Does Brexit and America First mean an end to the need for global standards like OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001? The OHSAS series The Occupational Health and Safety Assessment series (OHSAS), published in 1999, consisted of two specifications: 18001 provided requirements for an occupational health and safety management system and 18002 existed as the implementation guidelines. In 2005, approximately 16,000 organisations were using the 18001 series in over 80 countries; by 2009 more than 116 countries were operating under the OHSAS series or its equivalent, with 54,000 certificates being issued to compliant organisations. The standards provided coherent guidelines to help employers manage and control health and safety risks to achieve a healthy working environment, reduce the risk of accidents, aid legal compliance and improve overall performance. New standards Despite the OHSAS series helping to maintain health and safety strategies in many workplaces, some countries still did not comply and instead, followed their own regulations, causing inconsistencies worldwide. To achieve consistency and ensure health and safety standards were being met internationally, the International Standards Community, including the US, sought guidance from the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to publish a truly global standard: ISO 45001. Enhancing stability and ensuring cross-cultural compliance, the new standard groups all relevant Etc. regulations to all 65 participating countries. Some experts believe that ISO 45001 could be too prescriptive a standard to follow, causing unrest amongst organisations and nations lacking the human and financial resources to comply with a universal health and safety strategy or manage legal problems effectively. In the first draft of the standard, 3,000 comments were made resulting in insufficient votes to proceed. It begs the question, why is there reluctance to embrace a global standard? Failure to comply with the requirements could blacklist organisations, contractors and sub-contractors from undertaking any Federal Government contracts.
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