A few news tidbits that might have fallen under the radar, which to any standards wonk like me is an undesirable situation. Thus, rectified:

ISO 45001 Draft Out

The ISO relabeling release of the BSI occupational health and safety standard OHSAS 18001 comes to the final stages, as ISO 45001’s Committee Draft hits the shelves this week. For now you have to buy it.

As usual, BSI is running the show at the corresponding Technical Committee, leading the world to wonder why ISO exists at all, and why they just don’t let BSI have the keys to the front door and be done with it. BSI stacks nearly every TC of any importance with its members, and plays some dastardly politics to get its views shoved into standards over the objections of that small faction called “Everyone Else on the Planet.” I haven’t seen the draft yet, but I can’t imagine it is very different from BSI’s original product, because they are not about to let anyone fuck with “have input” on their work.

letthemfightILO Doesn’t Like ISO’s Definition of Risk

According to minutes obtained by Oxebridge of the International Labour Organization (ILO) January 2014 meeting, the world’s labor body isn’t very fond of ISO’s ever-morphing definition of “risk” either.

A report by the Director-General on relations between the ILO and ISO focused on the development of ISO 45001, for which ILO has had many reservations watching BSI hand it over to ISO. Specifically:

ILO stressed the commitment to consistency with the relevant ILO standards and guidelines, which it had added to the [ISO Project] Committee’s list of relevant sources. The [PC] established a working group, which in turn created five task groups to draft the standard. The drafting work will be guided by ISO’s standardized template for management system standards.

That “template” is, of course, Annex SL, the model for all current and future ISO management system standards, developed by the ISO Technical Management Board (TMB) operating outside of the normal consensus process wherein standards are developed by Technical Committees comprised of international delegates appointed by member nations. Annex SL’s definition of the term “risk” (“effect of uncertainty”) has been met with all the thunderous applause of a mid-afternoon a capella solo by a half-dead cricket with laryngitis, and sure enough ILO doesn’t like it either:

ISO Annex SL was modified before the first meeting in light of an initial round of  comments (before the ILO had begun participating) and in light of ISO 14001 (Environmental Management). This Revised Proof of Concept still presents challenges in seeking to accommodate certain OSH areas, such as the definition of “risk”.

In addition, ISO is fighting the ILO on the concept of “workers,” those things that ISO views as pleasant as skin cancer. That cuts to the core of the decades-long tension between ISO and ILO, previously epitomized in the battle over a “social accountability” standard that resulted in SA8000 never seeing the light of day, and the release of the lukewarm ISO 26000 standard on “social responsibility” instead.

ISO 31000 Being Updated to Become Certification Standard

Despite previous promises by ISO that its risk management standard ISO 31000 would not be used for certification, it seems that pressure from certain stakeholders (read that as “registrars looking for work”) has convinced ISO to renege, and convert the standard into one that can be used for certification of “risk management systems.”  Oxebridge has obtained a copy of the current “Internal Working Draft” circulating for comment, and has discovered that the language restricting SO 31000’s use for system certification is slated for removal:



This comes as trickles of some dubious and off-smelling certificates have already been issued to companies for ISO 31000, despite the current disclaimer that says it should not be used for this purpose. Price Waterhouse Coopers already issued an (unaccredited) ISO 31000 certificate to a Spanish firm, and Germanischer Lloyd  issued one to a company in Brazil. (GL is now owned by DNV, which helps you do some tea-leaf reading for the future.) Despite these big names, the companies are not accredited to issue such certs, so they are basically certificate mill products, just with more famous logos on them.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The French-run G31000 group is also looking into issuing ISO 31000 risk management system certifications, presumably stamped with approval under its upcoming “accreditation body” which — early reports seem to suggest — will be owned by the same G31000 management team, making it a self-accredited certificate mill, too. This is early reporting though, and facts are still coming in. But it would explain why Alex Dali changed the focus on his “international conference” to emphasize ISO 31000 system certification, which for all practical purposes, doesn’t actually exist. Seems he’s vying for pole position.

Which takes us back to the International Labour Organization and ISO 450001.  One of the promises for ISO 45001 was that it would not be used for OHS system certification. No one in their right mind believes for a second that BSI will surrender all that OHSAS 18001 assessment lucre, so ISO 45001 will definitely be used for certification purposes. Should be interesting to watch ILO’s reaction as ISO and BSI once again spit in their soup. Expect their outrage to be violently displayed in a … tersely worded internal email.






Traditional Tri-System