Monday, August 6, 2012

NSI demonstrates its commitment to Health & Safety

NSI, as the first sector specific security and fire Certification Body to become UKAS accredited for EMS certification and Occupational Health & Safety Management System certification, has recently obtained two additional complementary recognitions to further its credibility. NSI has obtained registration to Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), an initiative that promotes mutual recognition of registered Health & Safety schemes within the construction sector.

Businesses are increasingly being asked to prove their Health and Safety competence as a key pre-condition for gaining and retaining business. For example, to tender for new construction work specific pre-qualification criteria is often specified. These include registration under well-known Health and Safety based assessment schemes such as CHAS (Contractors Health & Safety Scheme) and SAFE Contractor. Such tender requirements are often enforced regardless of whether the organisation already has UKAS Accredited Certification to BS OHSAS 18001:2007.

The National House Building Council (NHBC), with the approval of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), set up Safety Schemes In Procurement, with the aim of facilitating mutual recognition of registered Health and Safety assessment schemes and avoiding unnecessary duplication with regard to construction work prequalification criteria.

The potential benefit of this mutual recognition is that if an organisation is approved under the NSI Health & Safety Gold scheme for BS OHSAS 18001:2007 then any client pressure for additional registration with other SSIP assessment schemes can be argued. In cases where there is still some pressure to hold multiple registrations, then the SSIP mutual recognition agreement will usually enable registration with other schemes at a reduced rate and without the need for a specific assessment.

Jeff Little, NSI Chief Executive stated, “We are delighted to have achieved recognition to become part of the SSIP. This demonstrates that our NSI Health & Safety Gold Scheme is recognised by other Health & Safety assessment schemes registered on the SSIP website such as CHAS and SAFE Contractor.”

Within Northern Ireland there is a separate initiative called “Buildsafe-NI”, administered by the Central Procurement Directorate. This scheme is designed to further reduce accidents within the construction industry. Any contractor seeking to tender for public sector construction work in Northern Ireland has to have a Health and Safety management system certificated by a recognised and nationally accredited third party. After submission of a detailed presentation it has been accepted that NSI’s Gold Health & Safety Certification scheme also meets the requirements of the Buildsafe–NI registration scheme.

In reviewing NSI’s significant Health and Safety achievements, Jeff Little commented “NSI constantly seeks to evolve and deliver a complete solution for the benefit of our approved companies. We are aware that trading conditions are difficult at present and these achievements with SSIP and Buildsafe-NI will open up new opportunities and reduce bureaucracy for companies approved by NSI for their Health & Safety management”


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