Hackers, thieves, competitors as well as interested parties are constantly seeking to permeate company databases and access information. They want to steal information to make money, sell credit card numbers, hold data hostage or just to obtain a competitive advantage. For that reason, firms constantly must be aware of their information security issues. To do so, they are encouraged to implement information security management systems. These have several drivers and benefits.
Information Security Umbrella
Information security is imperative for businesses to keep in mind. However, it encompasses several different components. The overarching idea is that employees, partners, vendors, buyers and other stakeholders must act with discretion when dealing with any sensitive information.
They should not share unnecessary information with friends and family, nor should they leave documents in open and accessible locations. Rather, they should guard corporate information vigorously. This typically includes financial information, key design or innovation plans or even private employee data. Employees have to be cautious not to share their password or download suspicious files they receive over email. They must keep their anti-virus software up to date and regularly change passwords as well.
On the other hand, IT security is much more specific and includes the implementation of two factor authentication, multi-level encryption, advanced firewalls and anti-virus software. IT security includes examining the technical systems including the hardware, software and network links to all individuals. This is just as important as Information Security.
Hacking into a system can cause major disruptive issues. Recently, hackers captured computer systems all around the world with their WannaCry virus. This virus froze computers and demanded a ransom in order to unlock them. The virus infected computers in the UK’s national health system, as well as systems throughout Asia and Australia. Those companies and organizations paid millions to hackers and millions more to fix their systems. This was purely one example of many types of hacks that have occurred over time.
The key drivers of increased ISMS are the exponential increase in hacking and its ramifications worldwide. Now that the power of the Internet is in the hands of billions of people all around the world, anybody with access can learn the dark arts andattempt to steal information. While it takes an organized effort with financial sponsorship to create the most powerful hacking groups, there are millions around the world that already have the knowledge and capability to launch initial attacks.
These attacks vary widely. One tactic is to send millions of data requests to one server to bring it down in order to leave a network vulnerable. This DDOS attacks is very difficult to prevent. Other hacks include stealing passwords or breaking codes to enter a network. Still other hackers simply trick users into downloading viruses which enable the hacker to control the computer. These techniques continue to grow and become more sophisticated.
The benefits of applying ISMS are quite clear. First of all, it is like an insurance policy that protects against the possibility of enormous financial damage. Keeping information security up to date minimises the vast majority of attempted hacks.
Secondly, businesses need to show they are engaging in information security for legal liability and government compliance purposes. Without investing in ways to prevent attacks, they are leaving themselves open to lawsuits and government fines. Investing in the technologies gives companies a good defence against allegations of negligence.
Lastly, ISMS gives management greater control of their business. They install more management tools, get better server data and control the flow of information inside the company. That ultimately helps them to run a better, more profitable business.
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An unexpected accident that causes serious bodily harm may result in a scheduled OHS regulatory body (Worksafe) inspection. Accidents that involve death or dismemberment will prompt a formal worksafe investigation. These post-incident OHS inspections can potentially result in hefty fines, mandatory upgrades and temporary business closure. Here are some of the best practices recommended for incident management preparation.
The first tool of incident management is ensuring proper documentation has been established and maintained. Creating safety policies and specific procedures for dealing with accidents is widely regarded as integral to effectively dealing with Incidents. Many employers add a statement on the job application regarding pre-employment drug screens for the purposes of safety. Every year, have supervisors review the various safety procedures and policies during employee meetings. Require that all employees sign and date that they have attended these meetings. Keeping a binder full of documented safety training sessions can represent a defence against a critical OHS inspector. Finally, it is recommended that all employees are put through a formal day safety training covering all OHS policies and processes along with the site rules and on the job training.
JSAs and SWMS are Legal Defences
Every safety program should include accurate and comprehensive Job Safety Analyses (JSAs). JSA simply looks at the work task and considers the safest way to complete it. It is one way of becoming aware of the hazards involved in completing the job and taking required steps to prevent injury. These documents are an effective way to proactively reduce safety and health hazards in the workplace. They should include detailed procedures on how to safely perform the task and they should identify the mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE). Be sure to have employees review and sign new copies of their updated JSAs during their annual performance reviews. Storing these in the personnel file is the best defence against lawsuits involving negligence.
