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Recent events have again focused attention on workplace health and safety, as investigators from the Health and Safety Executive have been questioning the owners and employees about a specific high-profile accident.

The latest statistics from the HSE website make grim reading:

•    1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
•    2,538 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
•    142 workers killed at work (2014/15)
•    78,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
•    629,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey
•    28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
•    £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13)

("Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence". http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics)

OHSAS_StatsIf you are found guilty of health and safety offences in a magistrate's court, you could face fines of up to £20,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment. Conviction in a Crown Court can result in an unlimited fine and/or a period of imprisonment of up to two years.

Limit your risks and protect your employees
OHSAS 8001 is the internationally recognised management system for assessing and auditing occupational health and safety.

Achieving OHSAS 8001 will help protect your employees from work related illness or injury and help to ensure they don’t add to the above figures.

Benefits of OHSAS 8001 certification include:

•    Keeps your company up to date with the latest regulations.
•    Limits the risk of prosecutions and fines.
•    Confirms your commitment to the health and safety of your employees.
•    Improves your company’s reputation with existing customers and when tendering for new business.
•    Increases employee morale.

By implementing a robust management system you will minimise the risk of prosecution and improve productivity by reducing potentially expensive disruptions.

The standard applies to all industries and all sizes of business. For more information, call us to discuss the certification process.

 
What does ISO 14001 cover?
ISO_14001_environmental_managementThe standard has been developed to provide an audited management process to help organisations reduce their impact on the environment by recycling, saving energy and meeting regulatory requirements.

The ISO 14001 standard can be implemented across all industry sectors and from small businesses to multi-nationals. It will provide an Environmental Management System (EMS) that will benefit the organisation’s reputation, efficiency and customer relations as well as helping the environment.

Benefits of ISO 14001 certification
Achieving certification will establish better management systems for identifying environmental risks and minimising the impact of operations and processes carried out by the organisation. There are also economic benefits to be had from making these environmental improvements. As well as the obvious cost reductions from minimising waste, improving efficiency and lower use of natural resources, there are the intangible advantages of public, employee and customer perception of the organisation.

By communicating your commitment to achieving ISO 14001 and demonstrating a responsible attitude towards the environment, you will gain an advantage over competitors who are not certified, when tendering for new business. You will also enhance your reputation with existing clients. If you operate in global markets the standard is recognised throughout the world and will help you to meet their individual market environmental regulations.
Your organisation will benefit from a robust management system that will reduce risks, prevent incidents and increase awareness of environmental issues to your employees.

 
This is not the first time we have written about the vulnerability of businesses to cyber-attacks and the latest government survey does nothing to allay those fears. Though the statistics show that incidents of cyber-crime have reduced slightly, the costs of dealing with these breaches has almost doubled.

ISO_27001The following statement has been taken from the 2010 to 2015 government policy paper published 7th May 2015.

81% of large corporations and 60% of small businesses reported a cyber-breach in 2014.
With the cost for the worst cyber-security breach estimated between £600,000 to £1.15 million for large businesses and £65,000 to £115,000 for smaller ones, the government must look at new ways to protect businesses and make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks and crime.”

Businesses affected by cyber crime
There have been some high profile cases:

eBay
Hackers managed to access an eBay corporate account to gather user’s personal information.

JP Morgan Chase
A neglected server provided access to contact details for its account holding customers.

Home Depot
Payment systems were infected with malware that allowed hackers to steal credit card details.

Employees’ responsibility
It is not just about server access; employees are much more mobile these days and carry around company information on laptops and mobile phones. Data is stored on removable media which can be copied or lost.
Malware can infect company computers and mobile phones. To protect against these risks, you will need to establish policies to ensure employees know what they should and shouldn’t do.

ISO 27001 information security management system
There are numerous ways an organisation can protect against cyber-crime. Choosing an internationally recognised standard that provides an auditable method of monitoring, protecting and managing information is one option.
Achieving ISO 27001 certification provides a framework of policies and procedures that will help prevent a security breach and limit the impact of a cyber-attack.

Using experienced consultants, you will be guided through the process, identifying any risks and tailoring the management process to your individual requirements. This will help to keep costs and disruption to a minimum should an incident occur.

Other benefits include:
  • Customers and business partners will have more confidence in your ability to keep their information safe.
  • Continuity of supply following an attack.
  • More reliable systems for storage of information.

ISO 27001 provides for a regular auditing procedure so you can continually improve your processes and keep up to date with the latest security measures to stay one step ahead of the criminals.

 
The ISO 9001 standard is being revised to ensure this internationally recognised standard maintains its relevancy to current business and industry requirements. ISO standards are reviewed every 5 years to decide whether a change is necessary and ISO 9001 is currently going through the drafting and voting process.

The Draft has now reached stage 5 of a 6 stage process and is currently going through the approval stage. Once members have approved the draft, a final publication will be expected by the end of 2015.

ISO_9001_updateWhat are the main changes?
We have covered a detailed review of the proposed changes on our website www.acsregistrars.com/iso-9001-proposed-revisions

Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee revising the standard, said: "We are on the right track, and we are on schedule for publication.

"The new version is very strongly based on three basic core concepts: that process approach which was very successful in the 2008 version of the standard superimposed on that system of processes is the plan-do-check act methodology, and a third core concept which is new in the 2015 version is risk based thinking, aiming at preventing undesirable outcomes."

