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Vehicle exhaust emissions on a busy roadThe British Safety Council has recently identified that air pollution is linked to 36,000 early deaths a year in the UK. They are calling on all employers with workers who regularly work outside or drive heavy goods vehicles on busy roads with high levels of pollution, to take measures to safeguard their employees from exposure.

From a small trial carried out, the most affected employees were a construction worker and HGV driver. The site engineer was found to have air pollution exposure levels six times higher than that of the office worker.

Similarities are being made between lung damage and recent compensation claims made by workers suffering from asbestosis and the potential risk of claims that could follow from high levels of pollution in some of our cities.

Currently the government is not demanding that employers address this health hazard. However, an app launched by King’s College London for the British Safety Council’s “Time to Breathe” campaign is available to outdoor workers across London to monitor the users exposure to pollution and when the amount exceeds the limits for nitrogen dioxide, particles and ozone, the user is notified. This will help employers and workers to act and reduce exposure by reducing strenuous work, putting up barriers or working away from traffic until levels improve.

The British Safety Council is calling on government to recognise exposure to ambient air pollution as an occupational health hazard and adopt the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) exposure guidelines for nitrogen dioxide, particles and ozone.

How long will it be before the government is forced to recognise the WHO exposure guidelines?

Will employers face huge claims for compensation in the future by not acting now to protect their workers?

If your employees work outdoors, it may be worth carrying out a risk assessment and taking action to limit their exposure to pollution before new legislation is in place. This could also help reduce the working days lost through work-related illness due to respiratory problems.

Health and safety for your employees
Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive for 2107/18 show:
  • 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 2,595 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2016)
  • 144 workers killed at work
  • 555,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey 71,062 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £15 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2016/17)
‘Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence’.

As an employer you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of your employees and others who may be affected by your business whilst they are in the workplace.

Organisations that take their health and safety responsibilities seriously and have a management system that will minimise their risk of breaching health and safety regulations, will limit the occurrence of fines and compensation claims that can be handed down by the courts.

Health and safety management systems
iso45001-ukasThere are many ways to implement a management system into your organisation to identify and control injury and illness in your workforce. One of the most widely recognised management systems is OHSAS 18001, soon to become ISO 45001. This provides an internationally recognised framework to enable organisations to assess, manage and reduce the health and safety risks faced by their employees.

Achieving certification to OHSAS 18001 (ISO 45001) by an independent third-party certification body that has been audited by UKAS will demonstrate your commitment and competence to improve the health and safety of your workforce. It will enable you to meet legal obligations for your industry and minimise the risk of accidents, court cases, fines or imprisonment that can be imposed on owners and directors if negligence is proved.

OHSAS 18001 changing to ISO 45001
The process of migration is currently underway to move to the ISO platform bringing OHSAS 18001 in line with other internationally recognised ISO standards.
The 3-year migration process will end on 12th March 2021 and organisations with OHSAS 18001 certification will have to be re-certified to the new standard by this date.

Find out more about the migration and what to do next: www.acsregistrars.com/ohsas-18001
Stanmore-construction-company-case-studySuccessful certification of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and OHSAS 18001 (ISO 45001) audited by
ACS Registrars Ltd


Stanmore Ltd is a rapidly expanding business in a demanding market with tight timescales and a high demand for certification standards to ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015, OHSAS18001:2013 and ISO27001:13

Background
Stanmore is one of the UK’s leading Drylining and Facade Specialist Subcontractors. With an annual turnover of £135m they have worked with the majority of the largest Developers and Main Contractors in the South East of England.

The company is certified as follows:
  • Specialist façade, fitting out and dry lining providers.
  • Specialist Glazing fitting out providers.
  • Installers of structural and architectural steelwork including stainless steel.
  • Fabricators of structural and architectural steelwork including stainless steel.
Stanmore combines its over 50 years of experience in construction methods with the acquired expertise to become one of the most recognized brand names in today's Market.

As a result, they are not only able to offer a range of drywall partitions, wall lining, screed and ceilings but also lightweight steel frames, insulated external render systems, through colour render, rain screen cladding systems, windows & doors, copings and fascia’s.

ISO 9001
Stanmore’s quality management system tied together all the operating systems and forms. Producing unified procedures and records so that on the site level, each site is using the same documentation and procedures. This projects a positive image of the company so that a client may have several sites running at the same time but the client sees the same document format and presentation.

Improvements have also been made in having this unified approach to not only the management of the business, but also the project on site and at the fabrication stage with regards to the metalwork part of the organisation.

ISO 14001
Stanmore work on a diversity of construction projects, from residential houses and apartments to complex schools, hospitals, community buildings, industrial warehousing and high-rise commercial / residential units.

Having the correct processes in place means their clients can feel confident that their projects are completed with the environment in mind by reducing waste and recycling materials to meet the requirements of ISO 14001.

