Back in 2006 LCM decided to invest the time and effort to work towards achieving OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). We discussed this with BSI who were our accredited body for our existing ISO 9001 (Quality Management) accreditation.
BSI was direct and strongly advised us that if we were going to all that effort and investment that we should integrate them into one overall management system at the same time. So we started a study of what we did and how we did it. We also looked at what we wanted to do and how we proposed to do it. After lots of diagrams and flow charts, we ended up with something of a visual diagram of LCM.
It was an interesting process to go through. We then shared this with some of the senior staff and we ended up with a job process flow that suited LCMs needs but also the accredited standards requirement.
With help, and at times encouragement from BSI, we accredited to the three standards and gained an Integrated Management System that has survived various standard transitions and is in place to this day.
LCM were the first in our industry to gain these three accreditations and over time they have served us very well. They give the organisation structure through its processes and procedures which are tested through the discipline of bi-annual audits which force things to happen. The auditors also bring ideas for improvement from their perspective – maybe how they have seen other businesses do things, their own work experience or just the view of an experienced person seeing something that could be done better.
Accreditations, done properly, are expensive in time and the audit and maintenance fees are not cheap. However LCM staff undertake permitted work every day of the week, sometimes jobs have two or even three permitted activities running concurrently. They say you cannot put a price on safety – you can’t but sometimes the client’s perspective is more on cost than safety. So LCM rely on their process and procedures to keep our staff safe and to be efficient whilst doing it. This is the true return on investment in accreditations.
To keep our safety culture fresh and our staff aware we introduced our No Harm campaign. The campaign motto is No Harm to our staff, No Harm to those who may be affected by our work and No Harm to the environment. With its pink logo and newsletters and awards its maybe makes more personal the accreditations we have and has worked for us so far. Indeed it won the APEA Health and Safety Award in 2016 which was a boost for the team.
Whilst accreditations are great to have and do prove an organisations’ competence at a point in time, they have to live and breath across the company and be within its DNA. Staff have to embrace the organisational culture for them to be truly effective. This is the challenge for any HSE management team to conquer!
Once again we have managed to pass our audit. We expect to pass our audit and I would be very disappointed if we gained any non-conformances for matters we should have considered and been aware of. As ever we get our staff to do the talking and to engage with the auditors. That way they get to share the ‘pressure’ and take pride in the success. After all, the success of the management system is theirs and at the end of the day it is their efforts, care and diligence that ensure we all go home safely at the end of the week, have not harmed anyone through the work we do and have protected the environment (or even improved it)!
For more information, please contact our team today.