you would like our professional assistance to make the transition to ISO 45001 certification or to assess how compliant your system already is, call us on 1300 132 745 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

To find out more about ISO certification, see our ISO Certification Frequently Asked Questions.

FAQs About ISO 45001 Certification

ISO 45001 is an internationally recognised standard that aims to contribute to the improved occupational health and safety (OHS) of individuals in the workplace. The standard comprises a framework of clear guidelines, assisting organisations in proactively working to lower risks and reduce the number of injuries and illnesses experienced in the workplace.

Compliance with the ISO 45001 standards allows for businesses to operate at the frontier of current workplace safety measures, with these new guidelines drawing on and replacing the former OHS benchmarks AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001.

ISO 45001 is beneficial to many organisations operating across Australia, and although certification is not mandatory, it acts to improve legislative compliance and formally recognises a businesses efforts to satisfactorily meet current OHS international standards.

Organisations have the opportunity to become ISO 45001 certified regardless of their size, industry or location due to the frameworks standardised nature.

Having an Occupational Health and Safety Management System in place means planning and setting up processes to manage health and safety in your workplace.

When a Health and Safety Management System has been set up, you will be:

  1. Regularly checking to identify hazards (aspects of the workplace with the potential to cause harm), e.g. manual handling, machinery, exposure to chemicals or noise.
  2. Controlling the hazards by involving the employees who are at risk, changing the workplace layout or systems of work, and following WorkSafe guidelines.
  3. Conducting risk assessments for changes or new systems of working.
  4. Inducting new employees into their health and safety requirements.
  5. Training and supervising employees performing potentially hazardous work.
  6. Including health and safety issues as agenda items in regular meetings.
  7. Considering health and safety requirements when purchasing machinery, equipment and tools.

With the environment in which businesses operate continually evolving, requirements in the workplace need to remain relevant to the current market. Therefore, the regulatory standards previously outlined in AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 have been amended accordingly to provide the High Level Structure (HLS) now used in ISO 45001.

The main areas of change between the certifications fall under the following categories:

  • Approach to risk
  • Stakeholder expectations
  • Worker participation
  • Planning specifics
  • Outsourcing

Through the implementation of practices in compliance with ISO 45001 certification, organisations achieve a proactive approach towards providing a safe and sustainable working environment for their employees. Businesses committed to upholding a high standard of occupation health and safety for their employees may therefore find the ISO 45001 certification particularly beneficial.

There are many benefits for companies to become ISO 45001 certified.

  • The credibility that an international Standard certification brings (as opposed to AS 4801 which is only Australian and not recognised overseas).
  • Smooth integration with other new revision ISO Standards already in place and reduction in documentation and duplication.
  • Positive response from the public and stakeholders to your awareness of global safety and your willingness to do your part.
  • Greater awareness of stakeholder needs and responsibility for your company’s global impact.
  • Reduction of injuries and injury-related costs.
  • Demonstrate that your organisation is meeting legal requirements.
  • The creation of safer work environments.
  • More business opportunities as many companies have preferential purchasing policies that favour purchasing products or services from companies with an OHS Management System.

Research shows that there are clear links between good Occupational Health and Safety Management System and long-term business efficiency. (Source: WorkSafe Victoria)

Generally, it will take a period of 3-6 months for a medium sized organisation to obtain certification. However, the exact period of time required is likely to vary depending on the specific circumstances of the business applying.

If the organisation seeking ISO 45001 Australia certification is operating on a particularly large scale, they may require additional time to amend current practices and satisfy guidelines. Businesses who already comply with one or more ISO standards or those who are particularly proactive may be able to acquire certification in a lesser period of time.

Once having successfully satisfied the required standards, companies can obtain valid certification for a period of three years.

To receive further information that is specific to your organisational situation, contact our consultancy experts by calling 1300 132 745.

AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 are management systems that provide organisational occupational health and safety guidelines. Each framework allows for the assessment of an organisations compliance with OHS standards and, when satisfied, results in certification. AS 4801 is used by organisations operating purely in Australia and New Zealand, whereas OHSAS 18001 can be implemented on a global scale.

These guidelines are now in the process of being transitioned out of practice; instead, they are being replaced by the amended international standards outlined in ISO 45001 in use as of March 2018.The AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 standards will be available until March 2021.

The changes made when moving from AS 4801/OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001 support a company-wide, proactive approach to OHS that encourages a shared culture of safety between all levels of an organisation. This standard requires that businesses are frequently monitoring their OHS Management system to ensure continued improvement.

One of the primary changes when switching from using the AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 systems is the introduction of Annex SL, a high-level structure that provides a streamlined approach to OHS management.