Understand OHS Rules
OHShave in place specific record maintenance requirements that apply across all industries. The two essential documents that must be kept are the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. These two documents are typically posted in the employee lunchrooms by HR managers. The Injury and Illness Incident Report, must be annually submitted to OHS. OHS requires certain industries to conduct mandatory training in specific topics every year. These commonly cover PPEs, fire extinguishers, emergency action plans and hazardous communication (HAZCOM). For example, OHS requires companies that make workers handle chemicals to provide them with material safety data sheets (MSDS).
Time-loss and Light Duty
OHS considers any time an employee misses work because of an injury to be a “time-loss” incident. The higher the time-loss number, the higher the workers’ compensation insurance rates will rise. Each state’s occupational safety agency ranks and publishes these statistics every year. Time-loss problems can be avoided through assisting injured employees return to work as soon as possible through a light or modified duty program. Doctors who see the injured worker and fill out the medical paperwork should complete a ‘release to work’ document that specifies duty restrictions. Sending them to the hospital with packets of information that include job descriptions will help the employee regain normalcy and their dignity.
The Ultimate Incident Management Tool
Most companies have a basic safety program, but this tends to be a collection of outdated safety policies and procedures. A certified safety program is one of the best ways to systemically reduce work hazards, improve worker safety and minimise accidents. Companies that voluntarily maintain an OHS-approved safety program may not have to worry about unexpected inspections. OHS’s most comprehensive safety program is called the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). It helps companies implement effective safety and health management systems and policies. OHS provides the initial certification and returns every five years for a re-certification audit and inspection. There is also the AS/NZS 4801:2001Occupational Health and Safety Program.
As a final note, always thoroughly investigate and document accidents. It is best to take proactive measures to immediately rectify the hazard before OHS and insurance inspectors arrive. This demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and accountability.
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John Maxwell (An American author and speaker) once said “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way” and these very words could not hold more truth when we look at the importance of Senior managers and their influence on driving QHSE management systems.
So Why is Senior management commitment so important? Below are just some of the reasons:
- If Senior Management does not provide the necessary support towards actively promoting the system, then it is not likely to work
- If Managing Directors do not practice what they preach, then why would lower level production staff or labourers comply with procedural requirements?
- Through senior management commitment and action, it provides a sense of truth and integrity to the Quality/Health and Safety and/or Environmental Policy statements
Consequences of a poorly executed level of Management commitment
Your employees must have that incentive and drive to adhere to all QHSE policies and procedures and this is heavily shaped by Senior management. If people should perceive that the most senior managers in the organisation do not have any interest in Customer/OHS/environmental requirements, regulations or laws then why should they, the employees, care?. It is integral that as a Senior management group, there are established communication channels reiterating the significance of compliance and this can be in any form including:
-Documented policies and procedures
Another major negative consequence of poor management commitment is the continuous breakdown of systems as a result of a lack of resources provided for by Senior Management. Without the adequate resources (Human,Physical, Financial, technological), it becomes a nightmare for any organisation to sustain effective implementation of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or AS/NZS 4801 programs and at best they might be able to just keep their heads above water.
One final such consequence of a lack of management commitment is the resulting poor culture that has the potential to surface within any organisation. Whether any organisation is trying to promote Health and safety or continuous improvement or even a greater awareness of environmental aspects, it is such that impending outcomes on culture are greatly influenced by a proactive drive shown by Senior management towards achieving these outcomes.
The involvement of Top Management just shouldn’t be an optional exercise
There is just no point in wasting your time and money on trying to implement a management system if senior management are going to focus on other priorities. Without the expertise and enthusiasm shown by Top management, the primary objectives of the system implementation such as continual improvement, reduction in incidents,Minimisation of environmental harm or even improvement in Information Security management will never be realized.
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A risk management program is an integral tool/method for identifying risks and ensuring that you are aware of all of them. You can avoid various problems by understanding and managing your risks on a daily basis. There are some steps that are referred to below for mitigating and managing your day to day risks.
Step 1: Conduct a Walk Through of Your Facility
One of the first things that you need to do in order to create a successful risk management program is to conduct an inspection or walk through your facility. One of the key steps here is to pay particular attention to all significant areas of concern and/or worst case scenarios.Many organisations will capture photos as part of their inspection in order to highlight the significance of the issue to Senior Management.
