Things change in the business world all the time, due to unexpected events and issues within the larger marketplace creating a domino effect, which impacts the entire marketplace supply chain. This means that deadlines and release dates can get pushed back to a more suitable date when they can be released at a less stressful time. This is a reality that business’ from all different industries must deal with, with wholesale, retail, and even the committee for internationally certified business management solutions often being required to change their plans due to unexpected events in the marketplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the ability of business’ to function this year, and as a result, the International Organization for Standardization’s original deadline of March 2021 for migration from either AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001 health and safety management systems to the internationally certified, globally improved guideline known as ISO 45001 OH&S Standards has been extended until September 2021. This is to give business’ needing to migrate a bit of breathing room, and time to deal with other challenges, before migrating to the new standards. However, companies stand to benefit from migrating sooner rather than later, as migration to the new occupational health and safety standards can result in a streamlining of operating, reduced downtime, improved staff morale, and in general, a happier, more productive, work environment. This is because the ISO 45001 Standards approach the issue of effective occupational health and safety from a much broader perspective than the previous standards, and take into consideration factors such as employee morale, staff participation, pre-emptive measures, and a number of other factors that were unaddressed in the previous standards. This means that by complying with the new ISO 45001 Standards, business’ not only ensure that their operational OH&S practices are meeting regulatory compliance, they actively develop a safer, more supportive, work culture. Due to these additional benefits the implementation of these standards brings to companies, it is a good business strategy to migrate as soon as possible.
Further, by migrating to these standards, business’ will:
- Be able to develop and promote a positive occupational health and safety message and culture across the workplace. The ISO 45001 Standards operate on the philosophy of engaging staff through participation, hearing them out, and allowing them to actively contribute to a positive discussion about the OH&S direction of the company. This extends beyond simply informing staff of your business’ OH&S goals, but rather actively developing a safe, supportive work culture, where all employees are aware of their OH&S responsibilities, trained on what to do in the event of an incident, what the chain-of-command is, and so on. This means that in the event of an incident, all staff will know exactly what to do, who to report the issue to, what their individual responsibilities are, and so on, active steps which will significantly reduce the time taken to resolve the issue.
- Be able to develop a forward-thinking approach to dealing with potential OH&S risks. The OHSAS 18001 standards were concerned with controlling existing hazards, while the ISO 45001 Standards adopt a more proactive perspective to dealing with potential hazards, through a risk-based analysis approach. This requires business’ to recognise potential OH&S risks before they have even occurred, and not only take active steps to minimise their effect on operations, but also to assess the situation from a possible improvement perspective. This means analysing the potential risk and not just working at mitigating it, but actively taking steps to develop a safer, more secure, more efficient in lieu system that works more effectively than the previous one ever did.
- Be able to recognise and develop strategies for dealing with non-physical work health and safety risks. 2020 has been a pretty stressful year, and the changes to the way in which we work may have affected the mental health and well-being of employees. The ISO 45001 Standards provide business’ with strategies for promoting and developing a safe, mentally supportive, work environment, which fosters positive mental health in supportive ways, and provides support services for those in need. This contrasts with the previous standards, which solely addressed work health and safety hazards in the physical environment.
Migrate to the new standards today to get a competitive head start
While business’ can wait until September 2021 to migrate to the new standards, from an operational perspective it makes much more sense to migrate at your earliest convenience. In such a competitive marketplace, many business’ are at risk of losing their market share to a host of competitors, and anything that sets your business apart from the pack will help it stand out, and retain the faith of its staff, clients, and customers. This can be the crucial difference between a business struggling to make ends meet, and one that is thriving within the challenging environment.
If you would like to know more about how migrating to these new OH&S standards could help your organisation streamline its service, maximise productivity, and develop a safer, more supportive work environment, then please give Anitech’s safety systems consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. First give them a rundown of your organisation, such as its size, industry type, and specific OH&S requirements, and then they will be able to discuss with you how your business could migrate to these standards in a smooth, efficient manner, in a way which effectively implements an efficient OH&S Management System, as well as lays the groundwork for a more supportive, productive, safer work culture. Isn’t this exactly what staff, clients, and customers want from a business?
Please click here to read some more about the added benefits migration to the ISO 45001 standards can bring to companies.