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ISO 45001 could be set to replace OHSAS 18001 sooner than anticipated

ISO 45001 is rapidly set to replace the OHSAS 18001, and new information has come to light which suggests the replacement could come sooner.

ISO 45001

Progress has been made towards launching the much anticipated ISO 45001 standard, following a recent meeting of the Project Committee’s Working Group in Vienna.

ISO 45001 is intended to replace OHSAS 18001 and create a truly international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. ISO Project Committee 283 (PC 283) has been tasked with the standard’s development.

The new ISO 45001 standard was originally tipped to launch in 2016, but the process has faced several delays. The first draft, Draft International Standard 1 (DIS1), was rejected in May 2016. This meant that a second draft of the standard had to be produced in response to the ISO member comments.

During the latest meeting of PC 283’s Working Group, good progress was made towards creating this second draft. The review of international comments on DIS1 was finalised, and the text was composed for the second draft of the standard. This text will now be edited by ISO and sent to the national standards bodies of each country for translation. After these steps, the draft will be issued as DIS2. This Draft International Standard will once again go to ISO members for them to comment and vote on.

The productivity of last week’s meeting means there is still a chance of ISO 45001 being launched in 2017. ISO members will vote on DIS2, with the result expected this summer. This will be followed by a meeting of PC 283 in 18 -22nd September to review both the outcome of the ballot and any further comments made on the new draft.

A decision will then be made as to whether DIS2 can be approved, or if a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) is needed. If DIS2 is approved, the publication of ISO 45001 could happen as soon as November/December 2017. However, if further amendments are needed in the form of an FDIS, the standard is likely to be published around March 2018 at the earliest.

Alcumus’ Andrew Foster sits on the ISO 45001 work group (ISO PC 283) and is encouraged by the progress made in Vienna, commenting:

Despite many areas to cover, all planned discussions and work was completed, and much agreement reached.  There was good collaboration between all members of the workgroup and a collective enthusiasm for reaching a consensus and completing the standard which, if an FDIS stage is avoided, could be by the end of this year.

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