Working in the sector that we do, we frequently encounter people/organisations who believe that management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 etc. can do nothing for them in terms of improvements. Some will never be convinced. Perhaps it's something to do with their character that prevents them from ever being mistaken on any matter. Who knows? For everyone else, whether you already employ management systems and are comforted to hear that you're doing the right thing or if you're considering adopting such systems for your organisation, here's some good news. The Centre for Economics & Business Research, an independent economics and business research consultancy, have produced a report on how standards have impacted upon UK economic growth since 1921. Here are just a few of the interesting findings included in the report: Over a third of productivity growth is attributed to standards £6.1 billion additional UK exports are attributed to standards £8.2 billion in annual UK GDP is attributed to standards Those applying standards in the food and drink manufacturing sector increased turnover (collectively) by £10.2 billion per year The most productive sectors in the UK use standards the most. One such sector, aerospace and defence, increased productivity by 20.1% between 2005 and 2014. The UK average was 4.9%. Not convinced? Perhaps you are just one of those people. If this information has got you thinking about how these management systems could help you, then get in touch and we will show you.
A question that I was asked the other day, and not for the first time. The answer for many companies is yes, you do need ISO 14001 but I suspect that wasn’t the intended question. “Must I have an environmental management system (EMS) in my organisation?” is probably what was meant. The short answer to this is no, it’s not a legal requirement for everyone to have an EMS. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea though.
Organisations need to identify the environmental aspects of their activities and what their impacts are. Aspects are any elements of an organisations activities, products or services that can interact with the environment. Impacts are the changes made to the environment, whether positive or negative, resulting in some way from an organisation’s activities, products or services.
Organisations that use certain products as a part of their processes may need a license to operate. An accredited certificate for an EMS may be a condition of such a license. For some organisations insurance companies may insist on the implementation of an EMS as a condition of their policy. For others it may well be pressure from customers or even an expectation of their marketplace that forces their hand. Although the implementation of an EMS is voluntary, it is increasingly becoming a requirement for one reason or another.
A question that is often asked, so what's the answer? The truth is that there is no one simple answer. There is guidance available, the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992, Regulation 7 tells us that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable. Reasonable? What is reasonable? Ask ten different people what a "reasonable" temperature for their office is and you may well get ten different answers. There is further guidance in the Approved Code of Practice to these regulations, which suggests that the minimum temperature in these places should be 16 degrees Celsius. So who would be happy with that? Not me! Where severe physical effort is being applied this drops to 13 degrees Celsius.
Currently, if you're talking about health and safety management systems, we should be talking about OHSAS (as in 45001). Most people are familiar with, if any, the ISO international standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. I guess that's why some people become confused when talking about health and safety standards, I've even heard health and safety practitioners refer to ISO 45001.. It is a legal requirement that you have a health and management system (by any name) in place.. If you want to show your customers (and potential customers) that you are serious about the way in which you run your business, if you want to demonstrate to your clients that your services or products are not going to be delayed or cancelled through enforcement action then a UKAS accredited ISO 45001 certificate is still hard to beat.