ISO 45001 Certification Objectives, Implementation, Perspective
Swiss Solar has taken another step towards improving its management system. The company introduced the ISO 45001-2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OH&S) standard. In June this year the international company TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH performed certification audit, which confirmed compliance of the OH&S management system of the company with the standard and issued certificate № 12 117 62049/02 TMS dated 17.06.2021.
The task to be accomplished by implementing the standard:
- improving the individual safety of the company’s employees;
- adopting and using the best OH&S practices;
- building an “early warning” system to identify potential threats to employees’ health and safety;
- improving management processes.
Necessity of implementation
According to the company’s experts, the sustained expansion of Swiss Solar in international markets and the continuous growth of extensive product supply chains contribute to increasing risks and make it more difficult to ensure health and safety. At the same time, the need for quality and supply chain security are steadily increasing.
The analysis of the situation showed that the most appropriate solution to this problem is the implementation of ISO 45001-2018 standard in the company. The possibility of using the standard both internally and by partner companies and enterprises that comply with its requirements played an important role in choosing this solution. This approach ensures that mechanisms of reducing or eliminating health and safety risks throughout the supply chain are identified, monitored and continually improved.
Preparation and implementation
In preparation for Swiss Solar certification, the following activities were carried out:
- identification of stakeholders, analysis of external and internal factors affecting the processes of the company was carried out;
- the scope of the system, objectives and processes to be implemented were determined;
- the company’s OH&S policy was developed and improved;
- consultations with employees, allocation of authorities and responsibilities;
- hazards and risks were identified, safety management principles based on the risk-oriented approach were developed;
- monitoring, measurement and analysis of achieved results were carried out, the performance of the OH&S management system in general was assessed.
The implementation process of workplace safety included:
- development of evacuation plans;
- setting up regulations for checking the fire safety system;
- creating schedules for replacing and checking fire extinguishers;
- off-site training of employees in the use of fire extinguishing equipment;
- conducting evacuation drills for employees.
The distribution of tasks and responsibilities for the implementation of the system among employees, the ongoing support and participation of company management, as well as the experience of using a risk-based approach and the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) principle gained during the preparation and implementation of the quality management system (ISO 9001:2015) at Swiss Solar – all this allowed to significantly simplify and accelerate the implementation of ISO 45001-2018.
Today, thanks to the work carried out, the company’s employees work in a safe and friendly environment for modern employees.
The auditors received following documentation for the certification procedure:
- documentation confirming existence, implementation and support of the processes necessary for the functioning of the system;
- reports and records of OH&S system operation during the year preceding the date of the audit;
- data from the last internal audit of the system;
- data from the Swiss Solar AG management’s analysis of the system operation;
- a report on the inconsistencies in the company’s internal processes identified in the course of monitoring and the actions taken to correct those inconsistencies.
The audit provided convincing evidence of the effectiveness of the actions taken by Swiss Solar’s management and employees to achieve OH&S goals.
The auditors praised the company’s ability to manage processes, organize its activities properly under conditions of professional risks, and work to improve its management system. As a result of the audit, Swiss Solar’s OH&S management system was deemed compliant with the standard.
Prospects and opportunities
ISO 45001-2018 not only requires periodic re-certification, but also requires continuous improvement of the company’s management system in between certifications. Swiss Solar plans to provide free parking for employees, provide the opportunity to take fitness classes at the company’s expense, and organize an annual company-wide vacation. Such measures will make employees feel more comfortable, and the team-building process will enable them to more adequately assess risks and respond clearly to emerging threats to their lives and health.
The availability of the previously successfully claimed certification of quality management system (ISO 9001:2015) and obtaining a certificate of compliance with ISO 45001-2018 not only brought the company to a new level, but also opened up the prospect of building an integrated management system (IMS), the creation of which will allow:
- to plan and implement the comprehensive development of the company taking into account the requirements of all stakeholders: shareholders, investors, consumers, and employees;
- reduce the likelihood of conflicts between different management systems of the company due to the adoption of unified policies, goals and objectives;
- to increase the efficiency of the use of company resources – the cost of development, implementation and certification of IMS is significantly lower than the total cost of maintaining
several autonomous management systems (eg. the number of system documents is reduced, processes duplication is excluded, etc.).