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ABC Tissues And AS 4801 OHS Certification Through SAI Global

Since its certification to AS/NZS 4801 for OHS Management, ABC Tissue Products has experienced sales, promotional and, most of all, bottom-line benefits through increased efficiency and reduced time lost.

ABC Tissue Products P/L is an Australian owned and family-run company that employs over 500 local workers. It manufactures toilet tissue, facial tissues and kitchen towels. Its Quilton brand toilet tissue is the country’s leading brand in total supermarket sales. The majority of ABC Tissue products are locally made.

In fact, at a time when many big manufacturing concerns are moving offshore, ABC Tissue Products is going against the tide: bringing jobs, plant and manufacturing expertise into the country and staking millions in the process.

In January 2009, the company gained certification to the AS/NZS 4801 Standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management through SAI Global Assurance. The system forms a vital part in its platform for future growth and development.

Going For The ‘Big One’: AS/NZS 4801

ABC Tissue Product’s National OHS Manager is Steven Johnson. In charge of the OHS Management system’s implementation and subsequent certification through SAI Global Assurance, has seen the benefits it’s delivered first hand.

In the past year or so, ABC has invested tens of millions in a state-of-the-art plant and equipment. With a massive investment at stake and the need for control over health and safety issues being a paramount concern, the choice to implement a management system in compliance with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4801 was easy to make.

“We produce the tissue here locally because this gives us better control over the processes involved, including those that ensure the health and safety of all involved,” he says. “And integral to achieving this control is the way we train our people to meet OHS and other requirements. The choice of an OHS system that supported our aims was vital. We, therefore, decided to go for the ‘big one’ – AS/NZS 4801.”

We were looking for something that was stringent and offered measurable benefit. AS/NZS was a natural choice as it’s an Australian standard and so widely recognised.

Delivering Across the Business

Steven Johnson says that the decision to have the OHS system certified by SAI Global Assurance has already delivered results spanning marketing, promotional and ultimately, the bottom line.

“It’s already delivered a range of benefits that we can see,” he says. “For example, we now include copies of our OHS Certificate of Conformity to our clients and it’s also included in our tenders and contracts. Independent certification such as this is a very solid indication of the integrity and robustness of our OHS processes. In today’s environment, it is increasingly important for companies to demonstrate integrity and reliability in claims they make about their values, processes and systems. Our OHS certification is proof to our suppliers and customers that we are serious about workplace health and safety.

The external verification from SAI Global is also recognised by some of our other key stakeholders, he says. For example, it can provide support to applications to local planning authorities, WorkCover awards and attract other forms of industry recognition.”

Benefits that Hit the Bottom Line

However, it’s the bottom line where the benefits of an effective management system really hit home.

“The systems that we’ve brought in with AS/NZS 4801 have led to better methods of production. ABC Tissues have been able to show that having certification saves us money.”

“We have a loss of time statistics that are significantly lower than some industry norms and reduced insurance premium costs. And it’s all because our systems work.”

“Refined safe operating procedures have enabled us to better regulate how we operate which means we are running at an optimum more of the time, with better control of the way we do things and with less downtime,” explains Steven.

The system has also increased retention and reduced staff turnover and its associated disruptions and costs.

“Training is a vital part of our business,” says Steven. “Our people enter into a career path. In order to skill our people up to the required levels, we need the support of the structure, rigour and thorough documentation our system provides.”

Other such benefits have included improvements in dust monitoring which has a direct effect on product quality and workplace safety. Another is in compliance: the new system offers an improved methodology for keeping track of relevant legislative requirements and regulatory changes.

We also knew that certification with SAI Global would give us instant recognition because of the high profile of the StandardsMark™

Certification With Instant Recognition

The same level of forethought and consideration went into ABC’s choice of SAI Global Assurance as its certification provider. “We considered a number of providers and chose SAI Global Assurance at first because of its recognised name and strong reputation.”

However, in the early stages of the process, other advantages soon came to light.

“There was a lot of communication at the beginning,” he explains. “The critical point was that we needed them to understand the nature of our business and they were open to listening to us and working with us to give us that.”

“We were very happy with the auditors: they were able to highlight areas for improvement that we have acted on and reaped the benefits accordingly.”

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