By Paul Pashnik, EMS & Fire Suppression ManagerEnvironmental Management News
Coulson Group of Companies ISO14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) - Timberlands Program
- As planned, our Internal Timberlands EMS Audit was carried out by Ron Sorensen during May 21st to May 25th. The internal audit report identified two minor Non-Conformances relating to field changes and timber harvesting plans. Also identified, were several opportunities for improvement; mainly relating to the Online Timberlands EMS Manual and Document Validation. The internal audit report concluded that the timber harvesting operations were overall, in conformance with provisions of Coulson EMS Timberlands Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and in compliance with regulatory requirements. On June 12th, the Internal Audit was reviewed by the Coulson Senior Management and an action plan was approved to remedy the minor non conformances and implement the opportunities for improvement.
- SAI Global our ISO14001 Registrar carried out the Timberlands 2009 surveillance audit June 16 – 18th, 2009. The first day of the audit involved a detailed review of Timberlands EMS records, 2009 Internal Audit Report, 2009 Management Team Meeting Minutes and the On-Line Manual. The second day involved a field audit of logging operations at Stewardson Inlet to assess field operations and interview logging crews. We received the audit report and I can advise that we passed the audit and the Auditor recommended continuance of our registration. The surveillance audit highlights are as follows:
- Excellent management commitment to maintain and improve the EMS
- Camp and field operations were found to be very orderly
- Crews were very knowledgeable about their environmental risks
- Very detailed release maps and critical information listed for operations
- Drip containment for fuel nozzles
- On-line EMS Manual with hot links to documents and records
Non – Conformances – None
Areas of Concern
- Evaluation of Compliance – recommended a more detailed assessment of each regulation over a three-year period
- Nonconformity Corrective and Preventative Actions – recommended all non conformance need to be followed up and documented
- Opportunities for Improvement – Ten items were recommended; five are improvements to the EMS manual: hot linking the training needs analysis, add WHMIS training for tree planters; add pesticides and fungicides to our on-line MSDS list; specify a minimum distance for refueling near creeks; delete references to other Companies’ EMS. The other five are EMS improvements: documenting daily tank farm inspections; taking post harvest photos; adding anti-freeze pads to spill kits, improvements to internal audit protocol and reporting.
The SAI Global Surveillance audit report will be reviewed by management and an action plan will be developed and approved to implement key recommendations A big thank you goes out to the logging crews, Gary Collinge, Mayco Noel, and Zolie Shafer for having everything ready for the Annual Audit. Also, a big thanks goes Ron Sorensen for conducting the Internal Audit.