The management team at GFSA has always ensured that the company operates to the highest standards in all aspects of the business. As an existing OHSAS 18001 certified business, GFSA was already operating to the highest international safety standards but the newly introduced standard, ISO 45001, called for a different approach.
Under OHSAS 18001, responsibility for the control of hazards could be delegated by senior management to safety management personnel rather than being integrated into the overall management system of the company. The new ISO 45001 certification stipulates that management commitment is central to the standard’s effectiveness and integration.
In practice, this change means that senior management must take ownership of the safety culture of the business and participate actively in implementing safety programmes. The changes are not restricted to management, however. The new safety culture must also be embraced by workers who will need to play a more active role in establishing and maintaining a Safety Management System. This means more training and education in the identification of risks as well as internal audits and risk assessments that must be shared with workers.
ISO 45001 sets up a preventative process that requires identified hazard risks to be evaluated and remedied. It is pro-active, rather than reactive and engages everyone in the safety management system for the organisation.
The GFSA management team’s commitment to safety in all aspects of the business is demonstrated by the fact that the Company has become one of the first in the UK to transition to the new standard.
The smooth transition was achieved by:
- Compiling a comprehensive gap analysis.
- Management team producing the PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental risk assessment) and applying risk- based thinking principles.
- Addressing the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties.
- Enhancing leadership and commitment.
- Managing Director attends health and safety committee.
- Greater worker participation: employee appointed as safety representative and attends health & safety committee.
- New health & safety manual aligned to ISO 45001:2018
As Simon Goddard, MD at GFSA commented; “As a management team, we have always been committed to identifying and mitigating safety risks throughout our business. We, therefore, welcome the new ISO 45001 standard because it obliges companies to engage all management and employees in a safety culture that everyone plays an active part in creating and maintaining”.