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Improved safety processes increased productivity ten-fold

The Engineering companies customers work in high hazard industries and expect exceptional standards in health and safety risk management. The company already had a good safety record, being ISO 9000 accredited and awarded. To take their safety to the next level, they updated to ISO 45001 and simplified health and safety management by integrating it into the overall management system.

Upgrading the company management systems to ISO 45001 has improved customer confidence, increased orders, and increased productivity tenfold. It also means that the business can pre-qualify for tender opportunities easily. New elements in the standard, particularly the new requirements around Human Factors and Worker participation have inspired eveyone in the company to get involved and with our help, share the challenges of every day work.

A commitment to learning from senior leadership

The Directors committed the company to achieving ISO45001. The process included a review of all management processes and integration of health and safety management into the system. The Directors also empowered the Quality, Audit and Safety Manager to manage changes once the outcomes from our facilitated Learning Teams were understood. Understanding the way work is done under normal conditions is vital. To aspire to a resilient workplace, the trade-offs, constraints and what hinders work need to be explored.

Key success factors were:

  • Ensuring all of the workforce were consulted, supported, and understood their role in the new management processes and participated in Learning Teams
  • Implementing a scheme to reward shop floor initiatives that improved health and safety leadership
  • Improved clarity of health and safety performance, actualised by opening monthly team briefings with a review

Health and safety benefits

The initiative had the desired effect, improving health and safety performance in a number of areas, including:

  • A reduced administrative burden that released management to aid in shop floor improvements
  • A more proactive approach to the management of health and safety, with managers and supervisors involved in Learning Teams setting people up for success
  • Greater clarity of health and safety performance by measuring the presence of safety critical controls

Business benefits

Safety was more than just great for morale – it also improved Mach-Tool’s profitability through:

  • Increased customer confidence leading to repeat orders
  • Orders won because of Mach-Tool’s higher health and safety performance
  • Improved ability to pre-qualify for tender opportunities
  • A new metal preparation process to reduce health and safety risk and improve quality has improved productivity by tenfold
  • Reduction of the administrative burden involved in completing health and safety information required by tender prequalification applications.

‘The inclusion of health and safety into an integrated management system assists the company in demonstrating a commitment to health and safety to both customers and employees. The more flexible systems and processes give numerous benefits.’

 Production Supervisor


A company wide effort

The Board of Directors embraced the adoption of a People centred approach and appointed Work Safety Hub to develop the safety management system and oversee its implementation.

Employees were encouraged to share at all times and in all places, regardless of their role. Continuous awareness initiatives include regular catch ups, learning teams, and appreciative safety reviews to engage staff in continuous improvement. Safety Management review meetings are held every month with representatives from staff, hourly paid employees, and the Managing Director. A committee meeting is held monthly and encourages representatives to raise all health and safety matters.

An employee safety improvement award scheme has been implemented to encourage the workforce to continue to seek improvements.

In recent years, the company has received formal recognition of its health and safety record.

‘Management demonstrate that they are very approachable in matters of health and safety. This sends out the message to the workforce that our continual effort is being put into providing a safer working environment for everyone.’