From what we know so far, these are the main changes:
  • To improve integration of ISO 9001 with other management systems
  • Risk management is given greater consideration and documented in most sections
  • Importance of effective communication throughout the organisation is emphasised

How does this affect you?
You don’t need to do anything until the new edition of the standard is published. We will then review the new standard and compare the changes. Keep reading our Blog for more information.

For a review of the proposed changes visit, www.acsregistrars.com/iso-9001-proposed-revisions

 

OHSAS_18001_health_and_safetyLooking for a way of improving employee relations and increasing your organisations profits?


Organisations of all sizes and in all sectors have a duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all of their employees. In some sectors, occupational health and safety goes beyond being just a moral requirement; there are also legal obligations that must be met.


Improving working conditions by identifying hazards in the workplace and reducing accidents can provide financial benefits to organisations by increasing productivity, reducing staff turnover and improving motivation.


BS OHSAS 18001 certification provides an effective solution if you    want to implement a safety management system that will provide a long term process for identifying hazards, minimising risks and improving the safety of employees.


OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) is an internationally recognised standard that enables organisations to assess and audit occupational health and safety management systems.


OHSAS 18001 benefits of certification include:

  • Hazard identification
  • Risk assessment
  • Improved working conditions
  • Reduced work related accidents
  • Increased productivity
  • Less absenteeism
  • Increased customer confidence
  • Meet legal obligations
  • Internationally recognised


Continual assessments
Maintaining your health and safety management system by regular audits and reviews ensures the process remains robust, up to date and incorporates sector best practice. The system is maintained by keeping records, controlling documentation, staff training and performance reviews.


If you are committed to the welfare of your employees and want to maintain your competitive edge in a global marketplace, achieving ISO 18001 certification provides an effective management system. It can also be integrated with other standards such as ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental).

ISO_9001_international_standardThe leading international standard ISO 9001 is being revised and will be published around the end of 2015. With over 1.1 million certificates worldwide, ISO 9001 is one of the most recognised standards, providing organisations with a management system that will streamline processes, maintain efficiency and increase productivity.


ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) are responsible for a wide range of international standards covering all aspects of technology and manufacturing. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, they have published more than 19,500 international standards covering almost every industry.


ISO standards are reviewed approximately every 5 years to ensure they meet the changing marketplace and maintain compatibility with other ISO standards.


Keeping up to date with the latest standards will maintain your organisation’s competitive edge in today’s global marketplace.


What does this mean for ISO 9001 registered organisations?
You will have a 3 year transition period to prepare and migrate your quality management system to the new edition so you need not make any changes to your existing system until the final draft is published.


ISO 9001 is currently at the final draft international stage and awaiting comments; it will then be put forward to the member countries for voting.


We anticipate that existing management systems of ISO 9001:2008 should conform to the 2015 version with just some minor adjustments.


You may want to start planning for its implementation in advance; therefore we have created a short PowerPoint presentation to give you an overview of the expected changes. Please call Chris McMillan on +44 (0)121 241 2299 for a copy.


What is expected to change?
From the drafts that are available, we expect a shift in focus with three main changes being identified as follows:

Risk management

  • Identification of risk and risk control
  • Focus on risk based thinking

Standardisation

  • Improved integration and implementation with other management systems and standards


No exclusions

 

  • There is no reference to permissible exclusions in the 2015 revision
  • An organisation may decide if a requirement is not applicable, providing it does not result in nonconformity


For a more detailed breakdown please call Chris McMillan on +44 (0)121 241 2299 for a copy of our PowerPoint presentation.

Cyber_crimeAccording to the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses, The Voice July/August 2014), a smaller number of businesses are experiencing information security breaches and cyber attacks than a year ago.


This sounds like good news but the downside is that the cost of dealing with incidents has increased significantly (research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers).


In 2012, the average cost of the worst security breach they experienced was between £35,000 and £65,000 and in 2013 it was between £65,000 and £115,000. These amounts are significant enough to severely damage your business.


Think about all of the data that your organisation stores on digital devices; client and employee information, business critical data, accounting records.


Prevention is always better than cure and one way to mitigate the risks of cyber crime is to have a robust system of management in place. This will not only minimise the chances of a breach but will also reduce its impact on the business, should an attack get through your defences.


It’s not just the cost of rectification that can damage your company; recent high profile cases have shown that a company’s reputation is also at stake.


Information Security Management System (ISMS)
ISO 27001 accreditation provides an auditable management process to international standards and provides a structure to help you improve the security of your information.


The management process you implement will provide a “best practice” system that will help you to identify the risks and maintain the necessary controls to minimise or eliminate the possibility of a security breach.


ISO 27001 certification will demonstrate that your company’s security management system has been independently assessed and verified.


Benefits of ISO 27001 certification include:

 

  • An internationally endorsed best practice framework to manage cyber threats and attacks
  • Supplier and customer confidence in your security systems
  • Reduces costs if a breach does occur
  • Protects your company’s reputation
  • A plan to limit data loss and return business systems to normal


ISO 27001 auditors
You should always use a trusted certification body, which is UKAS accredited.


This is a specialist area and you will need an experienced auditor to work with your team to provide a system that will work for your particular information protection requirements.


Ideally they will have experience of your particular industry sector and can use their knowledge of best practice to provide the best possible system.

 

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