In recent months, the environment within which organisations across the globe operate has changed drastically. With this change has come a unique set of challenges, placing additional pressure on many businesses as they work to survive this undeniably difficult time.
For many organisations, the future is now uncertain, with their focus shifting from growing and thriving in the business landscape, to simply trying to make it out the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. Their capabilities have changed, as have their priorities.
Where feasible, employees are now working remotely, which has been an adjustment in of itself. The typical workplace circumstances that employers were once familiar with have changed and, subsequently, management now needs to take an array of completely new considerations into account when managing their team members.
With changes like this in mind and, ultimately, in containing the rapid spread of coronavirus, many of the government requirements businesses must comply with have been reassessed – often becoming far stricter. Much of this has been in relation to occupational health and safety, as organisations work to keep not only their staff and customers safe but also the greater community.
This not gone unnoticed and, in response to the challenges organisations all over the world are now grappling with, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has extended the migration deadline for ISO 45001 certification.
How long do you have to transition?
A growing number of businesses are currently under immense pressure to remain viable in a volatile, ever-evolving and all but unfamiliar environment. Whether they’re tackling financial difficulties, logistical issues or the like, reaching their compliance objectives may feel all the more challenging.
You may have previously achieved compliance with OHSAS 18001; the global standard for health and safety, or AS/NZS 4801; the Australian and New Zealand standard for safety management. These standards are currently being phased out and, if your business is yet to formally review and update your certification, you’ll be relieved to know you now have more time to make the transition to ISO 45001.
This year, you’ve no doubt recognised just how important flexibility has become – the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have also taken this on board. Acknowledging and understanding the unique challenges businesses are facing in the current climate, they’re giving organisations the opportunity to extend existing OHSAS 18001 and AS/NZS 4801 certificates for up to six months.
According to the JASANZ website the deadline to migrate from OHSAS 18001:2007 and AS/NZS 4801:2001 to ISO 45001:2018 has been extended to the 12th of September 2021.
AS/NZS 4801 exceptions to note
While the majority of Australian and New Zealand businesses that are currently AS/NZS 4801 compliant will be required to migrate to ISO 45001 over the coming months, there are some exceptions worth taking into account.
There are still some existing regulatory requirements that are yet to be updated and; thus, make reference to AS/NZS 4801. If your organisation must comply with legislation that makes specific mention of AS/NZS 4801, you will need to maintain certification with this standard. For more information and to determine if such exceptions apply to your organisation, please get in touch with our team.
However, outside of these unique cases, businesses ought to start making arrangements to continue demonstrating their commitment to workplace health and safety, proactively working towards compliance with ISO 45001.
Changes in auditing restrictions
Due to government restrictions, the prospect of conducting audits on-site is no longer practical or, in many cases, legally possible.
With this in mind, the IAF has also revised the requirements for conducting audits, removing the restrictions around how remote audits can be used for health and safety certification work. This update means that, if you’re migrating from OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZS 4801 to ISO 45001, the audit allowing for this migration can now be undertaken in full remotely.
How can an ISO consultant help during this time?
If you’re looking to start the migration process and want to find out more about what exactly this will entail, speaking with an experienced ISO consultant is a great place to start.
As mentioned, the circumstances under which making the move from OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZS 4801:2001 to AS/NZS 45001 have changed, with the option for remote consulting now available. Generally speaking, businesses are more familiar with face-to-face consulting services. However, at Integrated Compliance Solutions, we have been successfully providing regional clients with remote consulting for many years.
We leverage a range of technologies, allowing for effective remote consulting capabilities that have only continued to grow in the current climate. In recent times, we’ve also expanded our digital capabilities, developing a cloud-based platform, which supports the introduction of end-to-end integrated management systems that run entirely in the cloud.
We offer a diverse range of auditing services remotely, helping you develop your business’ systems online so you can achieve your certification goals. These remote auditing services include:
By discussing your current position and future compliance objectives with an industry professional, you can eliminate an element of uncertainty and confidently take the first step towards migrating to ISO 45001.
Get in touch with an expert
Ready to start transitioning from OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZS 4801 to ISO 45001?
While the deadline has been extended, after having achieved compliance with OHSAS 18001 or AS/NZS 4801, you’re likely well aware that accredited certification doesn’t happen overnight. By taking productive steps now, you can get your business on track to successfully migrate to the latest standard in health and safety in the months to come.
For more information about our remote consulting services and how our team can help you get ISO 45001 compliant, get in touch with us today by calling 1300 132 745.