Health & safety in the workplace
As employers, we can never underestimate the importance of health & safety in the workplace. Not only is it the law, but it is also a sign of a good employer. Health & safety in the workplace ensures your staff are safe while working for you & protects any visitors, customers, sub-contractors & the public who come into contact with your organisation in any way.
Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty of care for their employees. But it also makes good business sense to adhere to health & safety laws, as it encourages employee engagement & retention, decreases recruitment costs & ultimately increases profitability. Employers who breach health & safety regulations can be prosecuted, leading to fines or imprisonment.
It isn’t always necessary by law to implement an international standard, but they do help provide a structured framework for ensuring a safe & healthy workplace. One of the most popular standards in the UK was the BS OHSAS 18001, originally published in 1999. However, the BSI has withdrawn the BS OHSAS 18001 & it has now been replaced by ISO 45001:2018, the world’s first international standard for occupational health & safety management.
If your organisation was certified to BS OHSAS 18001, you will need to migrate to ISO 45001. The original deadline for this migration was set as the end of March 2021. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, the deadline has been extended for 6 months until the end of September 2021.
ISO 45001 has a lot of the basic principles covered in the BS OHSAS 18001, but it will provide organisations an improved & more robust framework for health & safety management systems. It includes stronger leadership, better worker involvement & a focus on health, especially mental health. ISO 45001 can also be integrated simply with any existing ISO standards.
Being faced with a deadline to migrate from the BS OHSAS 18001 system to the ISO 45001 may seem daunting. However, if you currently hold ISO 9001 or 14001 certifications then you are nearly there due to the high-level structure of these certifications.
The benefits for your organisation
○ Greater understanding of health, safety & business risks
○ Establish & maintain controls that take into consideration legal compliance, risk & opportunities that could affect your business
○ Improved working conditions
○ Increase awareness of health & safety by ensuring more employee participation
○ Brand enhancement
○ Increased trust
○ Increased efficiency that translates to increased ROI
○ Reduce the risk of possible fines
○ Could reduce insurance premiums
Time is running out for you to migrate to the ISO 45001. If you do not complete migration by September 2021 you will lose your certification & need to reapply. With our own Quality Consultant now on board we can help guide you through any certification questions you may have so please do not hesitate to get in touch.