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Draft international standard for health and safety delayed

June 3, 2016

Publication of the new international standard for occupational health and safety – ISO 45001 – is likely delayed after members of the ISO committee disapproved its first draft.

The new standard is being developed by ISO to help organisations reduce the burden of occupational injuries and diseases, which is significant for both employers and the economy – resulting in losses from early retirements, staff absence and rising insurance premiums. The standard will provide a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions on a global level.

For the draft international standard (DIS) to have passed, two-thirds of participating members had to be in favour, and less than a quarter against, allowing for abstentions. 71 per cent voted in favour and 28 per cent against, meaning the DIS failed approval.

The consultation that took place during the ballot period resulted in more than 3000 comments – a volume of feedback which is likely to delay publication of the standard until February 2017, while it is considered.

IOSH head of policy and public affairs Richard Jones said: “While we cannot go into detail, there are a variety of reasons why participating members have voted against this, and these will need to be resolved at a meeting next month.

Once concerns about the standard have been addressed, a revised version (DIS2) will be produced for further consultation and ballot.”

Find out more about ISO 45001 and other international standards here: http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm.