Successful certification: Occupational safety pioneers from Elspe

National guide to occupational safety management systems NLF / ILO-OSH 2011 – this is the theory. In practice, this means: Skin protection plan, fine dust filter, risk assessment, or driving training. The Elspe location of AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe GmbH AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe GmbH has been certified in accordance with the "Sicher mit System" ("Systematic Safety") seal of approval by the wood and metal cooperative (Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall, BGHM) since November 2015. It is the first AGRAVIS location that has introduced an occupational safety management system.

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Reinhard Mester, workshop foreman at AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe in Elspe (left) looks through documentation with Jürgen Stiesberg, safety specialist with ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG in Finnentrop. Successful certification: Occupational safety pioneers from Elspe
Reinhard Mester, workshop foreman at AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe in Elspe (left) looks through documentation with Jürgen Stiesberg, safety specialist with ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG in Finnentrop.

Workshop foreman Reinhard Mester and authorised representative Martin Weiskirch proudly present the files in which the documentation is stored. Other documents can be found on a USB stick, "if we were to print those out, then we would instantly have four or five more files", stated Weiskirch. A small impression of the amount of documentation required for the certification process. Certification was necessary so that the Elspe location continues to remain competitive. This is because 40 per cent of orders come from the industrial sector.

AGRAVIS works together with partner

Certifications play an increasingly important role in such cases. This also applies to ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG with their Finnentrop site. The group has been working for approximately six years only with partners that are certified. "As contractors from ThyssenKrupp we had a decision to make: either obtain certification, or we are out", explained Mester. Jürgen Stiesberg, safety specialist with ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe in Finnentrop was delighted that AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe GmbH was the first party to choose certification: "We have successfully collaborated with our partner AGRAVIS Technik Lenne-Lippe for many years. However, our group policy is now only to work with certified companies. This has become a decisive criterion", he emphasised.

Documentation required

The topic of occupational safety management is also extremely important for AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG. This is not just because a corresponding organisation can minimise the number of accidents and therefore the level of absence; employee motivation also increases, as does the reputation of the company in the eyes of the public and its customers. Mester, Weiskirch, and the employees in Elspe invest a great deal of time and also nerves in this area. Whether in the workshop, where a dispenser provides earplugs for fast hearing protection, or in the office where a fine dust filter substantially reduces emissions from the printer – everything is tested, every step is documented, every certificate, every confirmation of training, every date sheet is stored for eternity. "This also means our duty of care to employees is documented", explains Weiskirch.

Use of protective clothing

However, employees also played their part, they were trained and included in the certification process as during tests appraisers from the cooperative posed questions regarding occupational safety on a random basis. Another important component within the concept is the risk assessment for operations that AGRAVIS employees carry out. "Now there is a vehicle map with first aid instructions, for load safety, for example, as well as an overview of the potential risks of all operations in every vehicle", explains Reinhard Mester. As an example, assembly workers notice on site that they are working in an area with an increased risk of combustion, or where falling parts may be expected. They therefore prepare beforehand by taking protective clothing such as a helmet or special safety shoes.

Certification is valid for three years

The specialists at the AGRAVIS headquarters, particularly Peter Erhardt from the occupational safety division within AGRAVIS Group services, are available to the staff in Elspe for consultancy or action if required. The cooperative also supported Mester and Weiskirch during the process. "We are delighted that we have such a large company as AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG as a contact partner. We were always able to put questions to our colleagues in Münster and, for example, were able to get the safety data sheets on CD as well as many other things", explained Mester. Now the tasks have been delegated and everyone knows what they have to do. Mester is appointed for occupational safety management, whilst there is also an employee responsible for electrical devices, five first-aiders, safety officers, and so on. Everyone has their tasks and everyone knows who they can contact in which area. This is because certification is valid for three years. The Elspe location must be tested once again in 2018 and demonstrate based on an agenda that further work has been undertaken regarding occupational safety. There is no standing still in this field. The system must live.

Further information can be obtained from Reinhard Mester, tel. 0049 2721 717118, reinhard.mester@agravis.de, www.agravis-technik-lenne-lippe.de www.agravis-technik-lenne-lippe.de .