United Utilities meets new international health and safety standard

Auditors have given the thumbs to health and safety practices at water firm United Utilities.

The North West firm, which employs more than 5,000 staff, and thousands more people in its supply chain, is the latest organisation to be awarded ISO 45001 the new international standard for occupational health and safety management.

The new standard was developed by an international committee of occupational health and safety experts, and sets out a frame work of best practice which drives continuous systems and performance improvement.
It replaces the previous standard OHSAS 18001, which was also held by United Utilities and is now being phased out.

United Utilities’ Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Estate Services Director, Paula Steer said: “This is all about making sure everyone at United Utilities keeps getting home to their families safe and well at the end of every working day.

“It demonstrates that the business operates a best practice Occupational Health and Safety Management System, reducing the likelihood of accidents and improving our overall performance.”

Achieving ISO 45001 included updating management systems and ways of working to reflect the new standard, plus training and educating staff along with a tough, independent audit lasting several days. Re-certification takes place every three years with six-monthly surveillance visits.