Wiser transitioning from OHSAS 18001 to ISO 45001

Wiser Group is in the process of transitioning to ISO 45001, the new Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard, from OHSAS 18001.

The new ISO 45001 standard was published in March 2018.  With it, the International Organization for Standardization aims to improve health & safety in the workplace and reduce the thousands of lives lost each year from accidents or fatal diseases linked to work activities. The ‘world’s first global occupational health and safety management system standard’ differs significantly from the current occupational health and safety management standard OHSAS 18001:2007.

Wiser Group is currently reviewing systems to ensure that they meet the requirements of the ISO 45001 standards and will be making improvements where identified to ensure a smooth transition to the new certification. Having transitioned last summer to the new ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, Wiser Group has already restructured its management systems with greater top management involvement and a risk-based approach in line with the newer standard requirements. Working with UKAS accredited ISO certification body ISOQAR, we expect to have transitioned to ISO 45001 from OHSAS 18001 by early 2020.

OHSAS 18001 is being withdrawn following publication of ISO 45001 so companies that are currently certified to OHSAS 18001 will have a three-year period to upgrade to ISO 45001 (by 11th March 2021). If you would like assistance in transitioning to ISO 45001 from OHSAS 18001, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232. Find out more about our management systems and business support services. And our health and safety in the workplace services.

Wiser Group recently had its management system certifications renewed until 2022 and expanded to incorporate Wiser Training and its WAMITAB approved authorised assessment centre. You can download our current certifications on our compliance page.

Standard rules permits subject to EA changes

On 10th April 2019, the Environment Agency (EA) published new and revised standard rule sets affecting standard rules permits for everything from WEEE and scrap metal, to crude oil, dredgings and construction waste. The changes include a number of amendments, added and removed conditions and clarify wording.

The EA have made changes to reflect the scale of activities permitted under Standard Rules and for certain activities specifically prohibited point source emissions. This is in response to the EA concerns that certain standard rules permits were provided to cover a broad range of activities but have since seen operators specialising in one aspect.

Changes made to standard rules permits

These changes included:

  • WEEE – SR 2008No19, SR 2015No3 & SR2015No15 – The annual throughput limit of authorised treatment facilities for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been reduced to 25,000 tonnes and limits have been placed on the volumes of batteries that can be accepted. The EA has clarified the storage requirements of certain wastes and prohibited point source emissions to air.
  • Metal recovery/ scrap metal – SR2008 No21, SR2011 No2, SR2015 No14 and SR2015 No16 – The annual throughput of authorised treatment facilities for metal recycling has also been reduced to 25,000 tonnes. The EA has added conditions that allow the storage but not treatment, of up to 10,000 tonnes of intact catalytic convertors. Certain waste types have been removed from standard rules permits and others added.

Charles Thomas, Consultancy Director, Wiser Environment says: “Whilst some of these clarifications are welcomed, other changes will make it increasingly difficult for smaller operators and new entrants to the recycling market to make incremental developments to their business. Increasingly, the steps in terms of cost and permit determination periods is frustrating businesses. My concern is that we run the risk of stifling new blood and future innovators but also potentially forcing some operators ‘underground’. Improvements in environmental control, where risk based, are important but I would like to see more consideration given to the impact on the supply chain. Where changes are necessary, a phased approach would perhaps be more appropriate.”

Find out more

Wiser Environment has summarised the changes to standard rules permits in a handy table to make it easy for our clients to understand whether and how they might be affected. To get hold of a copy of this table, please contact us.

You can find out more about standard rules for environmental permitting on the Government website. If you need assistance to understanding the effects of the standard rules permit changes on your business, please contact Wiser Environment on 01480 462 232.

Find out more about how Wiser Environment can help you obtain bespoke and standard rules permits and other consents.

Waste recovery vs disposal – could you pass the EA test?

Failure to gain approval on Waste Recovery Plans and pass the Environment Agency’s strict recovery vs disposal test can be financially crippling so what can you do to ensure you pass?

The EA substitution test

The Environment Agency’s guidance provides three tests to demonstrate that if waste material was not used, you would get the same outcome by using non-waste material in what’s called the ‘substitution test’:

  • Evidence of financial gain by using non-waste materials
  • Evidence that funding has been secured to cover the expected cost of the work using non-waste
  • Evidence that there is an obligation to do the work, for example being required by a planning condition

The evidence required to demonstrate that one of these options can be met needs to be submitted in a Waste Recovery Plan.

Recent success in EA recovery vs disposal test

Wiser Environment has been successful in satisfying the Environment Agency’s strict recovery vs disposal test, not once but twice in quick succession!

Plans for restoration works including waste recovery

Two separate Waste Recovery Plans have been approved for the restoration of quarries in East Anglia with the permanent deposit for recovery of almost 2 million tonnes of inert waste.

Subject to obtaining environmental permits, the restoration of these sites will increase the area of land in productive agriculture and habitat diversification to support and promote local wildlife.

Find out more

With reuse of waste soils and other inert materials playing a key role in the sustainable restoration of quarries and other sites requiring landscaping, the distinction between recovery and deposit of inert waste is critical. If you have a former quarry or an old landfill site that requires restoration, contact us on 01480 462 232 to discuss opportunities for enhanced restoration through the sustainable use of inert waste materials.