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This reflects the requirement in the UK Health and Safety at Work Act for an employer or self-employed person to protect not just employees, but also "persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby".
Accidents and ill health can occur because risk assessments have not considered a wide enough scope of interested parties. Contractors fail to consider client staff and vice versa. Construction sites haven't taken account of children trespassing, or in some cases even of pedestrians walking past. Former Health and Safety Executive principal inspector and OHSAS 18001 BSI committee member Chris Ward suggests a historic example: "Think of those spouses who died as a result of asbestos exposure because they laundered their husbands' work clothes. Surely they were interested parties?"
Kate Field, global champion for occupational health and safety at BSI, warns organisations with other management standards certification not to make the mistake of "copying across the interested parties from their quality management systems to their health and safety management systems. It's different for safety and health. Insurers, neighbours and the media can be relevant in a way they are not relevant to quality [certification]."
Insurers, neighbours and the media can be relevant in a way they are not relevant to quality [certification]
Though the legislation refers to those whose safety and health is affected, the term "affect" in ISO 45001 is broader, says Ward, "to include those with a financial or regulatory interest".
ISO 45001 provides a non-exhaustive list of possible interested parties. This includes external parties, such as legal and regulatory authorities, suppliers, contractors and the local community, and internal parties, such as workers' representatives and parent organisations. Along with trade unions and employers' bodies, occupational safety and health organisations (such as IOSH) are also listed as potential interested parties. Less obvious examples include the media and academia. Insurers seem an obvious omission from this list and were added in BS 45002-0: General guidelines for the application of ISO 45001.
The non-exhaustive nature of the list should be noted. ISO 45001 suggests that processes for responding to emergencies should ensure the involvement of interested parties "in the development of the planned response". Planning how to respond to a security threat or a fire must surely involve the local emergency services and deciding how to react to loss of power or water will necessitate talking to utility companies, yet neither of these is listed in ISO 45001.
"What about a business where staff and customers park on a public road?" Ward asks. "The business has no control over the other traffic using that road, but to what extent should the highway authority be considered an interested party?"
The ISO definition seems circular, including any party that "can affect" or "or perceive itself to be affected by [...] a decision or activity". Allowing a possible interested party, such as the families of workers or passers-by, to affect a decision (through consultation) makes them an interested party. If you ignore them, but they perceive themselves to be affected, are they an interested party? Ward worries this breadth "could create endless uncertainty for organisations and interested parties".
Field sees it as less of a problem: "Unless an organisation ignored the health and safety impact on workers, or on customers or contractors where relevant, it wouldn't fail certification because a particular interested party was left out. As part of continual improvement we might recommend they include extra parties, such as the media, but we understand they have to draw the line somewhere."
In balancing the needs of so many parties, trade-offs will be necessary, but the aim is first to understand their needs and expectations, then determine which to address.
Whether or not your organisation is pursuing ISO 45001 accreditation, the idea of the interested party is a reminder that we can draw lines around risk. We can't safeguard our staff at the expense of our service users or customers; we can't employ contractors to do the dangerous work, and then disregard their safety; we can't put our workers in vehicles and ignore the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
ISO 45001 will celebrate its first birthday this spring. In the run-up to its publication, businesses were assured that, though the emphasis differed, the new standard built on its predecessor OHSAS 18001 and certification would not be too onerous, especially for those familiar with the long-standing quality (ISO 9001) and environmental (ISO 14001) standards.
Hawthorne Works was the name of a factory near Chicago in the US, operated by Western Electric in the early part of the 20th Century. Although Elton Mayo of the Harvard Business School is the name most associated with the Hawthorne effect, he wasn’t involved until 1928, four years into data collection.
The term has been given added credibility by its inclusion in an EU regulation (Art 2 of 691/2010) on air navigation services where it is defined more tightly as "a culture in which frontline operators and others are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them which are commensurate with their experience and training, but where gross negligence, wilful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated".
STILL in the UK has 220 employees and offers a full range of materials handling equipment along with nationwide service coverage. With sustained growth and continued success, STILL UK are continually looking to stay abreast of the latest industry standards and once again have proved that they are ‘first in’ when it comes to workplace safety and organisational compliance. With a focus on quality, reliability and innovation, STILL prides itself on being able to meet the requirements of small, medium and large size organisations.
The diver worked for underwater civil engineering firm Northern Divers (Engineering), which pleaded guilty to breaching reg 6(1) of the Diving at Work Regulations.Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee was installing a cofferdam – a watertight enclosure pumped dry to allow for construction work below the waterline – when his finger was severed on 29 August 2017.
The study published on 29 November by the European safety agency EU-OSHA suggests the growth in information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled applications could see workers having more autonomy and control over their work. However, it warns that these workers may not have the skills to manage their workloads in a safe and healthy way.
While it is no longer acceptable to assume that all men are stronger than all women, or that people of one colour have different personalities to those of another colour it is, it appears, entirely acceptable to declare that anyone born since 1980 is addicted to social media and will ‘challenge traditional hierarchical HSE systems’, while anyone born before that date is a luddite with no understanding of the modern age, but will be quite happy to toe the line.
Newcastle City Council has accepted responsibility for failing to properly manage the risk of a decayed willow tree that collapsed in strong winds and struck several children while they were playing at Gosforth Park First School in Newcastle upon Tyne during the lunchbreak.
A European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) report exploring the health risks associated with prolonged static sitting at work has outlined a range of measures that employers should include in a prevention strategy to enhance employee protection.