After a thorough audit procedure, Yitch saw its efforts to improve safety on its various projects rewarded with a renewed VCA** certificate. To Yitch customers, this certification is a guarantee that all safety regulations are meticulously respected when realizing an industrial automation project. For a detailed explanation, we have Walter Dyck, Health & Safety Prevention Advisor at Yitch, to tell you more.
What is represented by a VCA certificate?
VCA is the Dutch acronym for the 'Safety, Health and Environment Checklist for Contractors', of which obtaining the certificate at company or person level (known respectively as VCA and VOL-VCA) demonstrates that strict procedures are being followed to guarantee safety when performing work.
The VCA** certificate (the two-star certificate) held by Yitch is the second strictest certificate one can obtain. With this certificate a company can do business in all branches of industry, with the exception of the petrochemical industry where an even stricter certificate applies with VCA-P.
What does it take to obtain the certificate?
The VCA checklist sets out in detail which rules one must follow in order to work safely in certain sectors. The most essential part of this document is the list of requirements for training, information, environmental care and work equipment.
What is the outcome of these exams?
The result is a VCA certificate awarded by the Belgian accreditation body BELAC with which Yitch, after a thorough audit by auditor BTV, indicates that its safety, health and environmental management system meets the predefined requirements for its field of application industrial process automation and industrial process techniques.
"Simply put, the certificate shows that ‘we are working on safety', although of course it is much more complex than that," Walter laughs. "If a company fails to successfully complete the checklist, and if your employees also encounter the necessary difficulties - in first attempt or after three months - the VCA certificate will expire, the company will be suspended and your data will be removed proving you were VCA-certified. But all kidding aside, of all the current 70 Yitch employees, as well as former employees who pursued their certification in Yitch pay, no one has ever failed. Of course, there always has to be one first, but rest assured that this will come with a treat, including a good dose of mockery," jokes Walter.
Yitch opts for both external and internal audit
Each year the existing systems from the initial certificate are reassessed, but even then, a certificate has to be renewed after 3 years.
"This means that, once again, you will need to devote yourself to obtaining that new certificate, with its updated questions and criteria," Walter explains. “Therefore it's useful to regularly refresh all safety procedures or even to question them, in order to keep a strong focus on the matter. After all, many companies don't value the subcontractors' possession of a VCA certificate as much as what it implies: that we, as a subcontractor, are committed to working safely. By regularly going over our procedures internally on top of the external audit, using the most recent audit report as a guide, we want to show our customers that our people, and our company, will always meet the highest standards in terms of safety!"
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