Step 2: Speak to Employees
Your employees are likely to have more intimate knowledgewith your facility than you have. Create a focus group of employees from various departments. Provide a debrief to them and encourage their input about areas that they are concerned with and ask them where they think the most risks exist. Their information is vital to helping you develop and maintain a risk management program.
Step 3: Identify the Major Risks
There are always going to be risks inherent within your organization. Some may be physical while others might be strategic. Some of the most common project risks include:
- Poor leadership
- Staff issues
- No continuity plan
- Lack of resources
- Change in business strategy
You have to pose the “what if” question when establishing the major risks. Break them down into sub-categories. For example, if there is no continuity plan, this might be broken down into smaller categories to include if a particular department goes under, there is a natural disaster, or something else were to happen.
Step 4: Evaluate the Risks
All of the risks that you identified need to be evaluated. This is where the “What if” situation will help you as well. You need to determine the likelihood of a risk actually happening. The “major” risks should be put at the top of the list, where you will put the most attention and allocate the most resources.
Step 5: Develop a Treatment Plan
A treatment plan should be formulated and written to help you identify how you would handle the different risks. It’s also important to assign tasks to different employees. For example, some items might need to be repaired or ordered in order to have a complete plan in place should something happen.
This is where it’s important to have a system and database included with your risk management plan so everything becomes more organized.
Step 6: Train Your Employees
Your employees need to be educated on risk management culture. When you are ready to train your employees, it’s important to communicate effectively. This involves letting all of your employees know and understand the meaning of Risk management and its significance within the business.
A curriculum should be built to focus on the courses that are mandatory. You should also empower employees to be more focused on risk-related topics. Your employees might surprise you. Since they are the ones in the roles, they should have the ability to work on risk management within their position. It might include additional training, allocating resources to minimize risk, and much more.
Step 7: Schedule Regular Audits
Audits should be scheduled on a regular basis. This should include those done by your employees as well as a third-party company. It will ensure that you have as many eyes on what’s going on as possible.
Discover more about a risk management program by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd
Will Certification Beat Competition? Myth Or Fact?
Competition is fierce in any industry. It’s imperative to understand how to effectively beat your competition. Using third party certification audits will make it easier to identify and locate the various flaws in the system. However, will this be sufficient toconsolidate your position against your competition? The consensus is that it’s not enough.
The Certifications Available
There are numerous certifications you can obtain that will help you to get an edge over your competition. This includes:
- Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001)
- Environmental Management (ISO) 14001)
- CCF (Civil Contractors Federation) IMS or SCIMS
- Food Safety Management (HACCP)
- Information Security Management Systems (ISO 27001)
- Business Continuity Management (ISO 22301)
- Energy Management Systems (ISO 55001)
- Asset Management Systems (ISO 50001)
Whether you’re applying for certification internationally or locally in Australia, you need to review how third-party certification audits will identify and assist in closing the gaps within your system. For example, if you’re looking at achieving ISO 14001 certification, you will have audits thatprovide you with intel on such matters as your environment protection measures, wastage, efficiency, and much more.
Choose the Right Certification
With so many certifications available, you should choose the one that will best fit your company needs and objectives. It is a good idea to spend some time researching your competition. Find out what ISO certifications they have already obtained. if everyone in your industry has an ISO 9001 quality management systems certification, it’s going to be in your best interests to acquire a similar certification. The consequence of the decision to not follow in a similar footpath to your competitors will give them a distinct advantage. Listen to what the government says or your vendors.
The certification itself plays a major role in how consumers choose to do business with you. When you are in a B2B industry, many businesses will elect not to do business with you if you don’t have sufficient certification.
In some cases, multiple certifications provide benefit and can work in tandem depending on the industry you operate in for example in the construction industry, ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 offer numerous benefits both in prevention of safety issues and improvement of overall customer satisfaction. Through having a diligent selection of the right certification, it ensures that the management system will focus on business operations and that you are meeting and exceeding objectives. It will also ensure that you are delivering high quality and consistent results.
