For industrial gas company Air Products South Africa, safety and quality are central to its operations and values on a daily basis.
The company’s efforts in ensuring compliance to the highest possible global standards have not only resulted in an exemplary safety record but also in numerous awards which, according to Mike Hellyar, Managing Director of Air Products South Africa, have been extremely gratifying.
“We are very proud of our safety culture at Air Products. Our corporate SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) standards, programmes and campaigns are world-class and are based on industry best practice. Gaining recognition for our efforts spurs us on to greater achievements,” Hellyar comments, following the recent NOSHCON 2013 awards.
NOSHCON, Africa’s premier occupational risk management event, is hosted annually by NOSA, which uses this platform to give recognition to organisations and individuals as top achievers in SHEQ throughout a broad range of industries. Air Products South Africa has won numerous awards at a regional and national level in recent years.
This year, one of the most prestigious international awards for an individual went to Nita Muller, Air Products South Africa’s Cape Town facility supervisor.
“We are thrilled and honoured that the NOSHCON SHE (Safety Health and Environment) Specialist award in the international category went to one of our valued employees,” says Hellyar. “It is another feather in the cap for our Cape Town facility which has achieved stellar results in recent years.”
Cape Town was the first of the company’s facilities to win a NOSCAR (NOSA’s highest rating) in 2003. The facility won the International Top 100 commercial company in 2006, and achieved its 10th NOSCAR in 2012.
Muller, whose responsibilities include SHEQ, Production, Distribution and Customer Service, also serves as an internal SHEQ auditor for Air Products South Africa. In an eighteen year career with Air Products, she has dedicated herself to attaining excellence in her field through active leadership and personal development.
“I am honoured by the recognition of my work by the SHEQ industry, and am also inspired to continue broadening my field of expertise for the benefit of the company. I have dedicated myself to continuously improving and developing in my career, and this award is a validation of that effort,” Muller says.
She attributes her success to a number of factors, including a thorough understanding of the SHEQ process based on trends analysis; empowering fellow employees and adopting a team-oriented approach; taking ownership of the company’s programmes and systems, and a focus on continuous improvement.
“Most importantly,” she adds,” is that the facility has maintained its five star Platinum rating and NOSCAR status with a zero DIFR (disabling injury frequency rating). Gaining recognition helps the entire team realise our mission to achieve operational excellence.”
For Air Products South Africa, benchmarking against international criteria is a vitally important part of maintaining its industry leadership status in the field of SHEQ.
“Subscribing to the NOSA five star system helps to benchmark our achievements in the industry. To have been recognised at NOSHCON for health, safety and environmental excellence on an international level is testament to our consistent commitment to the highest possible quality and safety operational standards,” Hellyar concludes.