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Health and Safety management systems: Will ISO 45001 become a new <>

Human resources is an essential component for the operability of organizations. However, in the sophisticated and complex working environment of many organizations today, coping with the risks regarding occupational health and safety has become a challenging issue in the sustainability of safe working conditions. According to International Labour Organization (ILO), approximately 2.34 million workers die each year due to work-related accidents and diseases, and such statistical data indicate the need for a better management and minimization system for all occupational hazard risks. 
In order to guide all stakeholders in the implementation of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) policy and in the proactive management of all related risks, ISO plans to launch an international standard “ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements”. This standard is hoped to increase awareness in public and establish a more systematic approach in the surveillance of risks in relation with legal requirements. With this purpose in mind, ISO/PC 283 Project Committee Work Group 01 has started working on the ISO based OH&S management system standard in October 2013. CD1 has been rejected to be revised in October 2014 and 2nd Committee Draft (CD2) has just ended enquiry stage in June 2015. Draft International Standard (DIS) is planned to be reviewed by the beginning of 2016 for a 3-month period. 
Assuming that the DIS is approved, the publication date could either be as early as July/ August 2016, or as late as March 2017. If the DIS fails to be approved, the publication date could be even later, depending on the course of action the PC then decides to take. Inspired by the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS) 18001 standard in the beginning, the draft standard is being developed by a vast number of participating countries and experts. Yet, it is worth mentioning that ISO 45001 has a multidimensional approach for the organizations, which takes their health and safety issues including the contractors, suppliers, neighbours into consideration. Moreover, in the new standard, OH&S aspects are well integrated into the overall management system that is further supported by the participation and consultation of workers. Through this improvements, OH&S management system gains a convenient implementation system focusing on both internal conditions within the organization and also external potential risks, which let organizations take appropriate actions promptly by evaluating OH&S performance.
Following the high-level structure approach, ISO 45001 was designed in accordance with the Management System standards family such as Quality Management System ISO 9001 and Environment Management System ISO 14001.  While reducing the overall costs by its proactive approach, new international standard ISO 45001 is a promising candidate to become a new <<bestseller>> via its worldwide applicability and integrity with the new structured management system standards.


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