Health and safety is obviously an important part of any business, regardless of how remote the risks may be. Injuries and accidents are awful for employees, terrible for morale and in serious cases, can spell the end of a business. Health and safety regulations in the UK are rigorous, and business owners need to ensure their organisation is up to scratch in this area.
OHSAS 18001 Certification is the benchmark set of standards for effective health and safety in the UK. Here is a more detailed explanation of why businesses need to implement it.
Effective Health And Safety – Not Just Checklists, but Systems
Most businesses with degrees of risk will be taking some sort of action centered around health and safety – afterall, it is basic human nature to seek to avoid injury. The trouble is, businesses are complex systems with huge volumes of activities and processes that occur day in, day out. Without a systemic top-down health and safety initiative, things are bound to go wrong at some point, no matter how careful the employees. The bigger the business, the bigger the need for a dedicated health and safety management system like OHSAS 18001 that includes checks, redundancies and contingency planning.
Maintaining Consistent Standards Over Time
Health and safety isn’t a one-time implementation. By definition, it needs to be a continuously upheld standard within the company, and it needs to be something that employees are constantly aware of and adhering to. In some industries with sensitive processes, it only takes one or two consecutive small mistakes to cause a serious incident – in these cases, nothing less than consistently excellent health and safety performance is acceptable.
Ask yourself the following:
1. Is Health and Safety important to my business?
2. Do I care about how my business is perceived by others?
3. Is minimising cost and increasing profit my priority?
4. Would I benefit from a more streamlined operation?
Most businesses would answer ‘yes’ to the above questions.
So, not only do organisations need health and safety systems in place, but they also need some external benchmark to be compared with; some external standard to be followed and checked against periodically. OHSAS 18001 offers this.