ISO 45001 DIS (Draft International Standard) for Occupational Health/Safety
Many folks have eagerly anticipated the first international standard to address Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S). ISO has assigned the 45000 series to this work, and many feel it will be the defacto replacement for British Standards Institute’s OHSAS 18001 standard. ISO 45001 DIS originally came out as Committee Draft, and after review and comment period, was promoted to Draft International Standard (DIS). At this point, countries had 3 months (12Feb16 to 12May16) to review and comment on the standard. These comments could range anything from “this is a typo/wrong verb tense” to “this is rubbish and needs to be thrown out and started over”. The committee has a few options for the standard – it can be shelved, moved forward to Final Draft International Standard (FDIS), or kept at a DIS level for a second round.
How did ISO 45001 DIS fare? Well, OK. Sorta. In order for it to pass, two-thirds have to be in favor, less than one-quarter has to be against (this accounts for abstentions). They met the approval target, at 71% in favor; however, missed the one-quarter disapproval with a final count of 28% against and only one abstention. Most concerning (at least to me) was the fact that 3,000 unique comments were submitted. [As one of the reviewers, I had several comments myself that I submitted…]
When the Committee convened in Toronto in June to discuss the future of the standard, it was agreed by the closing meeting that the 3,000 comments should be processed and the standard should be updated to reflect these comments in another DIS, or DIS2 as it will most likely be called. Based on info available today, I’ll be looking for DIS to have some significant changes from DIS (#1)…
The timeline for DIS2 will be the end of 2016, or even possibly January 2017; and this will then push out the final publication of the International Standard to sometime later in 2017. I’m not going to hold my breath that it will be out much before the second half of the year… but only time will tell.
ISO 45001 is good in theory; it’s the details, language, and clarity that needs to be spot on before we can move it forward to International Standard level.