Busting the Myths
Knowing the myths that are out there regarding certification and third-party audits will make it easier for you to obtain the truth. It will enable you to more simply schedule your audits with the right certification body. Additionally, it will allow you to focus on what’s needed for your company in order to take it to the next level.
The primary myth is that any certification will help you defeat yourcompetition. The reality is you need to have the certification and regularly schedule your third-party audits to ensure that your methods for ensuring you are across all legislation matches industry best practice.
Another myth is that certification will automatically bring more business. You will need to advertise that you have been certified, which means including the information on your website as well as any printed material that you have for your company. Plus whole of your organisations must adopt the system with enthusiasm.
You will also hear companies talking about how there is no need to use a third-party accreditor for audits. While you could simply have a company come in and see you meet ISO or another certification in terms of qualifications, it’s going to be easier if you work with a reputable name within the world of certification. It will ensure you have the right process in place and that you are truly offering the highest quality and reputable services as advertised.
When you take the time to schedule your audits, it allows you to identify your flaws and provide a better experience to your customers. Make sure you demand the best from your auditors.
Learn more about third-party audits to help you beat your competition by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today.Read More
In most cases, it is not easy to quantify productivity in the realm of construction. The construction sector is one of those fields that experience an ever fluctuating environment. Whether it be weather, employee related issues or countless other unforeseen points of concern, managing productivity is an arduous and ever challenging endeavour.
There was a study done by Intergraph that illustrated EPCs suffer billions of dollars nationally as a by product of construction claims involving labor related issues alone. That is huge, to say the least. Even though there are many organizations collecting data on construction productivity (US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Contractors Associations, independent contractors, universities, to name a few), this data is various and lacks consistency. Yet, one aspect that remains a constant through most research is the consequential impact of labor productivity.
So, what are some things that can be done to improve overall productivity, improve your bottomline, reduce workplace incidents and decrease the negative impact on the environment? Let us take a look at three simple hacks that can boost productivity.
1. Improve Project Planning
Planning is integral to anything we do. The lack thereof can prove disastrous and a nuisance at the very least. In the world of construction, we all know that planning is a very important ingredient in the mixture of project completion on schedule and within budget.
In order to become better at planning, data should be collected on previous construction projects in order to establish where the bulk of the issues reside. Is it poor timing in ordering materials? On who does this responsibility lie? Were there equipment failures or work related injuries that held things back? How can these issues be addressed? Collecting this data enables any of these issues to be addressed before the next project and find ways to formulate preemptive solutions.
2. Introduce Productivity Training
It should be a known fact that your supervisors can make or break any project. Are they knowledgeable enough to face the growing concerns of a modern EPC world? Do they have sufficient training to keep them up to date with new technologies and environmental regulations? Are they up to speed with local and federal regulations? All three of these aspects are ever evolving. What may have been the case last month could very well not be the case next month.
Most contractors see training employees only as far as making sure they know how to operate new pieces of equipment, as one example. How many implement training in productivity? And it is supervisors who are in the greatest need of this type of training. They need to start seeing outside the box and quit looking at things from a day-to-day view, always looking into the foreseeable future and trying to increase the likelihood that the project remains on schedule and within budget.
Furthermore, the construction industry as a whole should consider the merits of inviting design students to complete their internships on site. This will decrease conflicts between the designers and the contractors, not to mention bring a fresh mind to the design process.
3. Keep On Top of New Construction Technologies
There is a reason for technological development: to make our lives easier. Usually, technological advances come from a direct need from an industry. One of the biggest disruptions being caused by technology as a whole is the construction sector. Whether it is renewable energy disruption, better, longer lasting materials or innovative methods in the construction process, staying abreast of new technology is vital to sustainability.
One technology is 3D printing, which is changing the landscape, so to speak, on many fronts. From facial reconstruction to manmade coral reefs, 3D printing is paving the way for many new cool advances in technology. No other sector is being influenced greater by this disruptive technology than the EPC industry. In an article by Forbes entitled Printing The Future: The Last Bastion Of Blue Collar Labor Is About To Fall, it accounts for $9 trillion in revenues and six percent of the global GDP. Not only this, but 3D printing is making the entire construction process more time and cost efficient by reducing everything down to precise measurements. This means designers can create structures not thought possible before.
