Photo caption: porcorex

Richard Green, CQP FCQI, Managing Director of Kingsford Consultancy Services, UK, provides the latest update for the ISO 45000 series of standards.

During October and November last year, the various working groups of ISO’s TC283 – Occupational Health and Safety Management Committee – met virtually to progress the development of a number of health and safety-related Standards. This article sets out the progress made by the Committee’s various working groups.

The TC283 working group 3 (WG3) have been tasked with producing ISO 45002 - Occupational health and safety management — General guidelines for the implementation of ISO 45001:2018. Its purpose is similar to OHSAS 18002, namely: to provide guidance to end users on how to implement the requirements of its associated standard, OHSAS 18001. The fact that ISO 45002 will be published much later than ISO 45001 isn’t ideal because thousands of ISO 45001-certified organisations will have navigated their own way around the requirements by the intended publication date of summer 2022.

Going forwards, however, it is likely that future editions of ISO 45002 will be amended more closely in parallel with ISO 45001 in order to ensure concurrent publication, which will make this standard a much more useful document. Working group 3 has now prepared the committee draft (CD) and this is being prepared for ballot. This should be getting underway in January 2021. 

Progression with ISO 45003

The ISO 45003 - Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work: managing psychosocial risks — Guidelines has had a particularly troubled development. It registered five working drafts before skipping its committee draft (CD) stage altogether and progressing straight to Draft International Standard (DIS). While the DIS was overwhelmingly approved, 26 national standards bodies still considered it necessary to submitted further comments on the text of the draft. Task Group 2 (TG2) met again in December to dispose these comments.

Since the meeting, DIS has received 95 per cent approval from TC members. All the comments that were received have now been resolved, through a series of December meetings. The FDIS ballot is anticipated to begin by the end of January. 

Update to ISO 45004

TC283 working group 4 (WG4) met for the first time under the leadership of Australian Conveynor David Solomon. Comprising 34 experts at present, WG4 managed to generate an outline for ISO 45004 – Occupational health and safety management - Guidelines for performance Evaluation. A new work item proposal (NWIP) has now been submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) seeking formal permission to create ISO 45004, with an answer expected by the end of January 2021. 

If the standard is approved, this document will provide guidance on how to monitor, measure, analyse, and evaluate occupational health and safety (0H&S) performance for continual improvement of OH&S, OH&S performance and the OH&S management system in an organisation. There will be a focus on leading, as opposed to lagging indicators.

Revision to ISO 45005

In May, last year, the British Standards Institute developed PAS 45005 – Safe working during the Covid-19 pandemic – General guidelines for organizations’ at a very short notice.  This Publicly Available Specification (PAS) was designed to complement and build on the UK Government’s guidance of the day.

That document was subsequently taken forwards to ISO, and following a change in scope and title, it has been entrusted to TC283’s working group 5 (WG5) to develop further as a more generally applicable document. Now, as ISO 45005 Occupational health and safety management —preventing and managing infectious diseases – General guidelines for organizations, this reworked draft is loosely based on the Annex SL structure that is familiar to developers of standards. It’s current headline clauses include:

  • Planning and assessment of risks
  • Suspected or confirmed cases of a relevant infectious disease
  • Psychological health and wellbeing
  • Inclusivity
  • Resources
  • Communication
  • Hygiene 
  • Use of personal protective equipment and face coverings
  • Operations
  • Performance monitoring
  • Improvement.

PAS 45005 has now been completed and is available for free download from the BSI website. The initial comments that were received on 18 November 2020 for the latest version of ISO 45005 - Occupational health and safety management — preventing and managing infectious diseases – General guidelines for organizations, have also been collated. Follow-up meetings will now take place (remotely) between 25-29 January 2021 among WG5 members to take the new standard forwards.

Other TC283 discussions

The TC283 working groups also discussed the proposed revisions to Annex SL’s guidance (known as appendix 3), following earlier amendments to the Annex SL requirements contained within appendix two.

Additionally, communications was discussed among Task Group 1 (TG1), which is seeking to appoint a new social media champion and is exploring the possibility of establishing a TC283 YouTube channel.

Finally, participants were asked to note that a global survey on the take up and use of ISO 45001 was about to close. The results from this survey will be available in due course.