Challenge your people!
We did it! We’ve got ISO45001 certification, the new safety standard.
No big deal you might think, but think again. Last January our Managing Director, Mohammed Chaudhary, took a huge chance on two of his staff – who were not SHEQ specialists – and tasked them to try for the new safety standard ISO45001, replacing the outgoing 18001. Expectations weren’t particularly high, but fingers were crossed.
Who’d have thought that, in under a year, the work they put in as complete novices would result, not only in successfully achieving ISO45001 certification, but doing so at their first attempt, and with ZERO non conformances?
“You have to trust your people, if you see potential you have to nourish it. I expected they’d do it, but I have to admit I never expected the result to be flawless! I’m delighted. Now that they’ve set the bar so high, they’re on with their next challenge”, said Mohammed.
Alison, HR Manager, and Jo, Admin Assistant (and former cleaner) are still on cloud nine over the result. “The boss had the foresight to take a chance on us. We’re delighted to have achieved this at the first time of asking. It was a nervous day for us when the auditor arrived to start the 3 day audit. We had an inkling we’d done enough to get the certificate, but the final day was quite emotional, ending with the auditor commenting that she was ‘blown away’ by what she’d seen, calling us a shining example of what people who aren’t SHEQ specialists can achieve with the right approach. We couldn’t believe it. We had a little celebration to mark the occasion.
It’s been an interesting journey. ISO standards, and requirements to meet them, were unknown to us at the beginning. It seemed like a mountain to climb at first. But we had some training, and some guidance from others, then interpreted it our own way and applied it to the organisation.
The importance of support – from the MD, to those doing the job on the shop floor – cannot be underestimated. We couldn’t have done it without our marvellous Production staff who willingly came on board with it, stayed on board and were so helpful, and wanted to get involved, helping us to make it happen. We can’t thank them enough.
As a result of doing this, opportunities opened up that played to a lot of peoples’ hidden strengths which might not have surfaced had we not undertaken this task, like our Goods In Coordinator who’s now an internal auditor and good at it; we’d never have guessed that.
It’s also brought about some philanthropic suggestions, like our hampers for care homes, and our ‘Cheese Off’ event to promote Dementia Friendly support. It’s been great and it reflects our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our customers and our products. We’ve given ourselves some new challenges that will help drive forward continual improvements for the company, and once these unprecedented times are over, we’ll be cracking on with that.”