With fast evolving technology in the construction industry changing the way we design, plan, manage and build, becoming a more productive company is even easier than before. The three hacks above are not the complete picture by far, but they are a great place to start.
We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.Read More
Research shows that eight out of every 10 businesses fail due to poor leadership, communication and product differentiation. Only the best organizations will overcome issues like rising costs, selective customers, sluggish economies, challenging markets and aggressive competitors. An ISO certification is one of the best long-term investments a company can make for their future stability and profitability.
Enhanced Credibility and Reputation
Almost all B2B partners want to do business with companies that are ISO certified because it verifies they maintain higher standards. ISO certification reduces the need for lengthy debates and investigations to determine if the target company understands the principles of quality, communication, process improvements and management oversight. Similarly, ISO certifications build trust and inspire confidence in customers and the public.
Companies that maintain a loyal customer base will be more sustainable and successful. An ISO certification is a full-time commitment, but is a powerful tool for industries that have to deal with watchful critics, such as energy, manufacturing, agriculture and engineering companies. The best marketing and public relations weapon for a lumber production or a natural gas company is an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification.
A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
The ISO 14001:2015 refers to the prestigious Environmental Management System (EMS) that provides a comprehensive framework for planning, implementing and improving eco-friendly policies and practices. An EMS program may be applied to any type of organization, regardless of their specific sector because the ultimate goal is to enhance environmental performance and corporate responsibility. EMS thinking can be integrated into all levels of stewardship, from manual labor employees to top executives.
EMS programs help management to monitor the company’s interactions with the environment, exceed mandatory compliance obligations and resolve risks from various sources. The 14001:2015 program identifies environmental aspects (anything that interacts with the surroundings) in order to minimize negative impacts and maximize position outcomes. The ISO 14001:2015 is the second most popular standard after the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System program.
Better Product Quality
The continual sale of any product comes down to quality, durability, performance and customer satisfaction. The ISO 9001:2015 depends on proactive participation from leadership who are tasked with continually improving operations, quality control, effective communication and production planning activities. The QMS program is the universal standard around the world for a superior level of quality and product safety. This is especially important for global companies who have B2B clients in unfamiliar countries.
The ISO 9001:2015 program requires leadership involvement, quality objectives, evolving policies and specific requirements. Standard Qualify Procedures (SQP) are detailed job descriptions that outline what task will be done, who will be responsible, when it will be completed and how the results will be evaluated. QMS, along with EMS programs, are the best investments for legal compliance and protection. The American Society for Quality (ASQ), which is a global leader in quality control activities, endorses ISO 9001 programs here.
ISO programs assist employees and management to develop new skills, proactive attitudes and problem solving tools. For example, hazard identification and risk management are important to both the EMS and QMS programs. Staff are actively encouraged and empowered to adopt risk-based thinking in order to uncover previously hidden or avoided problems. Some companies punish employees who report serious quality issues that could impact safety, but ISO programs actually reprimand shareholders and require them to resolve nonconformities through corrective action plans.
Regular external audits through internationally recognized certifying bodies means that organizations must maintain impeccable documentation and high standards. To illustrate, the ISO 9001 requires organizations to create and use daily quality control check sheets that are completed throughout the day. This usually involves a supervisor or team leader randomly checking, testing or measuring a group of products every year.
The most scientific way to increase product excellence and production values is to aggregately analyse quality control data through statistical process control tools and spreadsheets. ISO program credentials are maintained through global certifying organizations that provide audits, support and direction.
We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.
Once an organisation pursues ISO certification, its management team must plan and anticipate changes in a sequence of stages. Employees are unable to process changes all at once, and they need time to adjust their attitudes. The management team must consider the impact of changing major work structures and associated processes on many employees and the effects of smaller changes on limited groups of employees. Most importantly, all required changes must take place over time. Managers must implement any change process with sensitivity to employees’ needs in order to prevent unnecessary backlashes to customers. Otherwise, negative employee attitudes could defeat the purpose of obtaining certification.
Why Do It
One way to contemplate obtaining ISO certification is that the process is time efficient. There will be benefits for the organisation, including a better public image and streamlined operations, which usually translate to cost savings and greater efficiency. Employees may also experience increased morale in their workplace and customers’ perceptions of higher value. Quite frankly, people enjoy their work in the certified organisation more, but the process of change could be painful at some points. Management has responsibility to make the case for certification and must provide support during the transition period.
