18 February 2019

The World’s First National Standards Body Awards HeidelbergCement Georgia

 On Friday, December 21 HeidelbergCement Georgia hosted high level representatives of British Standards Institution that flew in to Tbilisi to personally hand over to them the rightfully-earned Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHS) certificate at the ceremonial reception.

“After a scrutinizing assessment, BSI certified that HeidelbergCement Georgia fully complies with the requirements of BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 for the cement and concrete production scope”, explained Mr. Dmitry Yartsev, Country Manager for CIS at BSI. Furthermore, he emphasized that “HeidelbergCement Georga is the first company in Georgia to have obtained such a certificate!”

It is noteworthy that British Standards Institution has 90 offices worldwide and serves 86,000 clients in 193 countries. BSI was established in 1901 and lawfully holds the title of the world’s first National Standards Body.

“For us it is a great honor to have successfully met the rigorous criteria and be worthy of this top-notch occupational health and safety certificate” stated Ms. Ekaterine Vashakidze, H&S Director at Heidelberg Cement Georgia.

Mr. Charles Corrie, Business Programme Manager at BSI clarified to Ms. Vashakidze, alongside with dozens of HC colleagues, about the importance of upholding this standard: “Our services are designed to align with the steps individual clients need to take to understand what is ‘best practice’, how to achieve it and most importantly, ensure that it remains an ongoing habit”.

BS OHSAS 18001 is a framework for an occupational health and safety management system. Mr. Corrie defined that it is designed to help companies put in place the policies, procedures and controls needed for the entity to achieve the best possible working conditions and workplace health and safety, aligned to internationally recognized best practice. 

He further elucidated that: “BSI is the business standards company that helps organizations make excellence a habit – all over the world. Our business is enabling others to perform better, and we are delighted HeidelbergCement was privileged to become the first company in Georgia to have earned the title”.Ms. Ekaterine Vashakidze accentuated that holding the BS OHSAS 18001 standard will further help HeidelbergCement Georgia to better defend themselves from the inherent to the industry risks: “Clearly, the cement production comes with some integral hazards, which we successfully mitigate with the right equipment, training and mindset. We constantly try to be abreast with the best practices and strive to maintain the best possible working conditions across the organization. We proactively identify hazards and put in place controls to manage them”. This significantly reduces the risk of workplace accidents and illness.  With the BS OHSAS 18001 standard in hand, HeidelbergCement Georgia gains a significant advantage over other competitors in the Caucasus as it indisputably demonstrates the compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Management standards to its customers and suppliers.