McNally achieves North American ISO firstMar 2011
McNally construction, Canada's privately-owned tunnelling and marine contractor McNally, is the first in North American to achieve a combined ISO registration for Quality Management Systems, Environmental Management Systems and the OHSAS certification for Health & Safety Management Systems.
"It just made sense," said Pat McNally, President of the company his father in founded in 1949. "Our operations have quadrupled in the last decade. Systems that worked effectively when running a few jobs are not as effective when running a dozen and across different disciplines. After consulting with our teams, to figure out what worked well and what could be improved on, the result was to establish quality processes that all our employees could buy into. In the end, it means we can ensure our safety and performance standards are at the highest possible level while doing a greater volume of work."
"We started out to achieve ISO Quality Management 9001," said Laura McNally, Vice President Corporate Development and a third-generation of McNally-family management. "But then we looked at what mattered to McNally- our Vision and Values - and it was clear that it was more than just growth. As a company we valued the safety and well-being of our employees and the environment we live in. So we expanded our scope to include the ISO Health & Safety and Environmental management systems too."
McNally championed the undertaking, which led to a corporate-wide integrated management system applicable to all McNally operations including offices, maintenance facilities and project sites. These standards awarded to the company in March are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. By integrating the systems, the company created one system for employees to follow that adheres to the highest possible standards for quality, health, safety and environmental management and one that is focused on continuous improvement.
"It has taken about 24 months to reach the point of registration," said Melissa Clarke, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment Manager, who joined McNally in May 2009 to coordinate the project. "We worked with employees across our office and project locations in Canada and the USA to develop the standards and to communicate them to all the staff. The result is a stronger company and a more effective workforce. But the work isn't done. We have a team of employees that meet regularly to discuss improvements and new processes. Continuous improvement is built into the system."
Among the numerous high-profile projects completed McNally are the underground Sheppard Subway metro extension in Toronto, Ontario; the Bruce nuclear plant intake in Ontario; more recently the extension of the South Light Rail Transit System in Edmonton, Alberta; and numerous water supply and wastewater tunnel projects in across Canada and the United States.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards. It is a network of the national standards institutes of 160 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. OHSAS 18000 is an international occupational health and safety management system specification created via a concerted effort by a number of the world's leading national standards bodies, certification bodies, and specialist consultancies.
"For many large projects in North America, ISO registration in Quality, Safety and Environment is becoming a requirement - and it should be," said Pat McNally. "The industry needs to move in this direction. In North America however, there simply are not many construction companies that have invested the time to go through the registration process. I like to think we have formalized and documented what has been working at McNally, improved upon it, and shared it with everyone in the company."
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