Based on the results of certification of the environmental management system the international auditors issued a positive recommendation to Uralkali

28.07.2003

The environmental management system of Uralkali was audited for compliance with the requirements of International Standard ISO 14001.

The auditing commission included representatives of three branches of Swiss corporation SGS. The auditors have not found any critical non-conformity of Uralkali's environmental management system with the relevant standards and issued to the company a positive recommendation based on the certification results.

SGS, the world's largest auditing organization was founded in 1878. It has a staff of 30 thousand people and works in 130 countries of the world. SGS is a leading member of the Independent International Organization for Certification (IIOC), the European Foundation for Quality Management and an active observer in the International Accreditation Forum. The corporate head of SGS acts as a special adviser to the Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). SGS group has already carried out certification of over 50 thousand companies the world over for conformity of their quality and environmental management systems to the standards. The company's partners include Philips, American Express, BMW, Ford, Shell, Coca Cola, Cannon and Nestle. In Russia and CIS countries SGS has certified the Urals Optico-Mechanical Factory, OJSC Ruskhleb, Uralvagonozavod, OJSC Permtsvetmet, OJSC Saratovenergomash, OJSC Moscow Kristal Factory, OJSC Babaevsky Confectionery Concern, and other enterprises. One of the most important requirements of SGS to its representatives is their independence.

The auditors - biologist Viktoriya Khanina (Russia), chemical engineer Kalin Stoyanov (Bulgaria) and leading auditor of the company Tulin Pervan Dikener (Turkey) have visited all mine administrations of the enterprise where they studied the operational environmental managemenr, monitoring and measurement, waste disposal systems. In addition to this SGS representatives have checked Uralkali's readiness for emergency situations. At the final meeting which was held on July 24 in Uralkali Tulin Pervan Dikener congratulated the enterprise on its success.

"It can be said that you have given birth to a baby," she noted. "Childbirth is always difficult. But it is even more difficult to raise the child, let him grow strong, ensure his development." Ms Dikener believes that for Uralkali a certificate is not a mere formality. If the company wants to receive a certificate and live in accordance with its provisions, it means that one of the priorities in the company's activity is protection of the environment, assurance of ecological safety crucial for the life of the present and future generations.

Practically the entire staff of Uralkali has participated in the preparation of the enterprise for international certification. The work was coordinated by the specialists of the quality management divisions of the mine administrations, of the mine construction department and of the company as a whole and by the specialists of the environmental protection division of Uralkali. In the course of the preparation the company has developed the required documentation: standards of the enterprise, methodological guides, job descriptions and various instructions.

For the first time Uralkali has prepared instructions for handling all kinds of waste. In pursuance of regulations the enterprise has introduced separate collection of different kinds of waste. Under the program of ecological education of the personnel adopted at Uralkali training and retraining courses have been held for various categories of employees and in six months more than three hundred people have improved their ecological literacy.

Noting a good educational level of the personnel Russian auditor Viktoriya Khanina said: "The people are obviously well experienced, knowledgeable, give clear answers to questions and know what they speak about. It was very pleasant to talk with competent people, good professionals, specialists in their field."

According to Bulgarian auditor Kalin Stoyanov, he is 99 percent sure that Uralkali will receive the certificate of conformity. The independent inspectors will submit their report to the central certification body which will decide on the issuance of the certificate. The auditors believe that the entire procedure - preparation and approval of the report - will take three or four months and hope that Uralkali will receive an international certificate of conformity already by the end of this year. It might be recalled that Uralkali was the first Berezniki enterprise to receive the Russian environmental management system certificate.

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Cardinal rules

Smoking in mines is prohibited.
Work at heights without wearing a safety harness is prohibited.
Work in electrical installations under voltage is prohibited.
It is forbidden to perform work and stay in the bottomhole zone during the operation of the mining machine.
Loading and unloading operations when people are in the danger zone are prohibited.
Working in underground mines with unsecured and/or unassembled roofing is prohibited.
It is forbidden to carry out repairs and maintenance of conveyors without disconnecting from energy sources, use of conveyors for transfer of people and goods (materials and/or equipment), crossing (either above or under) operating conveyors by employees are not allowed.
It is forbidden to carry out welding and flame work in underground mines and mine buildings without the necessary safety measures preventing fire.