Australia to Phase Out Old Safety Standards in Favour of ISO 45001

June 5, 2018 Tara

MY OSH: A recent Standards Australia forum involving key stakeholders saw attendees unanimously agree that an identical adoption of ISO 45001, as soon as possible, was the best possible outcome for the country.

The consensus was that this would involve a ‘sensible’ three-year transition period for business moving from 18001 or 4801 to ISO 45001. This transition period will likely commence from the Australian identical adoption date, rather than the international publication date of March 12, 2018.

The identical adoption itself is expected to take 4 – 6 months from commencement to publishing. Additional guidance documentation on the implementation of ISO 45001 for Australian conditions will also be produced.

ISO 45001 requires management and leadership to take greater responsibility for health and safety issues, and over 500,000 organisations are expected to take up the standard internationally over the next decade.

Due to this demand, there was some concern at the forum regarding the communication of ISO 45001 and its potential impact on tendering and contracting throughout the supply chain. There is a view that small businesses may assume that by aligning to the standard they automatically meet their contractual and legal obligations.

As a result of this, the forum called for accreditation bodies and regulators to do more to help small business transition to the new standard, and identify potential gaps in their legal requirements.

The Technical Committee SF-001 Occupational Health & Safety will now prepare and submit a draft proposal to Standards Australia.

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