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ISO Committee delays development of ISO 45001 OH&S Management System standard

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016 - 10:00
Industry news

Original article updated Thursday 22nd September, 2016

Development of the global OHS management system (OHSMS) standard – also known as ISO/DIS 45001- has been deferred as the ISO committee responsible for the work (i.e. PC 283) had not been able to achieve the necessary level of consensus by participating members.

This international OHSMS standard will be a global first and its higher level structure will be aligned with other more familiar international management system standards (MSS) such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 – adhering to the Annex SL requirements for management system standard development. As with other international MSSs, key concepts including a Process approach and PDCA cycle should be considered in developing an ISO 45001 OHSMS.

The SIA is one of the 14 Australian organisations providing input in the development of this important global standard. The other participating organisations include the following:

  • Master Builders Australia 
  • Australian  Industry  Group 
  • Australian  Energy  Council  
  • Safe Work Australia  
  • Australian Council of Trade Unions 
  • Association of  Accredited  Certification  Bodies  
  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
  • Australian Industry  Group  
  • Bureau of  Steel  Manufacturers  of  Australia 
  • Department of Natural Resources and Mines (QLD) 
    Engineers  Australia  
  • Certification  Interests  (Australia)  
  • University  of  New  South  Wales   

Australia, through the SF-001 committee within Standards Australia, was one of the participating members who submitted a negative vote to the ISO/ DIS 45001 OHSMS standard as the committee felt that more work was needed to resolve key issues which, according to Bronwyn Walker of Standards Australia, included:

  • the definition of OH&S risk;   
  • how  consultation  is  addressed  and;      
  • greater  emphasis  on  applying  known  controls  rather  than  unnecessary  risk 

The voluntary AS/NZS 4801:2001 OHS management systems standard continues to be a current publication until it is superseded by the voluntary international OHS management system standard ISO 45001 which is now expected to be released in 2017; Australia is a signatory to the ISO series of MSS, which are voluntary standards unless mandated by legal or other business requirements.

The SIA had submitted 108 recommendations (23 pages) to SF-001 and 16 of the recommendations were fully accepted or required editing; the rest of the recommendations were rejected for various reasons (see the collated comments and the decision by the SF-001 committee in accepting or rejecting them – SIA submissions that were accepted are highlighted in light blue).

The following were members from the SIA’s College of Fellows (CoF) who participated in the review and recommendations:

  • CoF’s Chair Technical Advisory Committee  Stephen Thomas ChOHSP, CFSIA;
  • Leo Ruschena ChOHSP, FSIA;
  • PJ Fleming ChOHSP, FSIA; and
  • Roland Tan ChOHSP, FSIA

SIA member participation in the development of the ISO 45001 OHSMS standard

Moving forward, the SIA believes that some of the rejected recommendations made by the SIA should be given further consideration by the SF-001 committee as they are deemed critical in facilitating the comprehensive, clear and consistent understanding and effective application of the principles of good OHSMS in the workplace.

SIA Members are encouraged to review and comment on the ISO 45001 DIS, especially those recommendations submitted by the SIA concerning the requirements, definitions, clarifications and examples around:

  • Hazards and risks;
  • Promotion, collaboration;
  • Document control;
  • Competency;
  • Calibration and
  • Emergencies

Comments on the current DIS 45001 have closed. However, a second ISO DIS is expected to be released later in 2016, or early in 2017.

To review and comment on the ISO 45001 DIS, please complete the following steps:


i) Send us your details

To facilitate understanding of the ISO 45001 DIS requirements, SIA members should first request a copy of the standard by emailing the SIA office at Provide your name, membership grade, membership number, employer, role, email address and contact number.

ii) Sign the SA deed

Upon receipt of your details, you will be required to sign a deed by Standards Australia (SA), who will then grant you access to the ISO 45001 DIS and other related documents – which are restricted documents and not meant to be distributed. The release and acceptance of the deed is at the discretion of Standards Australia.

iii) Access and Review the ISO 45001 DIS

Upon signing the deed, you will become a member of SF-001-00-00 Committee, also known as Draft Development Working Group (DDWG). As a Committee Member of DDWG, you will be able to comment on various drafts, via the SIA. This initiative by Standards Australia, also known as the Sharing of Committee Drafts Pilot Program, is designed to expand the base of contributions through Nominating Organisations (such as the SIA) on the development of technical drafts.

iv) Complete the SIA electronic survey

Once you have signed the deed and been given access to the relevant documents, you will be supplied with an electronic survey from the SIA, for providing commentary on the SIA's recommendations for the ISO 45001 DIS. 

NOTE: If you have been able to access the ISO 45001 DIS documents independently, it is not necessary to sign the SA deed as mentioned above. In this case, you may provide feedback on the SIA's recommendations for the standard by simply completing the SIA e-survey, which can be found HERE.

Thank you for your interest and contribution to this important standard development.


Roland Tan, ChOHSP, FSIA

SIA representative in the SF-001 committee, Standards Australia