Quality is the Focus
The process of securing ISO certification includes assessing all areas of the organisation and encouraging every group of workers to enhance their focus on quality. An organisation must develop and maintain adequate documentation to show how a standard will be met. An organisation must remove barriers to efficiency. An organisation must implement more quality controls to ensure that instances of poor quality are addressed (i.e. that fewer faulty products reach customers). Root causes of poor quality require remediation.
Managing the Process of Change
Research has shown some negative implications of ISO certification, one of which is the perception that employees must work harder throughout the process. They will have to perform “two jobs” and then “write” about it. At first, if managers haven’t presented the case effectively for ISO certification, employees may have negative responses to the whole process. Whereas employees might have to make some changes to how they do their jobs and develop the right documentation, their efforts will pay off when the certification process is complete. They will work in more streamlined units while enjoying a better understanding of how their work contributes to quality standards and company goals.
Many organisations pursue ISO certification because they want to respond to customer demands for higher quality. They have a dilemma of which certification body to choose for their company. Some of their considerations may include steps that are involved and how they will impact employees. Other considerations will revolve around what certification from a particular body means for the company. Before choosing an ISO certification body, we recommend that organisations consider the current level of quality that’s in place and how employees could use the certification process to raise that higher. This in effect provides long term benefits to customers.
A company can aspire to higher quality standards and produce documentation to show how those are met, but its employees must reinforce those standards over time through their individual and collective behaviors. Otherwise, there will be a temporary improvement in the organisation based on initial efforts, but operating conditions and quality levels will diminish over time. Once employee efforts diminish, the organisation’s reputation will decline, which is bad for worker morale and customer perceptions.Read More
The Top 10 Ways Your Organisation Can Profit Through ISO Certification
Or the benefits on implementing ISO
Implementing ISO is a surefire way to optimise your company’s bottom line performance. From enhanced search engine rankings to the creation of robust marketing opportunities, ISO certification can open countless doors of opportunity for your organisation. Below are the top 10 ways your organisation can profit through ISO certification.
1) ISO certification will enhance your company’s industry image. ISO certification is highly coveted by organisations across a variety of industries. The majority of companies are not ISO-certified, elevating the status of those companies that are certified. For instance, approximately three-fourths of manufacturing companies lack ISO certification, consequently enhancing the stock of the 25% of manufacturing companies that have earned the certification.
2) Costs are controlled as a result of superior use of resources. The ISO implementation process requires organisations to make efficient use of their human resources and company assets. The result is a leaner workforce and a more robust bottom line.
3) Processes are streamlined and consistent, resulting in fewer costly errors. Process improvement methodology is a key requirement for companies seeking ISO certification. Meeting this requirement and earning ISO certification means that your company has strong company policies and procedures in place to help prevent errors and enhance customer satisfaction.
4) You can attract new customers who are required to choose ISO-certified vendors. Some organisations require their key vendors to possess ISO certification. Examples include government healthcare facilities and universities. ISO implementation enables your company to provide products and services to these customers, thereby creating yet another means of increasing your bottom line performance.
5) Organisational deficiencies are identified during the certification process. One of the best ways to optimise your company’s financial results is to identify barriers to success and create a strategic plan to address them. Resolving these deficiencies paves the way for increased efficiency and a healthier bottom line.
6) ISO certification communicates an organisation’s commitment to excellence. Prospective customers are often aware that ISO certification is only bestowed upon companies that adhere to the most stringent requirements. Additionally, companies seeking ISO certification must be prepared to dedicate hours of their time and hard-earned money to obtain certification.
7) Your organisation can participate in government tenders. ISO certification is a prerequisite for most public bidding opportunities and government tenders across the globe. Some tenders and public projects can generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company with the winning bid. This means that ISO certification could potentially double or triple a company’s revenue.
8) Search engine rankings for your company will improve. As the demand for ISO-certified vendors increases, more prospective customers are including “ISO certified” in their collections of keywords as they conduct online vendor searches. Once you post the news about your ISO certification on your organisation’s website, your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO) will improve. This will drive more traffic to your site, increasing your likelihood of conversions.
