ISO 45001 nears

ISO 45001 nears

British health and safety news outlet, Safety & Health Practitioner, has reported that signing off the much-anticipated ISO 45001 for publication by the end of 2017 has become a possibility, following a positive vote on the second draft of the international standard.

More than 70 countries are directly involved in the creation of the document, with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the committee secretariat. National standard bodies (NSBs) across the world voted on DIS2, the second draft of ISO 45001, between May and July. Some 88 percent of NSBs voted in favour of the draft.

There will now be a crunch meeting of project committee 283 in Malaysia, between September 18 and 23. The group, led by former BSI chair David Smith, could then distribute a final version of the standard, which would see publication in November at the earliest.

More than 1 600 comments on the document were made, which could produce issues with seeing the final draft of the International Standard (FDIS) approved on a shortened timeline. It may be that the original path for the FDIS, which was early 2018, could be deemed the most appropriate route instead.

The standard aims to build on BS OHSAS 18001, which will be withdrawn when ISO 45001 comes into effect, with a three-year migration period expected. It is intended to be applicable to any organisation regardless of its size, type, and nature.

All of its requirements are intended to be integrated in the management of an organisation’s processes. ISO 45001 allows an organisation, through its management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker welfare.

According to Smith: “Wide adoption of ISO 45001 should reduce the horror stories in the media of poor occupational health and safety management leading to loss of life, injury and large-scale disasters.”

ISO 45001 is based on the common elements found in all of the ISO management system standards, assuring a high level of compatibility with the new versions of ISO 9001 quality management systems, and ISO 14001 environmental management systems.

It uses a simple plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model, which provides a framework for organisations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimise the risk of harm. The measures aim to address concerns that can lead to long-term health issues and absence from work, as well as those that give rise to accidents.

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