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Builders/Construction Guide to ISO 9001, 14001 & 45001

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

ISO certification is an important step in the growth of your construction company. Not only does it show clients that you are a serious and professional business, but it also gives you access to new markets and opportunities. Construction and building companies must ensure they are compliant with local and international standards in order to be successful in tenders. Having at least ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & ISO 45001 is now a mandatory requirement for many tenders.

But what are these standards and how can you get them? These standards are recognised internationally and were developed by "International Standard Organisation" or "ISO" for short. We have local standards known as AS/NZ with a relevant code, the difference is, ISO standards are recognised in more than 150 different countries across the globe.

Construction companies often hold three widely used standards that are considered to be the most common in today's world; these include ISO 9001, 14001 & 45001.

Here we explain what they mean in general and what documents you need for each.

1- ISO 9001:2015

This is the Quality Management Standard. The purpose of this standard is to ensure you deliver consistent quality products and customer satisfaction and improvement is part of your day to day running of the business. It shows to your customers that you are serious about quality, learning from issues and have systems in place to rectify and correct the problems, therefore, your customers trust you more, especially in large sum contracts like new builds, major renovations etc. it is very important to show your commitment to quality.

2- ISO 14001:2015

This standard is your promise about the environment. Naturally, construction projects create lots of waste and unwanted material and an enormous carbon footprint. Population growth and more demand for houses, caused rapid growth in the building and construction industry, which at the same time, the attention to the environment hasn't grown similarly. These days it is a major concern for many people, authorities and clients to deal with a business with environmental commitment in mind.

This standard is your guideline and pathway to protect the environment, have clear policies and procedures about it and ensure your employees, contractors, suppliers and other parties understand and recognise these systems. In the meantime, your company looks more responsible and people love and respect it more.

3- ISO 45001:2018

This standard is the newest version of OHSAS 18000 which was widely used and accepted in many industries. In general, construction and building businesses and sites are considered very high-risk environments. There are many injuries and death that happen every year that could be avoided in the first place by having systems, training and guidelines to prevent such incidents. In addition, responsible practices are becoming increasingly important to brands and reputations.

Work health and safety rules and principles are enforced and implemented in all construction sites thanks to state and federal regulations, however, this standard is about your commitment above and beyond the bare minimum enforced by Work Safe. This is about taking care of people and averting horrible work injuries as much as possible.

Now, you understand the meaning of these standards, you may ask where should I start? This is a fair question, and here we are going to explain the type of documents you need for these.

There are mandatory documents and record you must have and present in order to be ISO certified.

Your Quality, Environment & OH&S manual is like the blueprints for your company. It tells you what to do and how in order to ensure that all employees are operating at their best possible ability while still adhering strictly by these high standards of yours!

You can combine these documents and make an "Integrated Management System" or "IMS".

Your IMS should include the following items:

  1. Terms and Definitions

  2. Context of the Organization

  3. Leadership

  4. Planning

  5. Support

  6. Operation

  7. Performance evaluation

  8. Improvement

For more details about writing a Quality Manual, check our other post here. #Qualitymanual

The next step is to prepare procedures for major parts or activities in your business, which you might already have some of them.

The procedures you need to make are:

  • Procedure for Management Review

  • Procedure for Hazard, Aspect Identification and Risk, Impact Assessment and Control

  • Procedure for Legal & Other Requirements and Evaluation of Compliance

  • Procedure for Communication, Participation & Consultation

  • Procedure for Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • Procedure for Competency, Awareness & Training

  • Procedure for Waste Management

  • Procedure for Interested Parties and Context of the Organisation

  • Procedure for Accident and Incident Investigation

  • Procedure for Quality Plan

  • Procedure for Purchasing

You must also develop your Quality, Environment and Safety policies. #Stakeholder and #SWOT analysis for your business are also essential for this process.

In addition to all the above procedures and policies, you must create, keep and demonstrate some records as well. Designs, sketches, variations, customer requests and handover forms and records must be used and kept systematically.

ISO standards are fundamentally focused on identifying mistakes and errors and learning from them. So, make sure you have systems in place to report, collect and act on these issues and communicate the results with everyone to confirm these errors and issues won't happen again.

For instance, a mistake by your tradesman could damage and disrupt the final delivery, affect other trades performance and lead to work health and safety issues.

Therefore, it must be ensured that the message from these procedures is clearly communicated through your contractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders in general.

Documented records for error and problem identifications, corrective actions and learning from them are also required for these ISO standards certifications.

ISO certification is not just about the seal of approval, it also has a positive effect on your business performance and can payback its cost many times over.

The professionals at PrimaPerfect can help you achieve your certification goals. We have a proven track record in ISO Certifications for Building and Construction Industry by creating all the necessary procedures, forms, records with 100% success rate!

We know that you have a lot on your plate, which is why we offer an incredibly affordable way to get ISO certifications. You can meet with one of our certified professionals in person and go through what's already been done or give us the information needed so they may create new programs specifically tailored for YOUR needs!

Contact us to organise an obligation free session to discuss your construction business needs and steps.

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