It was decided to make use of NQA (National Qualifications Authority) a division of Micro Mega to which NOSA belongs. All of the Aveng E+PC Operations site managers, supervisors and SHE Coordinators attended an OHSAS 18001 Implementation course presented by NQA. This was not only to expose and inform everyone about OHSAS 18001, but also to ensure everyone is on the same level with the same objectives. The three sites SHE Coordinators were also sent on the OHSAS 18001 Internal Auditors course.
The hard work then started. Procedures were compiled, reviewed and re-written. All employees attended training on site presented by the site SHE Coordinators, during which they were exposed to the OHSAS 18001 system and requirements. An internal audit program was compiled where the SHE Coordinators audited each other to ensure cross pollination and teamwork. For the second internal audit the Site Operations Managers were also included in auditing each other’s sites. This clearly demonstrated management commitment in making this a success.
The phase 1 external audits took place during the week of 16 – 18 November 2009. The auditors were very impressed with the amount of work which had been completed in such a short time and agreed that all three sites can go for the phase 2 external (certification) audits during the last week of December 2009.
Everyone was now motivated and the three sites friendly and competitive spirit had a major part in achieving the success. No site wanted to be the one who didn’t get certificated. Another round of internal audits took place, non-conformances rectified, checked and re-checked. All three sites were now ready. To say the least, during the external audits, some of the site SHE Coordinators were so nervous that we were certain they had verbal diarrhoea.
At last the time for the phase 2 audits arrived. The last week before Christmas wasn’t the ideal time but we had an objective and wanted desperately to achieve certification before the end of 2009. WWC Carolina Coal Wash Plant was the first. Everything went well and except for the continuous phone calls from the other two sites, WWC Carolina Coal Wash Plant was the first Aveng E+PC site to achieve OHSAS 18001 certification. Thereafter things just got better and Kopermyn Coal Wash Plant were certified the next day and eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant the day thereafter.
This was achieved through hard work, dedication and commitment from everyone. Aveng E+PC Operations have already benefited from this as they haven’t had a Lost Time Injury since November 2008. We also know that the hard work hasn’t stopped and we are committed to not only maintaining the OHSAS 18001 certification, but to continuously improve our SHE Management System and to achieve even greater heights.