From 15 to 19 September the workers of the plant underwent a serious check-up for their readiness for the exam, i.e. certification of the integrated quality management system, ecology and labour protection, planned for October of the current year. Specialists of “Bureau Veritas Ukraine” Ltd, who carried out pre-certification audit, visited 56 shops and departments at Zaporizhstal (42 of them were checked earlier) where they scrupulously discussed how the recently introduced integrated quality management system corresponds to international standards. We discussed the results of audit with the head of the environmental protection department, leading auditor of “Bureau Veritas Ukraine” Ltd Ivan Sokolov.
– Pre-certification audit is the ‘general rehearsal’ before certification. It is carried out according to the same rules as certification. Though, its result in no way has an effect on the opinion of the auditors who will carry out certification. For the collective of the Works co-operation with the auditors, complete openness and mutual understanding at this stage is very important. We acted like a united team. The people’s attitude towards their work was very conscientious.
– What can you say about the readiness of the departments for the certified audit?
– Generally, according to the opinion of the auditors, no serious gaps in the management system in compliance with standards ISO 9000:2000, ISO 14001; 2006, OHSAS 18001:2007 and European requirements concerning labour protection have been found. The system is really an integrated one, i.e. a whole, successive and continuous one. A conclusion can be made that the Works is ready for certification.
– Can you name any important positive moments which particularly pleased you during audit and the drawbacks that have to be got rid of immediately?
– The most important positive moment is the attitude of the Works’ management towards the development and introduction of the integrated quality management system. The strategy directed towards development, integration of the management system has completely proved itself. The second positive moment: the system includes absolutely all the subdivisions of the Works, the main production shops, auxiliary services, social sphere, production of food stuff, consumer goods. The work on introduction of the integrated quality management system was complicated for everyone but particularly for those subdivisions, which were not included in the integrated quality management system. Another important point is complete understanding of the management system requirements by managers and executives. Informational work at work places lead to positive results. People really know and want to know what the integrated quality management system is, why is it needed and they are ready to receive new information.
– What drawbacks have been found? At present the picture is too ideal…
– There have been remarks, a report has been written based on these remarks and it will be sent to subdivisions. There have been some failures in the control of documents, deviations in the registers of ecological aspects and identification of danger and evaluation of risks in subdivisions. But all of them have an inessential character.
– We have already said that the integrated system was created on the basis of the functioning quality management system at the Works. Was it easier to work then, than in the first case? Or were there difficulties because three systems had to be connected into one?
– Indeed, the System was created and was functioning with certainty. People already understood what the quality management system really is. Standards of the Works were worked out and also protocols. It’s quite natural that on this basis it is easy to build other quality management systems. What remained was to connect these three systems into one, work out uniform documents and inform the workers. It was necessary to optimize the volume of documents, resources needed to control the integrated management system. It’s an even more complicated task than creating 3 separate systems. Still the job was accomplished and the system became a whole, united and compact one. We hope it will be estimated during certification.
– How can you judge the level of competency and professionalism of the working group which was busy developing and introducing the integrated management system?
– The group who developed and introduced the management system together with the internal auditors compiles a united group of workers with a great intellectual potential and possibilities. I have never seen such a thing at a single plant. This is really a great achievement of the management of the Works, i.e. the creation of a group where specialists on quality, labour protection, ecology are united and all of them being first class specialists. This was half the battle. Now they have to support the integrated management system, provide its workability, efficiency and functioning in accordance with the requirements of the standards and the management system proper.