ISO 45001 Australia also includes the following changes:

  • Management Commitment: Promotes the active and participatory role of management in leading the organisation towards improved OHS. When implementing the ISO 45001 standard management are involved in direct communication and engagement with employees, encouraging a universal culture of safety.
  • Worker Involvement: ISO 45001 supports higher involvement and broader participation from employees, with staff and management working cooperatively towards successfully implementing the safety management system (SMS). The standard also emphasises the importance of employee training and education, allowing for staff to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge needed to identify risks in the workplace. This is a key benefit of the new standard, which encourages a proactive approach towards safety management and a shared responsibility among all members of an organisation.
  • Risk Versus Hazard: ISO 45001 involves the proactive identification of risks and evaluation of potential remedies, whereas the AS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 standards provide a reactive approach to hazard control. This shift towards ISO 45001 allows for organisations to effectively identify potential risks and provide appropriate solutions prior to individuals experiencing accidents or injuries in the workplace.

ISO 45001 provides standardised certification that can be implemented to regulate OHS standards in any company or industry. The ISO 45001 certification allows for greater consistency in OHS guidelines throughout sectors than possible when using more specialised frameworks, creating an effective approach to managing and reducing risks in all workplaces.

This specific form of certification is the first set of OHS standards available on an international level, therefore, when satisfying the requirements of and complying with ISO 45001 organisations are meeting guidelines that are professionally recognised on a global scale. With nearly 70 countries involved in the development of ISO 45001 OHS guidelines, the final requirements are highly standardised and well renowned worldwide.

The use of the Annex SL format in ISO 45001 implements a high-level structural approach differential from that applied in previous guidelines, such as those of AS 4801/OHSAS 18001.

Completing and maintaining internal audits of your OHS management system can be a burden if you are a small business and don’t have anyone internally who is trained in this area. Many businesses also see great benefit in getting a “helicopter view” of their business via some internal audits, risk assessments, site inspections and the like from an external OHS consultant.

Integrated Compliance Solutions can help as little or as much as you need. From conducting 1-2 audits per year to acting as your interim OHS manager and taking care of the lion share of the work, we have a package to suit your needs.

If your tender or customer is asking for a certified Occupational Health and Safety Management System, your systems will need to be externally audited against a particular standard, for example ISO 45001 by a certification body. With this certification, you will be able to promote your system’s credentials to any tenders or customer contracts you encounter.

In order to obtain this certification, you will need to create the safety management system in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 45001 standard. You can do this yourself, or you can get assistance from a health and safety consultant at ICS.

After you have implemented your Health and Safety Management System, you need to get the system audited. There are over 35 certification bodies in Australia, which all have different areas of specialisation. Our Health and Safety Consultants can assist you in deciding which is most appropriate for you.

Annex SL is a high-level structure that provides a set of ten distinct clauses that can be applied to all management system standards.

Many organisations can benefit from implementing and gaining certification across multiple management systems. Annex SL provides a universal framework that assists in improving organisations ability to efficiently satisfy numerous guidelines, allowing for an integrated approach which can be used in varying contexts.

Introducing consistency and compatibility throughout all ISO frameworks provides companies with the opportunity to enhance their use of resources, improve their risk management, and lower conflicts of interest when implementing various management system standards.

The Annex SL high-level structure involves the following generic requirements:

  • Scope (clause 1): defines the intended, industry specific outcomes to be achieved through satisfaction of the management system standards.
  • Normative References (clause 2): relevant publications and/or reference standards that support the framework of interest.
  • Terms and Definitions (clause 3): outlines standard specific terms and definitions to establish a clear understanding of the frameworks elements.
  • Context of the Organisation (clause 4): determines the overriding purpose of the organisation, while defining internal and external factors that could hinder the achievement of desired outcomes. This section also involves understanding the needs and expectations of the company’s stakeholders, and documenting the scope of business activities and set of operational boundaries specific to the management system.
  • Leadership (clause 5): emphasises top managements increasingly prominent responsibility to create a culture of system management involvement, both among themselves and their employees.
  • Planning (clause 6): involves analysing the organisations current situation, while taking systematic action to proactively address the risks and opportunities previously defined in clause 4. This section also refines the management system objectives as to ensure that they are current, measurable, monitored, clearly communicated and aligned with the overall intended outcome.
  • Support (clause 7): recognises resources, competence, awareness, communication and documented information as essential supporting attributes that are required to achieve the organisations clearly defined goals and objectives.
  • Operation (clause 8): addresses both internal and outsourced processes, ensuring that they are adequately controlled and managed while also proactively planning for unexpected circumstances during their completion.
  • Performance Evaluation (clause 9): determines how companies will effectively monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate their progress towards or satisfaction of defined objectives. This stage involves ensuring organisational, legislative and certification standards are being met through the completion of an internal audit. Management suitability and effectiveness is also reviewed, examining whether the current management system is adequate.
  • Improvement (clause 10): focuses on addressing non-conformities and implementing appropriate corrective action, while also developing strategies which will assist in continual organisational improvement.


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