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Yokogawa receives top health and safety certification

Yokogawa Australia has become one of only two industrial automation and control companies operating in Australia to achieve certification in the soon to be recognised international Occupational Health & Safety Management System standard, OHSAS 18001:2007.

The recognition follows several months’ development and implementation of updated health, safety and environment systems, developed in-house by Yokogawa.

The Certificate of Approval was presented to Yokogawa Managing Director (Australia and New Zealand), John Hewitt, by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Limited (LRQA) representative, Robert Fornasari, in Sydney on December 9, 2013.

Also present to receive the certification was Yokogawa’s Health Safety and Environment Advisor, Anita Mac, who was the lead designer of Yokogawa Australia’s health and safety systems.

The OHSAS 18001:2007 and AS/NZ 4801:2001certifications cover the entire gambit of Yokogawa’s local operations, from configuration, project management, engineering, testing, procurement, sales and marketing and service of process control instrumentation, control systems and monitoring equipment right through to warehousing, logistics and office environment.

According to Fornasari, the successful audit and LRQA certification underscored Yokogawa’s commitment to the safety of its people and their compatriots.

This approach also mirrors the emphasis on safety and environment by Yokogawa’s customers in the oil and gas, minerals processing and utilities sectors.

LRQA has conducted audits at various Yokogawa offices in Australia to determine how Yokogawa has applied its OH&S Management System in light of the applicable standards including both the currently applicable Australian Standard AS/NZS 4801:2001 and the OHSAS 18001:2007 standard which is likely to become a new international standard.

The audit involved obtaining objective evidence that standards are being applied within the workplace and also interviewing employees to see if they understand Yokogawa’s safety systems and where to go to find the information.

The effort to achieve certification was driven by company’s Managing Director, John Hewitt, who has communicated the importance of the HSE system to all employees from the senior executive to warehouse and field staff to ensure they abide by and understand the health and safety system’s requirements.

A key focus of the certification is the company’s approach to risk management and understanding of the context of the work environment and how to work safely by adopting relevant procedures and risk assessments.

Fornasari said Occupational Health and Safety Management systems were gaining the same level of importance as financial audits and other forms of accreditation of major corporations around the world.

“In my role as an external auditor, having safety systems certified is becoming a requisite for a large number of client sites and a recognition within various industries that the organisation is serious about safety and putting its money where its mouth is.

"In a similar way to how Quality Assurance systems were very important in the ‘90s, safety and environmental systems are now achieving that status,” Fornasari said.

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