ISO 45001 for Construction Company Owners and Managers

ISO 45001 for Construction Company Owners and Managers

26th March 2018

In one of our articles last week we brought you news about the new ISO 45001, the first ever global standard to occupational health and safety management which is designed to provide an effective and robust set of processes for improving work safety in global supply chains, a vital issue here in the UK where we import so many products.  This new standard will eventually replace up to 24 different standards across the world and business owners who want to adopt the new standard should be aware that company-wide engagement is one of the key benefits of ISO 45001. 

The new standard places great value on worker consultation in the development of better health and safety practices and encourages the active participation of employees in the development, planning, implementation and improvement of health and safety systems.  Top level management needs to take an active role in promoting a positive safety culture and communicating what needs to be done and why it is important.  Senior leaders will need to demonstrate that they are actively involved and taking all necessary steps to integrate the health and safety management system into their overall business processes as there is a strong focus on leadership and worker participation in the new standard. 

Your health and safety management system should be proportionate to your company’s risk profile and complexity.  For example, when it comes to smaller companies, workers participation can be more direct and straightforward to achieve without the need for a formal committee structure.  There may be additional drivers for improvement, as client companies will increasingly need a demonstration of good health and safety practice from the companies that supply their goods and services in order to achieve compatibility within their own systems.

Achieving ISO 45001 Certification will demonstrate that your company takes the health and safety of its employees seriously which will build brand awareness with potential clients and give them the peace of mind necessary to know they are dealing with a responsible supplier. 

It’s hoped that the ISO 45001 standard will encourage more organisations to build risk management into their entire management system.  Adopting risk-based thinking will enable you to take a risk-based approach to improving customer confidence and satisfaction, whilst benefitting your own company with a proactive culture of prevention and continuous improvement. It is likely to significantly reduce the incidence of injuries and occupational diseases, an important issue for construction company owners, especially for those whose work involves work at height.  Widespread adoption of ISO 45001 is likely to reduce the number of horror stories we see in the news on poor health and safety management resulting in the loss of life and injuries.

Although there is work to be done in complying with the new standard, it should be seen not as a burden, but rather an opportunity.  Companies that seriously commit to the standard will be communicating to their employees that their time and well-being is valued and that they are more likely to be safe at work, leading to an enhanced level of staff morale. 

Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a more detailed look at the new standard and what it means for you and your business – if you don’t want to miss out, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter so that you’re notified when our new information is published.