Hosokawa Micron on its way to ISO 14001 certification
Starting in January 2021, Hosokawa Micron has been using Pharius with as its biggest goal the achievement of the ISO14001 certificate. We look back with QSHE employee Eline Liebreks to her experiences over the past period about the implementation, the use of Pharius and the final goal.
Hosokawa Micron B.V. is located in Doetinchem and designs and produces machines and processes for the powder processing industry. They also support companies by testing products and/or offering contract manufacturing facilities to help customers find the optimal solution for their applications.
Currently, approximately 180 people work at Hosokawa Micron B.V. It is a progressive organization with a tremendous amount of knowledge about processes and systems. In the last few years there have been many changes, from the purchase of new machines in production to the growing attention to safety and the environment.
This increased attention ensured that two years ago an additional function was created; Eline Liebreks joined the department as a QSHE employee. Together with her direct colleague Bert Lasker (QSHE Manager) and 2 colleagues in the test cell, they are the QSHE department within Hosokawa Micron B.V. . Their most important and challenging objective is to ensure that safety and the environment remain continuously (high) on the agenda and are included in the DNA of the company.
Eline: “We have to comply with a lot of legislation and regulations and it’s very complex for people who are not dealing with it on a daily basis. I like to teach people more about the rules and to find the best way to implement them in practice. You apply obligations directly from the legislation. You try to stimulate people to do this in a proper way and to discuss with them what is the best way to do this. At the end of the day, people on the work floor have to work with it. I can figure it out nicely, but the important thing is that eventually it ends up on the work floor.”
I can give a very simple example of this: ” A supplier of first aid equipment from whom I had ordered a set-up for eye showers came to visit me. I thought it would add value to the pilot plant and they would be pleased with it, so I proudly went to bring it to that specific department. Then the colleagues commented: “Yes that is very nice Eline, but there is so much dust released here that it really needs a casing. I hadn’t thought about it, but I did eventually persuade my colleagues to order the right eye shower with a casing so, in the end, the goal was achieved.”
In recent years, the QSHE department of Hosokawa Micron B.V. has had two clear objectives: updating the RI&E and obtaining the ISO 14001 certificate.
Initially, the certification was a wish of the internal organization to distinguish itself in managing environmental risks, in order to minimize the environmental impact. In addition, we also see an increasing demand from external stakeholders for attention to environmental management.
As with many organizations, there was a perception that many things were already in order, but were not sufficiently demonstrable or clear. In order to get a good picture of this, the decision was made to start using Pharius as a compliance tool.
Keeping up with current legislation and permits is time-consuming
“An important requirement for obtaining an ISO certificate is to prove that we always have the latest legislation in view. In the past we did this in our organization by checking all kinds of sources. This consumed so much time it was at the expense of other activities,” says Eline.
She continues: ” Another added value is that our environment permit is uploaded into Pharius. This helps us to create an overview in the web of legislation and ultimately we also want to make the translation to employees of different departments to involve them in securing this. With the transition to Pharius, we have one comprehensive and clear source in which we can document our compliance obligations.”
Setting up and maintaining the environment
Hosokawa Micron B.V. chose to use one of the free branch registers that was implemented in the Pharius environment right at the start. This way they didn’t have to start from scratch. However, it remains a big job to assess which ( changed ) legislation should be included in the register and which should not.
After setting up the register, the next step was to set up the compliance themes. In these themes, we, as QSHE department, make the concrete translation through which actions we comply with certain laws and regulations. These themes are based on the environmental aspects we have and various health and safety topics. We have filled the themes with various types of evidence, such as policy plans, procedures, measurement reports, surveys and contracts. This enables us to prove the things that we have in order and to quickly gain insight into the points that can be improved.
“The ISO 14001 auditor was very appreciative of Pharius and was not yet familiar with this. The fact that you are able to show that you know what your compliance obligations are as a company and also be able to show HOW you are covering them in the same system is incredibly valuable.”
"We have to comply with a lot of legislation and regulations and it’s very complex for people who are not dealing with it on a daily basis. I like to teach people more about the rules and to find the best way to implement them in practice. You apply obligations directly from the legislation. You try to stimulate people to do this in a proper way and to discuss with them what is the best way to do this. At the end of the day, people on the work floor have to work with it. I can figure it out nicely, but the important thing is that eventually it ends up on the work floor."
At the beginning of April, the ISO auditor finally came to assess whether the efforts of Hosokawa Micron B.V. were sufficient for the icing on the cake. Eline states: “The ISO 14001 auditor was very appreciative of Pharius and was not yet familiar with this. The fact that you are able to show that you know what your compliance obligations are as a company and also be able to show HOW you are covering them in the same system is incredibly valuable.”
As indicated earlier, the greatest challenge for the QSHE department remains to involve all colleagues in the office, and especially in the production department and the pilot plant, in all aspects of safety and the environment. Eline says: “Fortunately, the policy that has been initiated is already beginning to pay off, so colleagues are more and more able to find us to ask their questions in the areas of safety and environment. The next step we want to take is to engage colleagues in the production and pilot plant to secure compliance obligations through tasks and thus create more support.”