The global audits carried out by SGS began in October 2012 and were completed in January 2013. The certificates were officially awarded in mid-February 2013. “Setting clear global standards that can be adapted locally and carrying out intensive training were the key to such a successful global certification,” says Lindsay Zingg, Panalpina’s Corporate Head of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment.
The main objective of OHSAS 18001 is to mitigate health and safety risks for staff. In Panalpina’s case that could be staff working in the office, a logistics center or that set foot on an oil rig. “The global Health and Safety certification is particularly important for our oil and gas, and industrial projects. They often involve heavy machinery and cargo in distant locations, and difficult weather conditions,” says Zingg. Panalpina’s health and safety program ensures that qualified and competent personnel, and appropriate equipment, are safely deployed in potentially dangerous working conditions. It also enables fast and appropriate response to any emergency situation.
As part of its global health and safety certification process, Panalpina underwent an extensive global risk assessment to identify potential risk areas, and to plan appropriate mitigation measures. Based on this, a number of targeted programs were implemented to support healthy working conditions and hygienic workplaces; to reduce risk exposure associated with the handling, storage and transportation of cargo; and to enforce the use of personal protective equipment where required. A behavioral safety program also aims to reduce accidents and incidents caused by human error.
Panalpina is now the only multinational provider of supply chain solutions to achieve global certification to OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. “The global certification to all standards of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment is a clear commitment to all of our stakeholders – be it our staff, customers, subcontractors, partners, suppliers or official bodies,” says Karl Weyeneth, Panalpina’s Chief Operating Officer.
Panalpina’s proven high standards across the globe bring multiple benefits. On the one hand they reduce the number of accidents and associated harm and costs, including liability insurance costs. On the other hand they facilitate access to new customers and business partners, enable growth, especially in the oil and gas and industrial projects sectors, and support efficient business implementation. They also demonstrate full compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. “For a global player like us, these seals of quality are invaluable for the ease of doing business and to attract talent throughout the world. And they motivate us to achieve even higher standards across the board,” adds Weyeneth.
OHSAS 18001, short for Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series, is the standard against which organizations are assessed on their Health and Safety performance. As with other standards, it is based on the setting of objectives and targets, and the monitoring of the businesses performance against these objectives.
ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for quality management. It provides a tried and tested framework and systematic approach to managing a company’s processes to ensure its products and services satisfy customer expectations.
ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard for implementing an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). It requires organizations to identify and assess environmental facets and take necessary control to reduce environmental impacts.