Keep your business open safely amid the coronavirus emergency: ISO 45001 is what you need
The new coronavirus disease, officially named COVID-19, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In January 2020 they declared the virus a “public health emergency of international concern” and in March they categorised it as a “pandemic” which, in WHO terms, is “the worldwide spread of a disease”. On March 12th the Government announced that the UK was moving from the “containing” into the “delay” stage of the outbreak, and the risk to the public was raised from moderate to high by the UK Chief Medical Officers.
Across the world businesses, organisations and individuals are taking extraordinary steps to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
As the virus continues to spread extensively, it poses a significant challenge: all organisations and workers are being affected in some way. People’s health and well-being and stringent measures to prevent the virus from spreading should be at the heart of every organization’s response.
In this context, complying with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standard has become even more important.
We remind that the old BS OHSAS 18001 standard has been replaced by UNI ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, which has taken over after a long development process. The migration to UNI ISO 45001 was supposed to be completed before March 12th 2021, a term beyond which the existing certificates would expire losing their value. Due to the coronavirus outbreak the migration period has been extended for 6 months by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the new expiry date is set for September 30th 2021.
In these days, facing the virus is extremely urgent and the aim of the Occupational Health and Safety Management System is to provide employees and organisations a safe and healthy work environment, where risks of accidents and sickness are reduced at minimum.
Organisations with a certified Occupational Health and Safety Management System demonstrate their commitment to offer a safer workplace and to prevent any possible risk, protecting their staff and caring for employees’ safety and health. An Occupational Health And Safety Management System not only enables the Organization to meet legal and regulatory requirements, but it also brings other advantages in terms of staff satisfaction, higher productivity and lower insurance costs.
The main benefits deriving from the implementation of this System and its accredited certification can be seen in the reduction of workplace accidents and occupational diseases, increased productivity due to reduced absenteeism, reduction of insurance costs, general improvement of the employees spirit, creation of a health and safety culture – whereby employees and leadership are encouraged to take on an active role – enhanced reputation and ability to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
Employers and businesses may have concerns about how they can remain open for business safely, and so play their part in preventing the spread of the virus. In this sense, a certified Occupational Health and Safety Management System is essential for demonstrating the compliance with statutory requirements, in terms of preventing Covid19 spreading and to prove their compliance to the Government guidance on this matter. This will help avoiding penalties and improves the corporate image, enhancing the company profile in terms of trading credibility and marketing reputation.
Obtaining this certification demonstrates the company’s great attention to safeguarding workers with the aim of providing a healthy and safe working environment not only for its employees but also for those who visit the workplace.
ASACERT Group offers inspection, certification and valuation services, in accordance with international standards ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17021-1, under many international accreditations including UKAS.