OHSAS 18001 (soon to become ISO 45001)

Health and safety is at the top of Stanmore’s agenda. As one of the UK’s largest developers working on diverse projects and employing a range of skilled staff, OHSAS 18001 (ISO 45001) ensures health and safety risks are being assessed and managed.
The ISO 9001 transition period ends on 14th September 2018 and every organisation that relies on this standard to trade with its customers at home and abroad should have now transitioned to the revised version (ISO 9001:2015). Your certificate will be void unless you have your audit booked and you are ready for the transition in the next few weeks.

If you have not booked your audit to the revised standard ISO 9001:2015 by 14th September 2018, you will have to start the process of certification from scratch.

The same applies to ISO 14001:2008 revised to ISO 14001:2015.

Better integration and support from top management
One of the main revisions to the standard is the Annex SL framework.

Annex SL is a high-level structure that will provide consistency throughout ISO management system standards. This means that if your organisation has more than one standard (ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for example), the management systems, structures, definitions and requirements will be consistent. This saves time and resources and makes it easier to comply with multiple standards.

The new ISO 45001 which is currently going through migration from OHSAS 18001 has also been designed around the Annex SL framework. Other standards already incorporate Annex SL, such as ISO 27001, and others will use it as they come up for revision.

ISO_9001_2015_RevisionOne of the other main changes is the involvement of top management. Leadership from management to drive the processes and support the quality management system (QMS) is now essential if it was optional before. QMS is a business process that delivers continual improvement and customer satisfaction and will need to be given the full backing and commitment at every level of the organisation.

This will inevitably lead to increased scrutiny of the management review meetings to ensure they are carried out with adequate frequency and actions are followed up. Identification of risks and risk management has also been prioritised and actions will need to be included as part of the management review process.

This all makes good commercial sense if you are serious about improving your business opportunities. The benefits can help you to grow your business and increase profits.

ISO 9001:2015 benefits
If you have been thinking about implementing ISO 9001:2015 into your organisation and need to convince top management that it makes good business sense and the investment of time and cost is worth it, here are some valid reasons:
  • Globally recognised standard to improve your credibility.
  • Less waste, increased productivity = more profit.
  • Better customer retention and satisfaction.
  • Improved internal management systems.
  • Identification and reduction of risks.
  • Employee engagement.

To find out more about implementing ISO 9001:2015 into your organisation, call one of our team on 0121 241 2299.
The speculation is over and the decision has been made to leave the EU. Now we have a new prime minister and the dust has settled, it is probably time for you to try and assess how this is going to affect your business.

BrexitMost commentators agree that we are going to go through a period of economic uncertainty; the recent currency fluctuations are already starting to have an impact and will probably affect us all one way or another.

The effect of these changes will increase the cost of imports so we can expect to see rises in the machinery and technical equipment (mostly imported), needed for our businesses such as industrial machines and computer hardware and software.

Industries that are expected to be most affected are construction, financial services and manufacturing.

ISO standards and Brexit
Many of our clients will be affected by the economic changes brought on by Brexit, some positively, others negatively. Cheaper exports for those companies selling abroad may help to balance the increase in costs.

With all of this uncertainty it is good to know that some things will remain constant.  ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 will remain effective and provide the same benefits during the transition to leave the EU and when we finally leave. ISO accreditation is international and the EU often adopts the ISO standard as the European Standard.

Any changes to this stability will depend on our new relationship with the EU. At the moment we have some influence over European standards which means that our manufacturing and service industries have easy access to sell products and services to all European countries by meeting these standards.
Currently our manufacturers save time and cost by only having to comply with one standard to trade with European and global markets.

We can only assume that the UK will remain committed to the European standards to allow our businesses to maintain ease of access, even though our influence over the standards may be diminished.

 
2015 saw revisions to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. The next revision will be to OHSAS 18001 which is due to take place towards the end of 2016. The new standard for occupational health and safety management will be renamed ISO 45001.

One of the fundamental changes being made in these revisions is to the top level structure. These changes aim to deliver advantages by aligning various aspects of the different management systems to improve integration between standards. This structure is called Annex SL and was introduced by ISO to provide consistency throughout all of the ISO standards.

ISO 19001 and ISO 14001 are, for many organisations, the core of their management system and integration will save both time and costs.
  • Other benefits include:
  • Improved efficiency throughout the organisation
  • Less documentation
  • Better risk management
  • Involvement of all levels of the organisation
  • Adding value by maximising performance
  • Reducing duplication

Cogs_integrationAnnex SL
Annex SL will provide a common structure, text and definitions to make integration of multiple standards - ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 (later this year), smoother and quicker to implement.

By taking an integrated approach, documentation, training, audits and reviews will take up less resources and result in a more efficient and effective management system.

ISO 45001
Publication of the standard is expected around the end of 2016 when the transition from OHSAS 18001 can start.

Certification to the new standard will provide all of the integration efficiencies along with the existing OHSAS 18001 benefits to reduce accidents in the workplace and meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Other benefits of ISO 45001 certification include:
  • Improved productivity with fewer disruptions through absenteeism
  • Better employee relations
  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Lower costs connected with accidents in the workplace
  • Less risk of prosecution and HSE visits
  • Improved reputation with employees and stakeholders
To find out more please contact us.