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ISO 39001 Explained

15 November 2012

 Achieving ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) certification is critical for many businesses in terms of winning new contracts, retaining existing ones and improving company perception.

Driving for Better Business partner ARI Fleet explains more in its on-line magazine:

Among the best known and most eagerly sought standards are ISO 9001 quality management and ISO 14001 environmental management.

But, in total there are more than 19,000 international standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business and to that list can now be added ISO 39001 covering road traffic safety (RTS) management.

Achieving the standard requires the development and implementation of an appropriate RTS policy, development of RTS objectives and action plans, which take into account legal and other requirements, enabling organisations to influence a cut in the number of road deaths and serious injuries in collisions.

ISO themselves describe the standard as ‘a practical tool for governments, vehicle fleet operators and all organisations worldwide who want to reduce death and serious injury due to road accidents’. It provides them with requirements for a wide range of safety aspects including speed, vehicle condition and driver awareness.

 RoadSafe, which manages Driving for Better Business campaign that was a member of the UK committee run by BSI that helped draw up the standard.

For organisations to be accredited to the ISO standard they must have systems in place to ensure their employees are operating in a safe environment on the road.

Claes Tingvall, chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, said: “ISO 39001 provides a structured, holistic approach to road-traffic safety to complement to existing programmes and regulations. It is based on the process approach, proven by successful ISO standards such as ISO 9001 for quality management, including the plan-do-check-act cycle, and a requirement for continual improvement.”

Meanwhile, TRL, the independent transport research organisation, concluded in a new report jointly funded by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers, that a national standard for the management of work-related road risk would be welcomed by businesses.

Dr Shaun Helman, who led the research into the report - ‘A Gap Analysis of Work-related Road Safety in the UK: Working towards a National Standard’ - said: “There is no standard approach to managing this risk and businesses are inundated with a multitude of advice from different suppliers and stakeholders, making it difficult for anyone to be sure what they should be doing.”

The report recommended that the police play a role with other organisations, including the Driving for Better Business campaign, in developing a national standard, which could be achieved either through encouraging adoption of ISO 39001 standard supported perhaps by a practical guidance document such as an Approved Code of Practice published by the Health and Safety Executive or via developing a stand-alone solution.

Experts also believe that achieving ISO 39001 could play a critical role in enabling companies to secure new business when responding to tenders.


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