Just a few days ago, ISO45001: 2018 – Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – were published officially by Standards Australia as a joint Australian/New Zealand standard.
This is exciting news.
After deliberations between industry and regulations across both New Zealand and Australia, the decision was made to publish the standard for both nations. The highly-anticipated ISO 45001 standard was originally published earlier this year in March, where Standards Australia initiated the process of applying it in the domestic context by July.
At the time of its launch, the standard faced some criticism from stakeholders who aired their concerns that certain provisions inside the standard were not compatible with existing Australian legislation.
Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia has since issued a statement clarifying that the AS/NZS version of the standard will be based in a systematic approach to workplace health and safety across a plethora of industries.
“Australian experts contributed heavily to ISO 45001, working with their international colleagues to deliver a standard outlining international best practice in the management of workplace safety.”
“Ultimately, organisations of every size and in every industry have guidance available to achieve a minimum level of workplace health and safety thanks to the publication of this standard.”
“The support this document has received from industry is indicative of the effort Australian organisations have already put into improving safety in their workplaces, which has the potential to be a simple and more effective process thanks to this international standard.”
Standards Australia has reiterated previously that AS/NZS 4801 will “remain current until such time as it’s determined by regulators and a broad range of stakeholders to be otherwise.”
It is widely thought that Australia will now begin the process of phasing out these existing safety standards, giving businesses something like a three-year period to transition from AS/NZS 4801 to the new and updated AS/NZS 45001 standard.
We’re working away at gathering what assistance and additional guidance can be provided specifically to organisations and individuals adopting the new AS/NZS 45001 standard; stay tuned for a guide to the benefits of the new standard, as well as information on transitioning to the new standard.