Let's begin by clarifying that ISO 18001 currently is a standard, but it has nothing to do with Occupational Health & Safety. ISO 18001 is actually a standard for radio frequency identification.
BS OHSAS 18001
The 18000 series of standards were developed outside of the world of ISO (International Standards Organization) as a British Standard (BS), therefore the official reference to the standard a site can be registered to is "BS OHSAS 18001". Furthermore, "OHSAS" is an abbreviation for Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services in reference to the Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services Project Group. This group first published the multi-national standard in 1999. OHSAS 18001 represents the standard with requirements for registration where OHSAS 18002 is the guidance document for establishing, implementing or improving a management system.
The purpose of OHSAS 18001 is to provide organizations with standard elements for developing a formal health and safety management system. The layout has been updated in recent years for easy integration with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System standard. The OHSAS & EMS standards are nearly identical, the greatest difference being the elements that an organization manages, controls and improves. The term frequently used to describe an integrated system encompassing both OHSAS & EMS elements is Health, Safety & Environment (HSE).
Assuming planned timelines are adhered to, the OHSAS 18001 standard should be retired and replaced by ISO 45001 in late 2016 resulting in the release of "ISO 45001:2016".
“Annex SL” is, in short, a standard for how standards are developed. Annex SL contains rules governing the development of all ISO management standards. The structure of future standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 will be as follows:
The ISO community and HSE practitioners are hopeful for a more global adoption and recognition of the health and safety standards once published and released. It is estimated that poor health and safety management costs represent approximately 4% of the Global Gross Domestic Product. Proper management of health and safety elements is not only a recommended approach to a socially responsible organization, doing so typically has significant positive financial impacts.
Projected timeline & stages for standard development:
To monitor the progress of ISO/PC 283, the Technical Committee working together to publish the ISO 45001 standard, visit their page online.