ISO 45001, AS/NZS 4801 & Important Dates

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Today we’re going to open up the fact book and explain the differences between ISO 45001 and AS/NZS 4801, and look at what your organisation needs to do to ensure a systematic approach to occupational health and safety measures in your organisation. We’re also going to be talking about the all-important dates for transitioning an AS/NZS 4801 safety standard to the latest version of ISO 45001. 

What is ISO 45001?

ISO 45001:2018 is the latest Occupational Health and Safety management system from the International Organisation for Standardisation that has been introduced to improve workplace safety across the globe, and sets out a safety and risk-based thinking framework for organisations. ISO 45001 has been designed to be implemented by the management team to address illness and injuries in your workplace for staff and visitors and provide a risk-based thinking approach to tackling potential hazards in your organisation. It’s one of the leading and thorough safety management standards that is dedicated to improving the organisation’s attention to potential risks in your organisation and its supply chain. 

What is AS4801?

AS/NZ 4801 is a workplace occupational health and safety standard governed by regulators in Australia and New Zealand. AS/NZS 4801 outlines the requirements of your organisation to develop an efficient and effective safety system, which demonstrates to your stakeholders that you’re committed to mitigating risks in your workplace and supply chain to prevent injuries, and in worst cases, deaths. 

Does ISO 45001 replace AS/NZS 4801?

Yes, ISO 45001 has been introduced to replace AS/NZ 4801 as an internationally-governed and recognised occupational health and safety management system, but it can be a little bit complicated. The International Accreditation Forum has handed down a three-year transition date for organisations with an AS/NZ 4801 management system to move to ISO 45001: 2018. 

The problem for organisations in Australia and New Zealand is that regulators have in the past stipulated the need for AS/NZS 4801 to be eligible for certain tenders, without mention of equivalent standards like ISO 45001 that has since superseded 4801. That has led a number of Australian and New Zealand companies to remain certified to AS/NZS 4801 for regulatory purposes.

Now, however, Standards Australia and JAS ANZ recognise the need to move to a unified, international safety management system, and have set a timeline for organisations to transition their AS/NZS 4801 certification to ISO 45001:2018. As such, any 4801-certified organisation should transition to ISO 45001 by the 30th of September, 2021, unless there is a demonstrable need to maintain 4801. Best Practice’s approach to this is that our clients. The official end-date for migration from AS/NZS 4801to 45001 now stands at 13th of July, 2023. 

Is AS/NZS 4801 Certification still current?

AS/NZS 4801 has officially been classified as “available superseded,” meaning that regulators in Australia and New Zealand will still recognise the standard in spite of the fact the standard has been replaced by the latest version of ISO 45001: 2018, so long as they meet the transition date within three-years of the announcement. This means that AS/NZS 4801 remains current, but is set to be officially superseded by ISO 45001:2018 with a transition period set for the 30th of September, 2021, with an official end-date of 13th of July, 2023. 

How to migrate from AS/NZS 4801 to ISO 45001? 

The easiest way for your organisation to migrate from AS/NZS 4801 to ISO 45001:2018 is to get in contact with Best Practice, where our team of assessors will help you with the transition in the most time, resource and cost-effective manner possible.

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