To remain competitive and relevant in a tough marketplace, business’ will often need to alter their organisational practices and operations, to ensure that they reflect current industry standards. For example, maintaining strong business information security systems is an ongoing process for organisations, as a constant wave of novel cyber risks, and innovative new ways hackers will try and steal your data, means that companies have to continually review their existing information security systems to ensure that all potential weak points are mitigated against, and that their information security systems reflect current industry standards. Doing so not only ensures that their systems meet current industry requirements, it also provides reassurance to their customers and stakeholders of their strong, compliant business practices.
Transitioning to the ISO 45001 Standards
This is also the case with Occupational Health and Safety. Changes in the industry has seen the Australian AS/NZS 4801 standards and international OHSAS 18001 standards being phased out, with the International Organization for Standardization’s new ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety standards being the new industry leader for workplace health and safety guidelines. To ensure that your organisation continues to uphold the highest occupational health and safety standards, business’ with existing AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001 certified management systems should transition to the ISO 45001 standards as soon as possible.
It will be a smooth transition in order to minimise potential disruptions to business operations, as the ISO 45001 standards address all of the necessary Workplace Health and Safety issues that were previously discussed in the AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 standards, but it sets itself apart from them by addressing these WHS issues through a slightly different context. This is done through the adoption of a proactive approach, where business’ must conduct a risk assessment of potential WHS risks at their operations, and work at controlling them before they actually become an issue. This means that business’ already meeting the WHS guidelines outlined in the AS/NZS 4801 and OHSAS 18001 standards will not be required to have a complete overhaul of the WHS management system, but rather a seamless transition of their existing practices to the ISO 45001 standards, to ensure that it meets its specific contextual requirements.
In a competitive marketplace, business owners often ask themselves what they can do to get an edge in their industry. To be an industry leader, it is not enough to merely offer the same goods and services as other organisations, with the same level of service. You need that extra oomph, something that makes your organisation stand out. This helps differentiate your business from its competitors, and this can make a huge difference when it comes to getting potential customers to choose to deal with your organisation.
To help your business get the edge its needs, it is worthwhile to ask what clients, customers and staff want out of an organisation that they deal with, and how you can reassure them that you reach those standards. Broadly speaking, people want to know that organisations that they deal with behave morally, ethically, and safely in both their internal business dealings, and external dealings with the public. Demonstrating that your organisation has a commitment to high, industry compliant, safety standards, shows that your business takes its social and legal responsibilities seriously, and is taking the necessary steps to ensure that it meets the required standards needed to deal with staff, clients, and the general public.
An Occupational Health and Safety Management System provides reassurance
There are a number of workplace and occupational health and safety concerns that are hot topics at the moment, such as how are business’ working to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 safe? What assurance do staff and members of the general public have that they are safe to go onsite at the business premises? Has the organisation thoroughly and adequately catalogued a list of all potential occupational health and safety risks, and taken preventative measures to ensure they do not become a safety issue? These are just some of the concerns that customers, clients, and staff have about dealing with business’ at the moment, and the organisations that proactively take steps to address these concerns are the ones with the highest chances of demonstrating their commitment to safety, and thus making people feel safe and confident in dealing with them.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety standards provide an internationally certified, industry compliant, set of organisational health and safety standards that companies can implement, to ensure that they are meeting their moral, social, ethical, and legal occupational health and safety obligations. An organisation being ISO 45001 certified provides reassurance to potential customers that the business has identified potential health and safety risks within their operations, taken proactive steps to ensure that they are adequately mitigated against and thus do not pose a risk to people, and that there is an ongoing safety auditing system in place, which continually reviews the health and safety standards of the business, to ensure that not only do they obtain industry compliance, they maintain it. Further, it ensures that there is a clear fault-checking process in place, detailing a clear chain of command, and what the duties and responsibilities of each staff member are in the event of an issue.
Business’ work to obtain the standards, and then the standards work at promoting their business
Obtaining certification to the ISO 45001 standards is a methodical, systematic procedure, in which business’ are required to analyse the inner workings of their organisation from an outsiders perspective in order to identify potential weak points, work at mitigating them, and ensuring that their health and safety practices align with the guidelines set out in the standards. While it is not an overly complicated process, it requires commitment and dedication from the business, as they have to cross-check their own operational practices with the guidelines outlined in the standards, and work to ensure that it is meeting the internationally certified occupational health and safety standards at every step of the process. This requires perseverance, dedication, commitment, and follow-through, and by doing so you are demonstrating to potential customers that your organisation is dedicated, committed to safety, and willing to go above and beyond to give customers, clients, and staff the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business is taking active steps to ensure that it is WHS industry compliant. Further, compliance to these standards can increase workplace productivity significantly, as all WHS issues have been catalogued and mitigated, and there is a clear system in place for dealing with any potential issues that occur, thus substantially decreasing potential downtime.
How these standards can be applied to all kinds of business’.
Is your business a SME which only deals with a select number of customer and clients? Then it stands to benefit from the implementation of the ISO 45001 standards. Is your business a large franchise which operates on a national level, with stores across Australia? It also stands to benefit from the implementation of the ISO 45001 standards. Is your business a sole trader, that deals with clients solely on a one-on-one basis? Then, you guessed it, it also stands to benefit from these standards.
This is because the WHS guidelines and practices outlined in these standards can be applied to business’ of all shapes and sizes, from all different industries, precisely because they provide a broad set of guidelines and practices that business’ can implement to ensure they remain WHS compliant. Even if the business currently has no overt WHS potential risks, it can still benefit from a WHS risk assessment, as this ensures that it remains WHS compliant, that potential risks are dealt with before they can significantly impact operations, and that customer and clients are assured of their safety at all times when dealing with your business.
If you are interested to find out how these standards can be tailored to your operations, then please give Anitech Group’s consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By discussing the context and specific WHS requirements of your operations, they will be able to explain how these standards could be applied to your business to ensure that it benefits from them and that its operations remain safe and steady. What could be a safer bet than that?
Please click here to find out more about how business’ can benefit from the implementation of an Occupational Health and Safety Management system.