A common concern amongst employees when measuring their workplace satisfaction, is wanting to feel valued by their employer as an individual, rather than being seen as just a number. That is, staff want to feel that their employer appreciates them as a person, and acknowledges their skill sets and what benefits they bring to the company, rather than just viewing them as a cog in the larger corporate machine, i.e. – someone to help maximise profits. It is beneficial to both businesses and staff for companies to demonstrate that they value their employees, as it improves morale, which in turn maximises productivity by reducing downtime. For businesses wanting to know how to demonstrate their appreciation of their staff, the answer is simple: by providing them with a safe, supportive workplace, which provides open communication and support networks for staff who need them.
In an uncertain business marketplace, one of the ways employers can publicly demonstrate their appreciation and commitment to their staff is through implementing a cohesive Occupational Health and Safety Management System. This provides businesses with proven successful strategies and guidelines for developing an effective approach to managing health and safety, first assessing potential risks and working to mitigate their effects on the operations, then reducing downtime through demonstrating a public commitment to the physical and mental wellbeing of employees.
The International Organization for Standardization has released an all-in-one cohesive guideline for developing a safe, compliant work environment, the ISO 45001:2018 OH&S Standards, which provide businesses with the necessary strategies and knowledge to develop a supportive, compliant work culture. These standards replace the previous business OH&S guidelines, the OHSAS 18001 and AS/NZS 4801 work health and safety standards, and distinguish itself from them by providing a more holistic approach to occupational health and safety, by directly focusing on developing a supportive work culture for all employees, and utilising risk management strategies to prevent potential threats from impacting the workplace, as opposed to solely focusing on existing hazard control, as the prior standards did. Businesses that were previously certified to one of these standards have until September 2021 to migrate to the ISO 45001 Standards in order to retain their industry compliance to OH&S regulations.
To get an idea of some of the specific benefits companies get out of ISO 45001 migration, we spoke to Fadi, Anitech’s IMS Consultant, who specialises in Health, Safety and Environmental Systems. Fadi told us that in the two and a half years he has been working in this role, he has acquired a thorough understanding of what goals companies seek to achieve through implementation of these standards. He stated that this certification opens trade barriers between businesses, as “primarily, they are trying to achieve certification to ISO 45001 to enable them to win more tenders and business.”
Fadi also noted obtaining legal compliance to OH&S laws, rules, and regulations was important to companies, stating that “for others, they want to comply with OHS laws, and a system that meets ISO 45001 helps them to meet their OHS duties.” He noted that OH&S compliance was a pressing issue for most businesses nowadays, stating “this is particularly important after the introduction of the new workplace manslaughter offences in most states.”
Show your staff you care by migrating to ISO 45001
Migrating to these standards demonstrates a commitment to a supportive, compliant work environment, to meeting high standards, and to maximising productivity. Fadi explained that for many businesses looking to implement these standards, what they want is “someone who explains to them the standards in their language, how it is applicable to their organisation, and how similar organisations meet the standards.” That is, by certifying to this standard, businesses are demonstrating that they meet the highest levels of OH&S guidelines, and that their work health and safety strategies are second to none.
Fadi went on to assert that one of the central benefits of ISO 45001 migration is that it is applicable to companies of all shapes, sizes, and types, as “the standard is generic and can be applied to organisations with various sizes and activities”, and that “getting help from a consultant who has seen how the standard is applied to similar organisations is crucial”, as it ensures that a businesses OH&S practices are meeting expected industry standards, in-line with the practice of competitors, and that no potential issues are overlooked.
ISO 45001 migration opens trading doors
Migration to the ISO 45001 Standards does more than simply demonstrate to staff that their employer cares about their safety, and helps businesses comply with industry regulations, it can open previously closed trading doors between other companies. This is because many organisations already certified to these standards want an assurance that their trading partners are above board with their work health and safety practices, and this assurance comes in the form of ISO 45001 certification. Fadi explained that through migration to these standards, companies can “win more tender and business”, as “working with government bodies (e.g. councils) requires having an OHS management system in place.”
As a specialised consultant who helps with every step of the ISO 45001 standards migration and implementation process, Fadi helps business’ from many different industries and sectors, of various types and sizes, achieve their OH&S compliance goals. He explained that the most rewarding part of his job was “driving change within business’ and protecting people.” He went on to state that he felt a sense of satisfaction in knowing that he was helping businesses help themselves, by providing them with the tools and strategies to develop a safe, employee-focused work culture: “organisations listen to me… I know that by advising them to install that piece of guard, or inspect that piece of chain, I have saved someone from being hurt.”
It is clear that for businesses wanting to stay competitive, compliant, and consistent in their practices, an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System is a must. Not only does it demonstrate a commitment to developing a nurturing, supportive work culture in which there is a clear chain of command in the event of an incident, it also maximises productivity through identifying weak points and safeguarding against them, and helps business’ get that competitive edge by opening up previously closed trading doors. So, for employers looking to demonstrate that they care about their staff and aim to provide a compliant, risk-free work environment, implementing these standards can help them achieve that goal.
If you would like to know more about how the ISO 45001 Standards could be implemented at your organisation to help it effectively achieve its operational goals, then please give Anitech’s safety systems consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. They will be able to talk you through the ins and outs of these standards, how they could be applied to your operations, and address any queries you have regarding this process. Is there anything else that demonstrates this level of commitment to developing a supportive work environment?
Please click here to read more about how the ISO 45001 Standards help business’ attain their operational goals, through effective risk management.