Cepac Darlington achieves ISO 45001 health & safety certification

Cepac’s site in Darlington has achieved the new ISO 45001 certification for occupational health & safety, five months ahead of schedule. ISO 45001 replaces OHSAS 18001:2007, putting greater emphasis on areas such as leadership, employee participation and health.

The transition from OHSAS 18001:2007 certification to ISO 45001 took place over 18 months and was led by Katy Collingwood, QHSE manager at Cepac Darlington.

A key feature of the ISO 45001 framework is empowering employees to speak openly about any health & safety concerns and raise any ideas for new initiatives. The internationally recognised accreditation also supports collaboration and will enable Cepac to work seamlessly with other companies around the world who have the same systems in place. 

Katy Collingwood, QHSE manager at Cepac Darlington, explains: “ISO 45001 is designed to integrate and align with the other ISO Management system standards that we hold, the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. The 45001 standard is based on the common elements found in all of the ISO management system standards providing organisations with a framework to plan what needs to be in place to minimise the risk of harm. 

“Over the 18 month period of the migration programme, significant changes and improvements to the health & safety culture were established at the Darlington Site, most notably the strengthening of vehicle and pedestrian segregation, increased awareness training sessions and the introduction of a new ‘behavioral conversation’ system which promotes the message that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

 “The appearance of Covid-19 global pandemic during the final stages of the migration really tested the site’s management of health & safety. The arrangements required for the control and management of Covid-19 sit within the many clauses of the standard, and our response was examined and tested during the latter stages of our audit by the British Standards Institution.

“The site has excelled in achieving this certification during a very difficult and uncertain time. The ISO 45001 standard could not have been gained without all employees at our Darlington site actively supporting and participating in a progressive safety culture.”