Occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems are necessary for businesses to protect their workforce and the public from workplace dangers resulting in injury. In 2021 alone, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) revealed 8,279 reported non-fatal workplace injuries in Ireland.
The HSA also revealed that 597,000 days were lost to work-related injuries in 2020, and 1,053,00 days were lost due to work-related illness.
Organisations need to follow the industry’s relevant health and safety legislation to reduce workplace injuries and illness. Introducing an OH&S management system certified to ISO 45001 can help reduce injuries and accidents in your workplace and shows your organisation complies with international regulations.
Discover how being ISO 45001 certified can benefit your organisation.
What is an ISO 45001-certified OH&S management system?
ISO 45001 is a global standard that outlines the requirements for an effective OH&S management system, alongside guidance on implementing and improving it. Organisations with an ISO 45001 certification are able to deploy a framework for OH&S management approaches that benefit employee well-being, can help reduce the risk of workplace accidents and ensure compliance.
Employers are required to meet the relevant health and safety legislation, and ISO 45001 can help do that. The internationally recognised ISO 45001 standard is designed to help organisations from various industries prevent health-related problems and work-related injuries in the workplace. This allows organisations to achieve recognition for improving employee safety, reducing the likelihood of risks, and creating safer and more efficient working conditions.
Read our guide on the importance of occupational health and safety.
10 benefits of an occupational health and safety management system
Implementing an OH&S management system and achieving ISO 45001 certification benefits organisations of all sizes.
Aside from the moral implications of ensuring a high workplace health and safety standard, employers can also benefit from reduced costs associated with fewer work-related incidents and reduced operational downtime relating to workplace injuries.
Employers who implement an effective OH&S gain access to long-term benefits, such as:
1. Identify workplace hazards and implement controls
Implementing an OH&S management system can aid your organisation in identifying hazards that could occur.
An OH&S management system can help your organisation identify hazards through the use of a risk register, regular safety inspections and analysing workplace hazards.
Becoming ISO 45001 certified goes further and helps reinforces a culture of health and safety, potentially reducing risks and revealing possible workplace hazards. Once in place, being ISO 45001 certified helps your organisation continuously improve its efforts to eliminate risks to occupational health and safety and implement controls to help minimise the potential effects of such hazards.
2. Monitor performance
Having a robust OH&S system in place allows you to monitor your organisation’s performance in managing potential health and safety risks that could affect your employees or the public. ISO 45001 standard certification specifications require that the management system be subject to regular reviews to monitor progress. Undergoing frequent monitoring is beneficial as it ensures your organisation complies with up-to-date regulations, highlights your organisation’s commitment to health and safety standards, and encourages employee confidence in the workplace.
3. Demonstrates legal compliance
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2005 states that all employers must meet workplace health and safety regulations. Failing to maintain obligatory health and safety standards puts companies at risk of dangerous workplace accidents, significant fines and – in some cases – being subject to legal proceedings. An OH&S management system helps establish a framework to ensure that the organisation consistently conforms to workplace health and safety laws.
4. Improved productivity
Implementing a functioning OH&S management system programme is likely to boost overall productivity. As potential risks are highlighted and processes are in place to eliminate them, can assist with reducing accidents in the workplace, naturally increasing productivity with less time lost due to accidents.
5. Reduction in employee absenteeism
A solid OH&S management system can help reduce staff absences and sick leave costs with procedures in place to manage risks that could result in accidents or illness, leading to employee absenteeism.
Read our guide on occupational health and safety management – employee well-being strategy.
6. Lower insurance premiums
Insurance premiums may be reduced for organisations with OH&S management systems significantly if they can demonstrate compliance with a recognised standard such as ISO 45001. Certification can prove that the organisation is implementing procedures to minimise risks, reducing insurance claims relating to accidents and sick pay.
7. Helping with system integration
Environmental, Social and Governance goals (ESG) effectively help organisations positively impact society and the environment.
Companies that keep employees safe and follow legal requirements by running a competent OH&S management system can use this as part of their ESG reporting. Good governance through effective management systems can prove attractive to potential investors and other stakeholders, demonstrating an organisation’s commitment to worker safety and reporting transparency.
Find out how Certification Europe can help your organisation reach its ESG goals.
8. Boost in reputation
An established OH&S management system can boost your organisation’s reputation in the industry. Being ISO 45001 certified shows your commitment to the health and safety of your staff and compliance with legislation. Increased reputation can see a boost in attracting new business, creating positive PR for your organisation, and helping attract and retain employees, especially in sectors more exposed to workplace incidents, such as construction or agriculture.
9. Easier access to finance
Organisations that show an efficient OH&S management system will likely see fewer work-related accidents and injuries and more thorough procedures than companies that do not. Organisations demonstrating effective OH&S management can have a better chance of gaining financial support from banks and investors.
10. Boost stakeholder confidence
Stakeholders are usually more confident in an organisation’s decisions and abilities if it has robust health and safety management, such as being ISO 45001 certified. Demonstrating that operational health and safety is a priority to your organisation can encourage them to work with you.
Find out how Certification Europe can help your organisation become ISO 45001 certified.