9) Company roles and responsibilities are more clearly defined. While the ISO certification process is considered to be rigorous by most people, the process also forces organisations to clearly delineate departments and their key areas of focus. With a well-organised workforce, your company will be primed for greater production.
10) Superb marketing opportunities are created. The marketing opportunities that accompany ISO certification are virtually endless. Here are a few ways that you can use your newly awarded ISO-certification to promote your brand:
- Reference ISO certification on your company’s website
- Include news about your ISO certification on your company’s social media sites
- Feature a blog post on the ways that your customer will benefit from your ISO certification
- Employees can include a banner about your ISO certification in their e-mail signatures
Clearly, there is a link between ISO certification and bottom line performance for companies. ISO certification is a powerful attribute that will elevate your organisation to new levels of success. At Sustainable Certification our goal is to improve your business performance through audits and certification.Read More
Maintaining strict worker safety standards remains one of the most important stated goals of companies across the world. Nonetheless, the International Labor Organization has forecasted that as many as 2.34 million people die annually as the result of work-related accidents and diseases. To reduce this unacceptably large number, the International Organization for Standards has drafted a new standard–ISO 45001 –for occupational health and safety.
ISO 45001 is predicated on the widely lauded OSHA standard 18001, which acts in the benefit of worker safety by offering a structured approach to risk mitigation. In 2016, the drafted form of ISO 45001 was sent to ballot. Amongst the 54 countries involved in the voting process, 71% of respondents were in favor of ratifying ISO 45001. Unfortunately, this did not satisfy the necessary threshold for approval, which requires that no more than a quarter of votes go against. To ensure the future success of ISO, whose second round of balloting is already underway, it is imperative that people understand the historic importance of this standard. This article will attempt to consolidate such understanding, by introducing three key benefits of ISO standard 45001. Very importantly this new standard follows the same High Level Structure and is aligned with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001. All new versions of existing standards as well as all new standards will follow the same high level structure
High Level Structure
Annex SL.9 High level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions for use in Management Systems Standards from now on:
- Normative references
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
OSHAS 18001 is the most widely utilized worker safety standard, with at least 40 international versions currently in place. Yet whereas OSHAS 18001 primarily focuses on occupational health and safety at the ground level, ISO 45001 attempts to integrate similar standards of protection and risk mitigation at a higher level, one that will affect the larger business processes. In other words, ISO 45001 will act as a natural corollary to upper-level approaches to business risks of all natures. As a result, it will be easier to incorporate a top-down safety philosophy.
In this regard, the timing of ISO 45001 couldn’t be more ideal. That’s because the International Organization for Standards has recently revised both its quality management (ISO 9001) and environmental management (ISO 14001) standards. These standards utilize a common framework as that found in ISO 45001. These commonalities will help to improve the ease with which organizations can integrate ISO 45001 into their pre-existing business processes.
Ease Of Implementation
ISO 45001 also makes significant strides in terms of improving the ease of application of workplace safety standards. This is achieved by adhering to a simple PDCA model. This model, whose acronym is short for Plan-Do-Check-Act, makes it easy for an organization to determine the necessary plan for minimizing risk of worker harm. This model does not simply focus on worker accidents–a common shortcoming of past workplace safety standards. Instead it also addresses concerns covering everything from long-term illness and health issues, to workplace absences, to psychosocial risk.
The “Plan” phase of this model focuses on organization-wide implementation to ensure two things: first, that workers have access to the appropriate training and skills; and second, that the necessary controls are put into place prior to the “Do” phase. During the “Check” phase, these key elements are identified and addressed in a systematic order to ensure that the system works according to plan. The “Act” phase involves the establishment of best-practice workplace routines. It also recognizes the importance of worker input in recognizing OH&S needs and determining how to best meet them.
Recognition Of Workplace Diversity
ISO 45001 has been carefully designed to consider the incredible diversity of workplace models present in the world today. It is meant to be just as easily applicable to small businesses as to global corporations. It also recognizes that non-standard employment patterns are becoming more and more common, and attempts to regulate worker safety in a way that can be accommodated within any employment framework. In this regard, ISO 45001 is a forward-looking standard, one that successfully marries theory and reality to create a safer work environment for all.