BRADFORD-based Yorkshire Building Society has won a prestigious European standard for the health and safety of its staff.

The Yorkshire Drive company, which employs more than 4,000 people and has 3.2 million customers, has been recognised for its commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of colleagues and customers by achieving certification to the Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard, OHSAS 18001.

The mutual was awarded the internationally recognised European Standard for health and safety management following a comprehensive assessment of its head office sites and a number of its branches.

Alcumus ISOQAR, the UKAS Accredited Certification Body who audited the society, reviewed the organisation’s approach to investigating and reacting to accidents, its arrangements for responding to an emergency and the safety and maintenance of equipment.

YBS received commendation by auditors for the work it is doing around colleague wellbeing, the facilities provided and its approach and processes to prevent injury and ill-health to colleagues.

Stephen White, YBS chief operating officer, said: “As a responsible organisation we naturally want to do all we can to ensure the health and safety of all our colleagues and customers.

“We’re very proud to have achieved this OHSAS certification, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering best practice health and safety management.

“We will now look to continually improve on what we already do well to ensure a safe environment in which we can work and do business with our customers.”

OHSAS 18001 helps organisations use sound occupational health and safety practices and is a widely recognised and respected occupational health and safety management system.

Nikki Samme, Alcumus ISOQAR director, said: “We are delighted to certify YBS against the OHSAS 18001 management standard.

“Having worked closely with the Yorkshire’s team over the past few months, it has been delightful to see the enthusiasm and engagement from all staff in the process; they are a leading example of how UK organisations should demonstrate their commitment to gaining an occupational health and safety standard.”

This accreditation is the latest recognition for the company already this year.

YBS was crowned winners in two categories and shortlisted in five at the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards.

The company won the UK’s Most Improved Organisation of the Year and UK Financial Services Company of the Year prizes at the ceremony.