“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time”

The construction sector is one of the busiest and most complex industries on the planet, the legislation and regulations are changing daily and for good reasons, not only for health and safety purposes but also environmental improvements.

There are not many sectors that expect ISO Certification as a minimum entry, construction is one of them.  Without having ISO Certification many construction companies are left in the waiting and will be left with the small jobs that are never going to make you a huge success.

Construction expands from the small domestic works such as electricians and gas engineers through to large multi billion developments such as Heathrow airport or HS2.  No matter where you are in the food chain, you are vitally important to the success of the project and having ISO Certification is one tool to help you get there.

The construction sector is one of the largest and comprises small contractors, architects and engineers, civil engineers, domestic builders and large housebuilders.  The ISO standards apply to all of the different organisations in this industry and can bring many benefits.

Benefits of ISO Certification for Construction Organisations:

  • Improved subcontractor management

  • Less snags and warranty claims

  • Less waste generation and cost reductions

  • Reduced accidents and incidents

  • Quicker turnaround of works

  • Higher quality and customer satisfaction

  • Compliance with industry and regulatory requirements

  • Greater efficiencies within your organisation

In 2015, the core ISO standards all aligned and now follow Annex SL which sets out a high level clause structure for all standards to follow.  This makes it easier to integrate different management systems into one core set of policies and procedures, reducing documentation and allowing for multiple standards to be assessed at the same time.

ISO 9001 in the Construction Sector

ISO 9001 is the minimum standard most construction organisations will require, quite often you will be restricted to certain works if you do not have ISO 9001 in place for your business.  Many councils and public bodies will require ISO 9001 as a minimum.

ISO 9001 demonstrates your organisation has a Quality Management System in place and focuses your mind on ensuring you provide quality services to your customers.  One of the key focuses of the standard is competence so attention is given by the auditors to your industry competence qualifications such as NICEIC or Refcom.

Many organisations are required to have ISO 9001 in order to receive work but it has been proven that if the requirements are embraced, it will not only bring you the business from that customer but you will also see other savings across the organisation.

Some of the benefits of ISO 9001 for construction organisations include:

  • Reduced snags and issues

  • Improved contractor management and engagement

  • Efficiencies within your processes

  • Improved control and awareness

  • Greater employee engagement

  • Greater brand awareness and recognition

ISO 14001 in the Construction Sector

ISO 14001 is a natural progression for construction organisations and the standard now brings in life cycle management which is of great advantage to the construction industry.  Regulations are constantly changing to bring in new environmental controls and energy generation such as solar panel requirements.  All new build projects now have an environmental consideration placed upon them and having ISO 14001 can help to ensure these requirements are met.

Having ISO 14001 demonstrates that you are not only environmentally conscious but also legally compliant.  Knowing that the products and services you acquire come from environmentally conscious organisations is a major factor in decision making.

Depending on the nature of your business, the environmental impact will vary across the construction industry but we all have our part to play.   Energy efficiency of buildings is one of the hot topics at the moment and there is increased pressure for construction companies to play their part.

Some of the benefits of ISO 14001 for construction organisations include:

  • Environmental product use
  • Reduced energy and waste

  • Reduced risk of legal breaches

  • BREEAM compliance

  • Greater employee engagement

  • Greater brand awareness and recognition

ISO 45001 in the Construction Sector

The construction industry accounts for 7% of the workforce in Great Britain and the 6th highest accident contributor.  In 2019 there were 79,000 work related ill health incidents and 30 of those fatal.  The construction industry is one of the most watched sectors for health and safety incidents.

Having a robust health and safety management system is important to the sector.   There is a drive to get the number of incidents down and therefore showing you have ISO 45001 in place gives confidence to the main contractors and clients that you are taking responsibility for your employees, visitors and contractors.

Many construction main contractors will select sub-contractors based on their health and safety performance and management system, being able to demonstrate this is important to the success of your business.

Some of the benefits of ISO 45001 for construction organisations include:

  • Reduced accidents and incidents

  • Reduced risk of prosecution

  • Less time off work from ill health

  • Greater employee engagement

  • Greater brand awareness and recognition

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