In February 2016, ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation) released a Committee Draft of its long awaited Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standard.
ISO 45001 will be the first internationally applicable OH&S Management System Standard.
ISO’s rationale for drafting an OH&S Management System Standard includes:
- The International Labour Organisation estimates that over 2.2 million people die every year as a result of work-related accidents and disease.
- Currently no internationally accepted Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems exists.
- To help more organisations reduce work-related accidents, injuries and disease through wider implementation of OHS Management Systems.
For organisations with an existing OH&S management system based on OHSAS 18001:2007 or AS/NZS 4801:2001, this is an important change, as it is anticipated that ISO 45001 will replace these Standards.
Whilst no announcement has been made by British Standards or Australian/New Zealand Standards, there is normally a 2-3 year transition period before they withdraw the existing Standards (OHSAS 18001:2007 or AS/NZS 4801:2001).
The Draft International Standard 45001 was released in February 2016, and the ISO stated its intention is to release the published ISO 45001 Standard in October 2016 (see diagram) (see: https://committee.iso.org/pc283)
The Draft draws heavily on OHSAS 18001:2007 – so in all likelihood, organisations with an existing OH&S management system should be able to modify it to meet the new Standard, rather than having to start again.
We will also provide a further Blog on the key differences between the Draft ISO 45001 and AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 respectively, in the next two weeks. Stay tuned!