A New ISO Standard for Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems

OHSAS 18001 has, for the last 14 years, been the internationally accepted guidance for occupational health & safety management systems. Many companies across a wide variety of industries have adopted its requirements and achieved party certification to verify their compliance with the standard.

Throughout this time, OHSAS 18001 has remained independent of ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) until now. It has been on the minds of many as to why it has taken ISO so long to include a health & safety management system standard within their collection of published standards, particularly as it is so often linked with Quality and Environmental Management in today’s business operations.

This summer saw the establishment of the ISO Project Committee (PC) 283 when ISO members voted to move forward with the development of a new international management system standard that can be used to certify an organisation’s Occupational Health & Safety Management System. The structure of OHSAS 18001 will form the foundation for the new international standard with the development work for the relevant management system requirements overseen by PC 283. It is expected that the final standard will be completed sometime in 2016.

Commenting on the development, David Riley, Tutor for Excel Partnership’s Health & Safety auditor training, said “We will be proactive in helping auditors on safety related courses understand their responsibilities and explore the possible new elements included in the standard as it progresses along the development route.”

Geoff Doole, Managing Partner for Excel Partnership, adds “As an international training organisation, our clients rely on us being at the forefront of the management systems industry, keeping abreast of changes and developments and inputting into these processes. We will keep people apprised of the development of ISO’s new H&S management systems standard during our training courses and with updates posted on our website.”

Excel Partnership will continue to provide updates on revisions to the ISO standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, as they become available.