Keeping people and businesses safe is VIKING Life-Saving Equipment's philosophy. The marine and fire safety equipment leader's Laem Chabang, Thailand production facilities were recently Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001-certified. This brings the company's Far East operations up to the same, exacting workplace environment standards as other VIKING facilities.
VIKING Thailand has worked in compliance with the ISO standards since its establishment in 2002. The OHSAS 18001 certification is the natural next step in the company's continuous focus on maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.
The aim of the internationally recognized OHSAS 18001 certification is to help organizations control occupational health and safety risks. It was developed in response to widespread demand for a recognized standard against which to be certified and assessed.
Achieving and maintaining OHSAS 18001 certification is no easy task. It demands such elements as continuous improvement, policies and targets for work environment and safety, carefully mapped work stations and procedures to improve a work environment and safety, and the extended use of safety equipment. Importantly, the certification requires the commitment of top management, something that is already well-practiced at VIKING's global headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark.
Thailand's workplace safety legislation is among the world's most stringent. Government support is also provided in the form of paid consultant assistance. For VIKING executive vice president Allan Østergaard, the OHSAS 18001 certification for the company's Thai facility is a natural part of the VIKING way of doing business. "All VIKING production facilities around the world must live up to the same, consistent safety standards. As a global organization, our people need to feel secure and confident about their own workplaces and those they visit in other regions as part of their work." Beyond benefits for worker health and job satisfaction, Østergaard also points out the business advantages of such global policies, where broad standardization of equipment and procedures can reduce training, speed up workflow and ensure consistent quality of manufacturing. "VIKING is a modern employer, founded upon human values, so disregarding workplace safety or quality standards when outsourcing to the Far East would be unthinkable for us," said Østergaard.