Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: International work continues on production of the future ISO 45001 standard

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The third meeting of the International Project Committee ISO/PC 283 on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) and its Requirements working group (WG 1) was held from 19 to 24 January 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago. 23 member countries of ISO/PC 283 were represented by 70 delegates, 20 of whom were attending for the first time.

An intense week of meetings enabled the six working groups to study in parallel and act on nearly all the 2500 comments received during voting on the Committee Draft (CD) of draft standard 45001 “Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use”.

France, moreover, is one of the countries which made the most comments (more than 360), and over half of them were accepted. Long discussions were held to reach consensual definitions of certain terms such as “danger”, “risk”, “incident”, “worker” and “workplace” in the context of OH&S.

This standard, prepared in accordance with the structure common to management system standards, should enable OHSMS to be included in the enterprise management system on the same level as the management systems for quality, the environment, energy, etc.

In response to the discontent expressed during the CD1 survey by certain delegations regarding the operating procedure of the Project Committee and its working group, the secretariat and the chairman’s office successfully ensured that consensus and transparency would be the two keywords of this third meeting.

During the first CD vote, 17 countries had expressed their disapproval, considering in particular that the document had not reached a sufficient degree of maturity to be subjected to the Draft International Standard (DIS) public enquiry. The next stage of this document will therefore be a second Committee Draft consultation limited solely to the members of the ISO national mirror committees (CD2).

February and March were devoted to updating of the text by an editorial committee to ensure the consistency of all decisions taken by the six sub-working groups on the comments and the resulting Committee Draft.

This draft will probably be sent at end-March 2015 to the national mirror committees for a 2-month CD2 enquiry, so the consultation of the French Afnor X82A commission will be very short, hardly one month, to allow analysis and translation of the French comments adopted. The fourth meeting of ISO/PC 283 and its WG 1 is planned for early July.

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