The eagerly awaited ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety standard has now been pushed back to a November 2017 launch at the earliest. Earlier this year we reported that ISO 45001 failed to pass the first ballot of the ISO Project Committee. Not only did it not pass, it had over 3000 comments attached which needed to be reviewed and resolved before it could be approved. These comments went under review in June 2016 at a Project Committee meeting in Toronto Canada.

The committee have agreed to move forward with publication of a second draft of the international standard (DIS2) for the highly anticipated ISO 45001. Following the announcement to proceed, a Technical Group was convened in September to undertake a review of the comments received. Another Project Committee meeting has also recently been held in Lithuania on October 30 – November 4, 2016 to review the work of this Technical Group.

During this meeting, progress has been made in agreeing the text in DIS2 for the majority of clauses 4 to 10. The Project Committee will meet again in February 2017 in Vienna to complete the review of the comments received. In addition, the timeline of the project has been extended from three to four years and the ISO secretariat has also confirmed that the nine-month extension may also be applied should the project fail to complete in time.

The revised timeline based on recent progress and the latest information received is as below:

February 2017 – Project Committee meets and completes its review of comments

April/May 2017 – The DIS2 is released for ballot

June/July 2017 – The DIS2 ballot is held

September 2017 – Project Committee meets to review the results of the DIS2 ballot

If DIS2 is approved and there are only a limited number of comments, the Project Committee could agree to avoid an FDIS stage and complete the review of DIS2 comments at the September meeting, thus publication could be announced as early as November 2017. However, if an FDIS process is required or a large number of comments are received (requiring additional meetings to process them), publication could be delayed to March 2018.

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