Keeping workers safe is one of the most important concerns of any employer. Occupational accidents or work-related illnesses have an enormous impact on families and communities, as well as incurring significant costs to businesses.

ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management systems is the world’s first international standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S). It provides a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and enable organizations to create better, safer working environments.

It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business and is designed to be integrated into existing management processes.

Clark Contracts Ltd is a privately-owned main contractor with six operating divisions: Construction, Fit Out, Small Works, Retail, Maintenance and Manufactured Joinery. The company works throughout the UK, employing over 250 employees and is committed to driving continual improvement across the business.

Gordon Cunningham, Managing Director, prides himself on best business practice and believes that having ISO 45001 certification is a crucial part of ensuring the safest possible work environment for employees.

“We have always maintained a strict H&S management system,” explains Gordon, “so when ISO 45001:2018 became available, we felt that due to the continued expansion of the business and a desire to continually improve, we would obtain certification.

“Having first achieved certification to the international quality standard ISO 9001 with BM TRADA in 2000, followed by environmental standard ISO 14001 in 2010, we felt it was a natural decision to maintain the 18 year relationship and achieve ISO 45001 certification under BM TRADA.”

ISO 45001 helps users to manage risk as a business process rather than as a standard approach. It enables organizations to control their OH&S risks and improve their performance by implementing effective policies and objectives, which then allow for continual improvement as the business grows and develops.

“The benefits of implementing ISO 45001 are clear,” says Gordon. “Having accreditation to this new standard provides our employees with a safe and healthy working environment, as well as helping to streamline processes and deliver efficiencies, saving time and money.”

As well as reducing the number of workplace incidents, further benefits of the new standard include reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, leading to increased productivity; reduced cost of insurance premiums; creation of a health and safety culture, whereby employees are encouraged to take an active role in their own OH&S; and enhanced reputation and improved staff morale.

Gordon adds, “We are dedicated to continually improving occupational health and safety for our employees and ensuring the safest possible work environment. We are delighted to be one of the first construction companies to achieve the new international standard.”

Discover more about ISO 45001