ISO, NZ, AS/NZS Standards......whats the deal?
Can someone please explain to me how 'standards' fit into the OHS world. For example ISO 31000:2018 - Risk Management or ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. Are many organisations out there accredited with them, are many aiming for them. Are they worth the investment. Are they a gold standard we should all aim for?
Not a fan of general management system standards. Standards originally arose out of engineering where there were clear and unambiguous levels required to meet safe and reliable outcomes. This simply isn't the case within general management systems in areas such as health and safety.
Some standards provide some very good guidance where they are about more specific areas and some provide reasonable frameworks to hang your management system off. My experience is that any value from certification is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the auditor and a good auditor will give that value regardless of whether you apply it to a formal standard or not.
But, as has been said on another thread recently, the most important thing to consider is your business, your context and how your management system best supports that.
There are some standards that are cited by Regulations, so they do have legislative status.
However most standards are voluntarily used to demonstrate compliance or good practice (such as ISO 45001:2018).
Some industries are highly-regulated with external auditors loving standards to audit against.
I have an issue with Standards NZ as they don't keep up: for example they still list AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 as current.
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