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20 January 2015

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Case Study: Apex Contractors

OHSAS 18001

Apex is a construction and development company operating in the private, public and insurance sectors, as well as developing residential and mixed schemes. Apex specialise in fit out refurbishment and maintenance and have twice featured in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.

In a bid to reduce the environmental impact of its activities and drive out inefficiencies, Apex has achieved and continues to maintain an impressive trio of certifications to three key management system standards: ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management), and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management).

Why ISO certification?

Many of BAB’s customers choose to combine their management system standards. OHSAS 18001 is designed to be compatible with standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001 (Information Security). All or any combination of these complementary standards can be integrated seamlessly. They share many principles, so choosing an integrated management system can provide outstanding value for money.

“Our certification sends a clear message to our clients that we are professional and accountable in everything we do.”
Stewart Thornton, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager

Stewart Thornton, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at Apex, is responsible for providing guidance on policy and procedures on all safety related issues for the company. Stewart explains the benefits and importance of maintaining a formal management system in his industry, “These standards provide a framework which ensures a clear, transparent and cohesive system that is easy to follow and implement. Our certification sends a clear message to our clients that we are professional and accountable in everything we do.”

Why BAB?

BAB believes it is essential to work with our clients as a true partner. Our maxim ‘without fear or favour’ typifies our ethical approach to such partnerships; we will never allow the fear of consequences or the promise of favour to influence our professional judgement. Stewart tells us his experience, “I had used BAB before [in a previous company] and found them to be very helpful – before, during, and after certification. The relationship with BAB is more of a partnership, rather than client and provider.”

The certification process

BAB undertakes an initial gap-analysis, to assess an organisation’s readiness for certification. The organisation is then provided with a detailed pre-audit assessment report and is required to work through any required actions. Stewart says of this process, “A first class service from the first meeting with our Lead Assessor, through to the visit from the Auditor, who I must say is excellent in the way he goes about his job. There were no problems, just solutions.”

Once the organisation is ready for a formal Audit Assessment, the Lead Assessor will make the required arrangements for the Audit to take place. Stewart says, “The audits were very good and extremely helpful. The tips and suggestions will certainly ensure that all future surveillance visits are less stressful.”

“A first class service right from the first meeting with our Lead Assessor, through to the visit from the Auditor… there were no problems, just solutions.”
Stewart Thornton, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager

Benefits of implementation

Successful organisations recognise that their quality and its assurance are most credible when validated by a respected third party. The benefits include a more motivated workforce, less re-work and increased client satisfaction. Our clients tell us that gaining certification can also help to access external finance, qualify for tenders and set them apart from competitors. Stewart says, “A robust system that anybody can follow, which is allied to opportunities to tender for more work with selective clients. Achieving certification has certainly opened up more business opportunities for the company.”

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