Health & Safety: at the core of Imerys Graphite & Carbon’s management

Imerys Graphite & Carbon has obtained ISO 45001 certification for its production plant in Bodio, Switzerland at the end of 2020, following on from the certification of its two plants in Canada, Terrebonne and Lac-des-Îles, in 2018.  In Bodio Imerys Graphite & Carbon processes “industry benchmark” synthetic graphite products under the brands C-NERGY™  and TIMREX® to serve many applications including lithium-ion batteries, alkaline batteries, and polymer compounds.

Being ISO 45001 certified confirms that Health & Safety processes are in place to guarantee the correct and safe flow of activities along the production chain.

Health & Safety plays a critical role in the management of the entire Company. Let’s discover more with Louis Nel, Global Head: EHS & Process Safety.

 

What is ISO 45001 certification and how does it translate into the production process?

 

ISO 45001 specifies the requirements necessary for the organizational Occupational Health & Safety management system. It provides guidance for its use to enable organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces, by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as proactively improve its Health and Safety performance.

The ISO 45001 system approach invests in different aspects of the production processes. Imerys Graphite & Carbon certified our plant in Bodio, Switzerland where we produce synthetic graphite.

It represents a fundamental solution to identify, control and continually improve through the identification of opportunities to reduce or eliminate hazards to our workers. But, the system needs to be proportionate to the organization’s risk profile and complexity, considering the best cost effective techniques (BATNEEC), and it provides a strong foundation to build a more prosperous business and community.

Finally, to comply with ISO 45001 standard does not only mean to prevent and eliminate risks, it demonstrates that the company takes the health and safety of employees very seriously. 

 

Does Health & Safety management and ISO 45001 certification also involve the Customer Centric approach that Imerys Graphite and Carbon has been implementing since many years?

 

There are two main benefits to customers of the ISO 45001 management system approach: 

The first benefit is improved security of supply. By preventing and reducing Health and Safety related risks, the risk of unplanned disruptions to production is reduced. Products are ready and shipped on schedule, and delivered to customers in a timely manner.

Secondly, and always a top priority for the evolving and fast-changing markets is cost savings. Customers look for ISO certified companies as it demonstrates compliance with high Health and Safety standards, and an ethical duty to strive for better, more efficient and safer work conditions. Our customers can therefore be assured – without any further audit activity – that we operate at the highest level of Health and Safety standards.

 

Health & Safety is a continuous journey. Evolution in production processes implies new technological enhancements and new ways of working. This means that the work environment also continuously adapts to these changes. What are the plans for the future?

 

Health and Safety for workers and communities steadily stands as a priority among Imerys policies.

We continuously strive to achieve not only the highest standards defined by the Corporate policies, but we are committed to comply with all legislative requirements within the communities where our plants are located.

What fosters our enthusiasm and efforts towards more and more effective Health & Safety activities is the tremendous progress we have achieved over the years. The most recent: 4.000 days without any accidents in our NPG plant in Japan and two years with 0 injuries in Bodio, Switzerland.

We always celebrate this kind of success because it is a reflection not only of personal achievements, or a job well done; it is the result of strong and purposeful teams working together.

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