How the ISO 45001:2018 OH&S Standards can reassure employees about returning to worksites.

It would not be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a hectic year. Business’ across Australia have had to adapt to tough marketplace conditions, which has resulted in heavily modified onsite working environments, and thousands of employees now working for home. In this stressful period, it can be good for employee morale, which is conducive to a productive work environment, to attempt to bring some sense of normality back to them. Particularly, over the next few months many employees may be returning to onsite working, and there may be a degree of anxiety over this.

Employers can address this apprehension, and work at raising employee morale, by implementing an internationally certified Occupational Health and Safety Management system across their worksites, which works at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff. Specifically, the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 45001: 2018 Occupational Health and Safety standards is a set of internationally certified frameworks and guidelines about achieving and maintaining certified health and safety requirements at worksites, which not only comply with local, national, and international rules, regulations and laws, but also works at reassuring staff that your business has taken the necessary steps to ensure their return to the workplace goes safe and smoothly.

The standards can achieve this goal by working with business’ to conduct a gap analysis of their existing occupational health and safety processes, and compare it with their desired, COVIDSafe workplace conditions. Once the gap has been identified between where the business is now in relation to its OH&S policies, and where it needs to get to in order to be COVID-19 safe, the 45001 standards can help organisations obtain OH&S compliance.

These standards provide demonstrably successful guidelines that can be used to minimise workplace accidents, hazards, illnesses and potential threats, and ensure that there is a clear chain of command that all staff are briefed on, so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an incident. Further, these standards address the issue of effective occupational health and safety through a proactive approach, where business’ must conduct periodic risk assessments and audits of their entire operations, in order to identify potential OH&S issues before they even occur, and then take preventative measures to ensure that they don’t become an issue, and that employees have both their physical and mental wellbeing needs adequately addressed.

Further, these standards place an emphasis on understanding the needs and concerns of staff, and encourages open communication between staff and management, in which staff can express their concerns about potential OH&S issues, and management will have the opportunity to address them in a manner beneficial to both parties. This kind of open communication between staff and management, in a supportive environment, ensures that all OH&S concerns have the chance to be raised, looked into, and addressed if it is found to not be meeting industry compliance.

Demonstrating to staff that you have taken active OH&S steps can improve morale

Staff that feel safe and valued are more likely to be productive, than staff who are spending time and energy worrying about their health and safety whilst on site. By demonstrating to employees that your business has taken active steps to ensure it is both OH&S industry compliant and COVID-19 safe, your business is making their transition back to work smoother and easier. In addition to reassuring staff that the business cares about their health and safety, this also means less downtime for business operations.

If you have some OH&S questions and concerns, and would like to know more about how these standards could be applied to the particular needs of your business, then please give Anitech Group’s consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By raising with them your OH&S concerns, they will be able to discuss with you how these standards could be applied to your business, to keep it running safely, smoothly, and efficiently. Isn’t this the kind of proactive safety approach to operations that you want staff to hear about your business?

Please click here to find out more about how an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System can help business’ ensure the safety of its staff and clients.

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