5 October 2020 Company News, Sustainability

SMS transitions to international standard for Health & Safety at Work (ISO45001)

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SMS is pleased to announce our successful transition to the new international standard for Health & Safety at Work, ISO45001.

Introduced as a new international standard, ISO45001 replaces the current standard (BS OHSAS 18001) and aligns with organisations who are serious about improving employee safety, reducing workplace risks and creating better, healthier working conditions.

The ISO45001 standard specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system. A great deal of work has taken place in the past 12 months to update our existing 18001 compliant management system to ensure it meets these new requirements, and that it is effective and subject to continual review and improvement.

Joint initiatives across internal teams – SHEQ, HR, Fleet, Procurement and Operations – has enhanced inter-departmental working and created greater standardisation throughout the Group with regards to occupational health and safety. Additionally, regional forums have been established and the introduction of a state-of-the-art Electronic Quality Management System (EQMS) enables enhanced reporting and corrective action tracking.

One of the key differences of the 45001 standard is a focus not just on safety, but on employee health and wellness. As an organisation, we have worked hard to improve our free resources and promotion of this area, including the provision of a dedicated online Wellbeing page and face-to-face support for our employees. These resources, which have been further developed to address COVID-19, include:

  • Mindfulness sessions via exclusive online workshops Exercise & stretching online classes
  • Financial wellbeing
  • Bereavement support E-learning modules, including on Wellbeing, Resilience and Homeworking Home schooling resources (including virtual tours)
  • Provision of accredited mental health first aid training A dedicated Employee Assistance Programme, offering professional external support 24-7
  • Bronze Award accreditation for Healthy Working Lives
  • Employee wellbeing survey

In response to COVID-19 specifically, we are proud to have achieved the C-19 Business Pledge by vowing to help and support our employees, customers and communities to safely navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Our Safe & Healthy Return to Work measures and high levels of employee and customer engagement have been invaluable in this process.

Safety is a core value of SMS, and therefore safeguarding the wellbeing of all our stakeholders is the single biggest priority of our business. Transitioning to ISO45001 continues to demonstrate our commitment to a safe and healthy environment, as does how we live by all our core values in everything we do.