Birmingham Airport receives BS OHSAS 18001 health and safety certification

The UK’s Birmingham Airport (BHX) has received the BS OHSAS 18001 certification, the international standard for occupational health and safety management.

The UKAS accredited certification body, ISOQAR, part of the Alcumus Group, has conducted the audit and assessment for certification. The BS OHSAS 18001 certification verifies that the airport has structured processes to manage and mitigate health & safety risks across its diverse operations. The certification further confirms BHX’s commitment to assuring the safety and welfare of its 500-plus employees and the nine million passengers who use the airport annually.

The health and safety risks at BHX include incidents from aircraft turn-round activities, hazards associated with baggage handling, risks of personnel working at height and within confined spaces, machinery and plant equipment as well passenger slips, trips and other incidents within the airport premises.

BHX’ compliance with the OHSAS standard will help in the reduction of accidents and incidents, improved reporting of risk assessments, reduced risk of legal claims and penalties and improve its reputation as a responsible employer and service provider.

Nikki Samme, director of Group Marketing at Alcumus Group, said: ‘By formalising processes and systems in line with this internationally recognised standard, BHX is outwardly showcasing its commitment to continual improvement. I highly commend the team’s engagement and drive to achieving certification to this standard within such a demanding time frame of just eight months.’

Russel Drakeley, Health & Safety manager at BHX said: ‘The achievement of BS OHSAS 18001 certification builds upon our existing best practice management processes and our commitment to protecting people within such a potentially hazardous environment. The focus on employee engagement, common goals and effective communication has cemented the ‘one team’ ethos shared by our staff in maintaining our impressive safety record.’

The accreditation comes as Birmingham Airport celebrates a major milestone. Over the past year, nine million people have passed through its doors, making use of its world-class facilities and growing network of flights. BHX also enjoyed the second busiest month in its history in August 2013, handling over one million passengers, and recorded the busiest day of the year so far on August 23, with 36,781 people passing through the terminal.

BHX is also looking to evolve its management system to meet the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).