OHS gets an overhaul

MINING, oil and gas operations in Australia and the UK will find their countries’ occupational health and safety standard replaced with a new international OHS standard from 2016.

Staff Reporter

The International Organisation for Standardisation has released the draft for the new international OHS standard, ISO45001, with the final edition expected in October 2016.

The standard is being reviewed by a project committee consisting of representatives from more than 50 countries and will replace the Australian standard AS4801:2001 and the international standard developed in Britain, OHSAS18001.

Best practice certification lead auditor Sarah Long said applying a universally accepted international standard was necessary to provide a system for global conformity; and that approaching safety through a management system was a far more successful approach than using the compliance model on its own.

“The ISO45001 draft that is available shows additional sections on leadership and commitment, procurement and continual improvement, which bring it into line with other standards such as ISO9001,” Long said.

“Providing businesses with a uniform set of criteria will raise OHS practices to the level of 'best practice' in areas where it has not been a priority.

“The direct impact on companies and staff will be a focus on upgrading existing OHS practices and systems to meet the new requirements of the standard. Training and consultation will play a large role in educating staff on the changes.

“A systematic approach to managing safety improves OHS practices more efficiently and effectively than a compliance-only based regime, and shows a larger reduction in workplace injuries and deaths.”

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