EPC Groupe operates in one of the world's most dangerous industries.
In 2017 EPC implemented EQMS by Qualsys to craft an electronic health and safety management system and support accreditation to a range of ISO standards, including ISO 45001.
Watch Business Standards Manager Diane Cartledge's presentation video, or read our breakdown below.
EPC-UK stores 1130 business documents in the Document Manager module supplied by Qualsys.
Documents are categorised and subdivided by department and division.
Document types include:
- Work instructions
During the implementation of Document Manager, the EPC team took the opportunity to cleanse redundant and duplicated information from the business - slicing their overall document set by 42% with support from the Qualsys implementation team.
To keep document navigation simple and clean, system administrators set role- and department-specific viewing permissions for end users. EPC staff accessing Document Manager see only the policies, procedures, forms and information relevant for their day-to-day work, preventing confusion and boosting engagement.
There's no point complicating it by giving people access to things they don't need to see.
EPC felt that a clean, comprehensible document set was crucial for embedding repeatable, healthy and safe processes and shaped Document Manager to achieve this objective.
Automating and standardising process workflows was also pinpointed as a key requirement for health and safety management.
Electronic workflows were built in Issue Manager to control 25 different categories of processes, including:
- Change management
- Supplier and customer onboarding
- Internal and external audits
- CAT 1-6 Safety
Issue Manager is absolutely critical for us and our external auditors love it. We can show them what we've done, what changes we've made and who's made them, and it's all easy.
After kicking off a workflow, actions are automatically funnelled to the right personnel and fully audit-trailed. Associated staff can track progress, timeframes and completion of issues quickly and easily.
EPC took advantage of the flexibility of EQMS to overhaul the Training Manager module and map its functionality onto their specific health and safety management needs.
The safety-critical nature of the work done by EPC quarrying and drilling staff meant that the EPC quality team needed to track and prove competence of every staff member, along with any training courses completed.
A competence matrix was added into the system to meet this objective, and role-specific training pathways established to guide new starters into the business.
Airtight health and safety is impossible without trained, competent personnel.
EPC's Training Manager admins get at-a-glance visibility of the skills and skill gaps of every individual in the business, and can drill through each training record to any associated documentation.
Like any management system, health and safety requires constant check-ups and tweaking to stand up to external scrutiny.
EPC operates a comprehensive internal auditing system, with 5 audits per month. As a heavily regulated explosive provider, the business also faces 25 external audits per year, plus customer, supplier and recertification audits.
It was crucial for EPC to implement an electronic system to support this high frequency of auditing in a structured and consistent way without creaking under pressure.
Using Audit Manager, EPC's team of 8 internal auditors can audit the company's standards and process safety using pre-built electronic mobile checklists, pushing findings into EQMS for follow-up action within Issue Manager.
Handling audits within Audit Manager has generated significant time and money savings for EPC, as the quality team are able to perform more audits than previously to support accreditation to multiple ISO standards in a time-efficient way.
I truly, truly, truly believe that if we didn't have our standards, our auditing cost would be 3 or 4 or 5 times more - because our customers would want to come in and audit us themselves for 3 or 5 days.
We have a customer coming in next week for just 2 hours, because I can produce all the documentation they could possibly want in a short space of time.
EPC works with a range of contractors, suppliers and waste carriers day-to-day.
It was recognised that extending good quality control beyond the confines of the business itself would help make EPC an even stronger operation.
Using Supplier Manager, EPC can record and monitor all of their suppliers from within a single system, linking associated documentation, issues and audit reports to each.
Qualsys also developed an API to integrate Supplier Manager with EPC's financial systems, providing a full picture of the supplier environment.
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