To ensure a safe and healthy workplace – and compliance with the law – fire industry manufacturers need a robust system to identify hazards, estimate risks and put in place appropriate measures to reduce or mitigate them.

ISO 14001

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For many years the well-established occupational health and safety standard BS OHSAS 18001 has been suitable for companies of all sizes that want to set up formal procedures to manage health and safety risks. BS OHSAS 18001 helps manufacturers to manage these risks by specifying requirements for an effective health and safety management system. It takes a risk-based approach – enabling organizations to decide what they need by reviewing their risks and evaluating the effectiveness of current controls.

ISO 14001

There are multiple legal requirements for fire industry manufacturers in relation to their use of water, raw materials and energy, their creation of pollution and emissions, and their waste management procedures. The management of hazardous materials, covered by the REACH regulations, is particularly relevant.

Fire industry manufacturers must stay up to date with environmental legislation and remain compliant, as breaches can lead to fines and prosecution. Implementing and maintaining an ISO 14001 system enables them to take account of legal requirements.

ISO 14001, revised in September 2015, is an internationally accepted standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. It is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful and grow, without overlooking their environmental responsibilities. An ISO 14001 system provides the framework for fire industry manufacturers to meet increasingly high legal and regulatory requirements as well as customer expectations of corporate responsibility.

The benefits of certification to ISO 14001 include:

  • Creating the framework needed to meet legal and regulatory obligations
  • The ability to demonstrate compliance, winning stakeholder and customer trust and expanding business opportunities
  • Prompts communication of relevant information on legal and other requirements to employees and interested parties
  • Improved efficiency, reduced waste and energy use and lower costs


ISO 45001 likely to replace BS OHSAS 18001

From October 2016, BS OHSAS 18001 is likely to be superseded by a new international standard, ISO 45001. BSI took the lead in instigating ISO 45001, proposing its development and pushing for co-operation between multiple stakeholders, including employer bodies, trade unions and national certification bodies.

Trevor Dodd of BSI explains that, like its predecessor, ISO 45001 will continue to enable manufacturers of fire protection and suppression equipment to develop and implement a policy and objectives that take into account both legal requirements and information they collate about occupational health and safety risks. “But ISO 45001 will be international in scope, reflecting a new agreement on its content among over 50 countries involved in development,” says Dodd. “This is a major change from BS OHSAS 18001, which, though often applied internationally, has never reflected cross-border national standards body consensus.” Dodd, who represents the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB) on the UK committee (HS/1) and the OHSAS Project Group in multinational discussions on developing the standard, says that, while the requirements of ISO 45001 have not yet been finalized, it looks certain to display several key characteristics.

He says the new standard will:

  • Be firmly based on BS OHSAS 18001, with care being taken in its development not to lose any of the sound principles of its predecessor
  • Follow the same template – or ‘high level structure’ (HLS) – as all new or revised ISO management system standards. As such, it will share a common format, text, terms, definitions and other similarities with other standards, such as ISO 9001 for Quality and ISO 14001 for Environment (both revised from September 2015), enabling ease of understanding and seamless integration of standards
  • Incorporate some “stretched” requirements in the area of leadership and commitment demonstrated by senior management
  • Include enhanced requirements in the area of participation of, and consultation with, the workforce
  • Enhance and clarify requirements in the areas of communication, continual improvement and outsourcing/procurement


Complete the form on right-hand side to download the BSI White Paper, Fire industry compliance: from burden to opportunity.

This white paper is for manufacturers operating in the global fire detection and suppression industry

Free download: Fire safety guides from FIREX International

The consequences of neglecting your responsibilities are potentially unthinkable. Punitive fines and even prison sentences can be handed down for serious breaches of fire-safety laws and, of course, lives can be lost. This selection of guides is your one stop shop to ensure you are on top of your fire safety responsibilities.

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