The aim of the future standard ISO 45001 remains the same as that of the OHSAS 18001: to prevent occupational risk and risks related to health within organisations, thus committing to constant improvement. However, the future standard will focus more clearly on the context of the organisation and will strengthen the role of senior management in the leadership of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. The standard is designed to be applied to any organisation, whatever its size, type or nature.
Additionally, the future ISO 45001 will share the so-called high level structure described in other management standards, such as the ISO 9001 of Quality Management or the ISO 14001 of Environmental Management, in order to facilitate its alignment and compatibility.
ISO 45001, like OHSAS 18001, sets out the actions required to deal with risks and opportunities, including the identification of hazards, risk assessment, the identification of opportunities and the determination of applicable requirements.
According to ISO, the standard may be launched in 2017. The publication of the ISO 45001 will not mean the automatic cancellation of the OHSAS 18001.
Vote in the first quarter of 2017
As already reported, a meeting to continue the debate on the evolution of the International Standard ISO 45001 on Occupational health and safety management systems has been held in Ontario, Canada. Over one hundred experts attended the meeting.
The result of the vote for the project of the international standard has required a new round of debate; the international committee responsible for the development of the standard, the ISO PC 283, has received over 3,000 comments, which were analysed in order to edit the text with a view to the launch of the DIS2.
Among others, the points discussed during the meeting involved the alignment of the standard with the High level structure; the definition of worker and workers' representative; work was carried out on section 5.4 on "participation and enquiry"; the new structure of chapter 6 "Planning"; the definition of danger, in which specifically the concept of "imminent danger" was defined; training and responsibility; and the application of the standard in all types of organisations, including SMEs.
The next meeting, during which the drawing up of the DIS2 is expected to be finalised, will be held in October. In the month of February 2017, the voting process for the DIS2 is due to start, and will last for two months. When the voting finishes, around May 2017 – a new meeting of the ISO PC will be held, in which it will be decided to finally publish the document around June 2017 or whether it will be subject to a new voting period and pass to the Final Draft International Standard.
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