Gentoo Group has been recognised for putting its employees and customers’ health first by gaining an internationally recognised certification.

The Sunderland housing association achieved the ISO 45001 certification within nine months, ahead of the three-year timeframe to gain the industry standard.

The achievement increases employee safety, reduces risks and enhances health and well-being in the workplace.

Obtaining the certification shows that Gentoo has implemented, among other requirements, a high-level structure, with a clear focus on risks and opportunities for workers health and safety management.

Stephen Flounders, Gentoo’s Head of Health, Safety and Environment, said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first housing associations to achieve certification to ISO 45001.

“Health and safety plays a key role in everything we do, and we work hard to create a safe working environment for our colleagues and to deliver an outstanding service to our customers.

“Achieving ISO 45001 demonstrates our commitment to health and safety and we’ll continue to seek opportunities to further raise our high standards”.

A well implemented 45001 management system reduces workplace injury and ill health and increases productivity

Additional requirements that Gentoo had to prove in order to meet this standard was the emphasis on management commitment, worker involvement and engagement and risk control.

The senior leadership team was required to demonstrate to the assessor the commitment to health and safety from the top of the organisation and how it was embedded throughout the organisation.

The certification has been granted after nine months of intense preparation and training, and following an audit carried out by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited (LRQA).