From AS/NZS 4360 to ISO 31000 – A history lesson

A consultant from New Zealand named Chris Peace, traces the history of the AS/NZS 4360 standard and the new ISO 31000, due out just in time for Christmas, in this copy of Safety and Health Practitioner dated October 16, 2009.

Although the original 1995 edition of the AS/NZS 4360 standard was developed from earlier risk-management ideas and processes it was nonetheless ground-breaking as the first standard published on risk management.

The subsequent 1999 edition added the “communicate and consult” stage, and a number of handbooks on aspects of risk management was also developed, the majority jointly by Australia and New Zealand.

The 2004 edition of the joint standard1 incorporated experience from the previous 10 years, and many of the appendices in the 1999 edition were either consolidated into the body of the standard, or removed into the associated handbook, SAA/SNZ HB 436:2004.2 Importantly, this included the 5×5 qualitative risk matrix in appendix E. Many users had simply copied this for their own use without thinking about its relevance, or the need for adaptation to their context. Few thought about alternative risk-analysis techniques – the matrix was the method!

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