media release

Making HSE part of the company culture

This is exactly what the site in Gebze, Turkey, — which produces decorative coatings under the Marshall Boya brand name — has done: The company implemented the Pro-Marshall-21-Management System (PM21MS).

Under the regime of this system, cross-functional improvement teams, in which managers take part, work out strategies to improve HSE performance. Company processes are dealt with as a whole, thus eliminating gray areas between departments. The system supports rapid decision-making and eventually makes sure that the entire company moves in the desired direction.

Another important factor is the focus on continuous improvement. Improvement teams determine single improvement projects in the areas health, safety or environment. Once a project has been defined, an implementation team is formed that has to identify and solve problems. An essential concept for formulating a solution is known as PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action).

“The system works extremely well,” says Arthur Ohm, who is responsible for HSE in the Akzo Nobel Coatings Group. “The PM21MS has ensured that departments in the company work together on a customer-supplier basis. Plan-Do-Check-Action was adopted as a working discipline and was carried deep into the company hierarchy. This means that any new system is implemented by employees, not enforced by managers.”

Because the system has become part of the company culture, the level of awareness was improved and accordingly the HSE performance. The enhanced sensibility in this area led to the creation of a proprietary Environmental Management System. As a consequence, Marshall Boya was the first paint manufacturing company in Turkey to be awarded with the Responsible Care Certificate in 1997.

Since 1999, the company has also been certified according to ISO 14001 (standard for environmental performance) and OHSAS 18001 (an Occupational Health and Safety Management system standard).

The Gebze site had excellent scores in a recent corporate HSE audit and, according to Ohm, the overall standards are very high, with no non-compliances being detected and no high risk situations being observed. “The site managed this performance entirely as a result of its own efforts,” he said. “It is a highlight within the Turkish industrial environment and we have even seen officials from the authorities coming along and recognizing the policy, actions and performance.”

(Released: January 2, 2002)