Signing off the much-anticipated ISO45001 for publication by the end of 2017 has become a possibility, following a positive vote on the second draft of the international standard.
National standard bodies (NSBs) across the world voted on DIS2, the second draft of ISO45001, between May and July. Some 88% of NSBs voted in favour of the draft with 11% voting against.
There will now be a crunch meeting of project committee 283 in Malaysia, between 18 and 23 September. The group, led by former British Standards chair David Smith, could then distribute a final version of the standard, which would see publication in November at the earliest.
But there was concern about the weight of comments from the consultation at the second draft stage. More than 1600 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The standard aims to build on BS OHSAS 18001, which will be withdrawn when ISO45001 comes into effect, with a three-year migration period expected from the move.
The standard is intended to be applicable to any organization regardless of its size, type, and nature. All of its requirements are intended to be integrated in the management of an organization’s processes. ISO 45001 allows an organization, through its management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker welfare.
More than 70 countries are directly involved in the creation of the document with the British Standards Institution (BSI) serving as the committee secretariat.
Chair David Smith has previously said: “Implementing a strong occupational health and safety management system helps organizations reduce accidents and ill health, avoid costly prosecutions, perhaps even reduce insurance costs, as well as create a culture of positivity in the organization when its people see that their needs are being taken into account.”
“Wide adoption of ISO 45001 should reduce the horror stories in the media of poor OHS management leading to loss of life, injury and large-scale disasters, as seen in the factory buildings around the world.”
ISO 45001 is based on the common elements found in all of ISO’s 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 organizations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimize 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.