customer annual ISO9001 surveillance audit

Next Monday I shall be supporting one of my clients helping them with their annual ISO9001 2015 external audit. The company, based in Redditch, is a manufacturing company with a wide range of customers including an FT250 company.. They process steel strip to produce flexible steel tubing of various lengths and diameters.. The company is a 3rd generation family business which I have supported for the last 4 years carrying out their internal audits and co-ordinating the annual Management reviewfor the senior management.

Environmental PermittingRegulations

Before a business can discharge any Trade Effluent into natural water sources such as streams, rivers and ponds/lakes ,the business has to apply for a permit from the Environment Agency. The business has to specify the type and toxicity of waste liquids and solids and must reduce the concentrations of the pollutants to a level which has been specified as safe. The business is required to allow access to all discharge points for independant testing of the discharge to confirm compliance with permit.

If a business exceeds the permitted levels the Environment Agency can rescind the permit and in serious breaches the Environment Agency can take legal action against the Business.

Waste Regulations

These Regulations require companies to apply waste hierarchy where feasible. This hierarchy involves 1) prevention; 2) preparing for reuse on site; 3) recycling; 4) recovery such as waste heat from other processes and as a last option 5) disposal.

Documented records of waste disposal must include both SIC and EWC codes and have to be signed both by a representative of the company and the disposal company. Also the records must detail the company’s address and the disposal company address plus a description of the waste and the type and capacity of the container. The company is required to retain these records for 2 years minimum.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations

These regulations cover the recycling, reuse and disposal of all waste electrical and electronic equipment. Retailer and suppliers of these types of equipment are required to provide a way for their customers to dispose of redundant and scrap equipment when they sell an updated or new version of that equipment to the customer.

Retailers are required to provide documentation on the take back services they provide as well how customers can reuse/recycle the EEE..They are also required to include an explanation of why these types of waste must be kept separate from other types of waste.

Businesses are only permitted to transfer this waste to a registered waste carrier or other approved person. They must obtain a properly documented Waste Transfer note for the WEEE waste and ensure that the waste is taken to a facility that has an authorised treatment Facilty Permit for that type of waste and obtain waste transfer documentation showing the site the waste has been transferred to.

for all new equipment covered by the WEEE Reglations the customer must obtain and retain producer registration details for new EEE purchased from retailer/suppli

Complying with the Packaging regulations

All businesses that produce or handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging waste per year and have a turnover of more than £2million need to comply with the Packaging Regulations. This includes companies that either own the packaging on which activities are carried out or companies that supply packaging at any stage in the supply process to the final end user. This includes importers of packaged products.

If the business is creating packaging waste or supplying packaged products which lead to packaging waste of sufficient tonnage which falls within the requirements of the regulations then the company must register with the Environment Agency, Detailed records of the annual tonnage of each type of packaging have to be kept. There is a legal requirement to comply with recycling targets agreed with the environment agency.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

The legislation covering Hazardous waste and its disposal is very clear. Any substances clearly labelled as hazardous or any hazardous material arising during a production process must be segregated into a controlled area.

Hazardous waste can only be disposed of at designated sites by an approved contractor registered to dispose of that type of waste at the designated site.

The company must clearly describe the type of waste and the quantity of waste on the waste consignment note which the disposal company must provide as a record for the customer. This note must state details of the disposal site. These hazardous waste consignment notes must be retained for a minimum of 3 years

Radnor Hills mineral water company has ISO14001 certification

This company has invested £3 million in a new production facilty to provde water for sale in cans instead of plastic bottles. The owner, speaking on local radio, stated that the capacity of this facility will be a million cans a year which is only a small proportion of the 130 millions plastic bottles of water they produce. The company is proud that they do not have to send any waste to landfill and have achieved certification to ISO14001 the environmental management standard.

KPI targets for quality and environmental management

An important requirement for the ISO9001 and 14001 Standards is that the senior management set KPI targets for Quality and/or Environmental compliance. these KPIs have to be meaningful, measurable and achievable. For these KPIs companies have to collect and analyse data in order to monitor how the company is performing against these KPIs.

It is also a requirement of the Standards for senior management to communicate how the company is doing against these KPIs on a regular basis. Some olients do this through regular briefing groups or keeping employees up to date on the works noticeboards. However there are several companies who I have to remind that the Standard requires the collected data to be analysed and communicated to the employees. These companies are missing out on the benefits obtained from being able to react to real time adverse trends against the KPIs.

In manufacturing companies reject and scrap targets are set which the shop floor can have a major impact on. Where companies are publishing regular updates on these KPIs there is a genuine feeling from the work force that they can help to meet these KPIs.

Client support last week

Last Tuesday one of my clients, who supplies safety equipment vertical lifts , had his annual surveillance from a new auditor representing Lift Certs.The auditor, who had recently joined Lift Certs from UKASi, had a very detailed knowledge of ISO9001 2015 and its relevance to the Lift industry. I found the outcome of the audit extremely gratifying as the auditor did not find any non-compliances during the audit nor did he report any opportunities for improvement in the final report.

Audit Support for ISO 9001 2015 clients

This week I have provided the first of 2 days planned internal audits for a manufacturing client in Redditch. When I arrived, despite having booked the visit 2 weeks previously, the business owner, who was at his desk, was not expecting my visit and was out for most of the morning which meant I had to focus on those parts of the audit schedule not requiring his direct input.

The company are certified by BSI, who provide password protected access to the previous year’s report via their portal which I cannot access directly. The report was not available so I had to wait while this was accessed and printed off before I could check whether the report included any non-conformities and opportunities for improvements.

I completed 11 internal audits during the day and I will return to the client in 2 weeks to do the remaining 7 internal audits followed byassisting with a full management review of all the areas required for ISO9001 2015. Once these have been completed the client should be prepared for the external surveillance visit in January 2020.

The management review includes reviewing the Quality Objectives and how the company is performing against these objectives as well as reviewing and, if relevant to the business, revising them. Other key areas looked at include reviewing the strategic and process risks to the business and updating where relevant ; resources including the operation of the Quality Management Systems; external and internal non-conformities; performance of providers and additions to the approved list.

For the majority of my clents, who are already certified to ISO9001 2015 with a UKAS registered company, my annual total involvement is 3 days which includes 1 day’s support for the annual surveillance visit.