As ISO 45001 gathers pace, so does demand for Safety Climate Tool

New international standard for organisational safety, ISO 45001, was released in March this year. The new standard builds on previous international standards, such as OHSAS 18001, whilst putting renewed emphasis on demonstrating continuous employee engagement on safety issues.

As interest in ISO 45001 gathers pace, so too does demand for tools that help organisations to systematically build relevant evidence towards achieving the standard, as well as a means of measuring progress. Certainly, we’ve observed a sharp upward trend in interest for the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) Safety Climate Tool, of which Constructionline is the reseller.

The Safety Climate Tool (SCT) is a survey-based tool that enables organisations to take the ‘pulse’ of employee sentiment towards safety practices within the company. The data gathered can be segmented into employee groups, helping to determine where potential concerns lie and to develop interventions that improve safety. The survey itself has been developed by HSE scientists across eight key factors that have been researched and proven to be associated with organisational safety culture.

In taking the time to engage employees on safety issues in an anonymous way, organisations are able to obtain a clearer view of any attitudes that may impede employee safety, as well as uncovering other factors that might impact employee ability to observe best practice. These can be varied and might include such issues as inappropriate production/ work rate targets, poor leadership, lack of appropriate equipment or a lack of awareness of potential consequences.

International standards such as ISO 45001 are not mandatory. However, working towards them helps organisations to tangibly improve their safety climate and reduce risk of injury, whilst also providing a clear commitment to safety for employees, stakeholders and potential customers.

 The size of the issue

Organisational safety has improved enormously in recent decades and this is particularly true within the construction sector, where a demonstration of appropriate safety practices has become a standard feature within all tender processes.

There is always room for improvement, however. In 2016/17, 137 people in the UK were killed at work and a further 609,000 workers suffered non-fatal injuries as a result of work-related activity. Some of the most common causes are slips, trips, lifting and handling and being struck by an object. On the face of it, many of these feel like avoidable issues, making it necessary to get under the skin of the causes of workplace accidents to further avoid risk of injury.

Already in use within organisations as varied as Pepsico, National Rail and E.on, the SCT survey has been carefully designed to accurately assess opinion and sentiment from different groups of people around a business. Industry benchmark reports – including a construction sector-specific one – enable companies to compare their safety climate with that of their peers; something that can provide an all-important competitive edge during tender.

To find out more about how the Safety Climate Tool might work for your business, or to receive an initial safety audit from our SSIP-accredited Acclaim team, get in touch marketing.constructionline@constructionline.co.uk 

 

Blog Health and Safety, SCT
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