Australia has officially begun the adoption process for ISO 45001, with Standards Australia announcing that a local version AS/NZS ISO 45001 is expected to be released in late 2018.
Standards has also released additional Australia-specific commentary that outlines how the new standard will relate to Australia’s existing legal framework, which is open for public comment until 28 August.
The commentary notes that the objective of AS/NZS ISO 45001 will be to specify requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety management system. It also makes note that conformance to the Standard may not necessarily mean that Australian legal requirements have been met, stating that:
"Australian Standards are voluntary unless included in contractual legal or statutory requirements. Voluntary Standards do not replace Australian legal requirements and other requirements, with which Standards users are understood to comply and which take precedence.”
Some stakeholders had previously raised concerns that certain provisions within ISO 45001 were not compatible with existing Australian legislation (see related article).
Standards CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said the decision to mirror ISO 45001 came following further consultation with a broad range of experts from across government, industry, employee associations, and academic institutions.
“Australian experts actively participated in the development of ISO 45001. We have since worked closely with the committee and a wider set of stakeholders to determine the most suitable solution for the Australian context.”
Public comments must be made through the Standards Australia’s public comment portal. For copyright reasons, Standards Australia can only make the Australia-specific commentary available for download, and not the entire Standard.
New Zealand's public comment process will also be managed separately through Standards New Zealand.