ISO 45001 has been called a game-changer for the OSH profession. It’s expected that when the standard is published—likely sometime in early 2017—it will have a big effect on occupational safety and health practices.

On Monday, June 27, several leaders of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ANSI for the standard shared the latest updates on its development.  Currently, 74 countries, including observing countries, are participating in the development of ISO 45001. Speakers included Vic Toy, CSP, CIH, chair of the U.S. TAG, Kathy Seabrook, CSP, CFIOSH, EuroOSHM, TAG vice chair, Jim Howe, CSP, and Todd Hohn, CSP; all have played a key role in helping ensure that the U.S. position is fully considered as the ISO moves closer to being finalized.

The standard, which is currently being developed by a committee of OHS experts, will follow a similar structure to other ISO management standards. For many in the OHS field, the upcoming ISO 45001 will provide an international framework that will ultimately improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks, and create better and safer working conditions for people around the world.

Seabrook shared some of the strategic considerations that the committee is taking into account for the upcoming ISO 45001 standard. Some of the considerations she discussed included existing regulations in the market, international definitions of workers vs. employees, how international organizations define a hazard, the need for PPE at no cost to the employee, if competency is a subset of safety training, and if workers should be involved in policy or decision making as it relates to OHS programs within their organizations.