A new international standard on occupational health and safety management is currently under development with publication expected in October 2016. The second committee draft of ISO 45001 – Occupational health and safety management standard systems – requirements with guidance for use has now closed. This follows the re-drafting of the standard to reflect comments received from the September 2014 public consultation.
Occupational health and safety continues to be a priority across the world. Despite extensive regulation, existing standards and guidelines, work-related disease still kills millions globally each year, with hundreds of thousands more fatalities caused by workplace accidents. The international committee developing ISO 45001 includes experts from over 55 countries, 14 observer countries and around 20 liaison bodies, all with knowledge and practical experience of occupational health and safety issues and the challenges faced. The new standard is designed to replace the widely-used OHSAS 18001 whilst also taking into account other key documents and discussion points from around the world. Ultimately it intends to provide a single, clear framework for organizations of all types and sizes who wish to improve their OH&S performance and protect those working on their behalf or who may be affected by the organization’s activities.
ISO 45001 is being developed using a collaborative, consensus-based approach taking into account the views of large and small organizations, government bodies, trades unions and worker representative organizations. To ensure the widest possible input is received from stakeholders BSI has taken the unusual step of making drafts available to the public at every stage of development. Usually, this would only happen once, half way through the process.
ISO 45001 has been written to a core structure and common text defined by ISO for use by all management system standards. The core structure will ensure that the new standard is broadly aligned to the forthcoming revisions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 – thus helping those who are implementing multiple management systems.
Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development for Governance & Risk at BSI, said: “Occupational health and safety is a matter of importance for all businesses worldwide, regardless of their size or sector. It is not an issue that can be ignored especially when it can literally mean life and death for many.”