On 21 September 2017 a scoping workshop was held by Standards New Zealand to consider adoption of ISO45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. As a member of the OB-007 Australia/New Zealand Risk Management Standards Committee, Kristin Hoskin (representing RiskNZ) participated in the workshop.
The topics discussed at the workshop included:
· general suitability of the standard as a replacement for the current AS/NZS 4801 and 4804 Health and Safety Management Systems standards
· potential issues between ISO45001 and current legislation in New Zealand
· gaps between ISO45001 and expectations in New Zealand
· what guidance documents may need to be developed to support implementation of ISO45001 in NZ (and Australia)
· relationship between ISO45001 and other means of illustrating competency and compliance in health and safety management.
Concurrent with the workshop the ISO/PC 283 Technical Committee met in Singapore to review the new standard. While Australia is a participating member of this committee, NZ is only an observing member. The outcome of the meeting held in Singapore determines if the ISO standard will be published in late 2017 (possible) or March 2018 (more likely). Once it is published, New Zealand will seek to adopt it and withdraw the current AS/NZS standards. The earliest this would likely happen is late 2018.
What this means for those that are AS/NZS 4801,4804 accredited (currently approximately 200 organisations are accredited):
· There will be a minimum of 18 months from now before new accreditation is likely to be able to be sought.
· Those who have seen the draft standard can be assured that it is likely to remain unchanged except for editorial changes.
· The new standard will be a lot less ‘documented evidence’ heavy than the current standards, and will be better suited to NZ organisations, particularly those working internationally.
· A consultation period for adoption of the standard (as NZ/ISO45001) in NZ is likely to begin at the end of this year.
· A guidance document is likely to be developed by an NZ or AS/NZS technical standards committee, but this will come after the standard is published. The guidance document is anticipated to address issues that relate to AS/NZS terminology and definitions used in legislation. It will also seek to address concept mismatches regarding risks, controls that have impacts on likelihood (rather than consequences), imposed hazards, and other matters.
Kristin will provide updates on activities and news from Standards NZ approximately monthly. If anyone has questions or input related to any of the above, or the development of any other risk management related ISO, AS/NZS, or NZ standards they are welcome to contact Kristin.