Businesses in all industries need to adhere to safety, health, environmental and quality (SHEQ) standards. This not only influences the success of the business, but also affects employees and meeting environmental and sustainability targets.
Managing director of Industroclean, Emma Corder, says compliance is a huge task for businesses to tackle, regardless of whether it’s compulsory or voluntary. She believes businesses and customers stand to benefit in the long run, due to steps put in place to ensure their overall wellbeing and that of the environment, which is why she is committed to making her business fully compliant.
When it comes to compliance in the detergent manufacturing industry, there should be a discrepancy between legal and voluntary compliance. Legal compliance refers to all the relevant acts, regulations and municipal by-laws to which a company must conform.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHS) serves to regulate and control health and safety in the workplace. The National Environmental Management Act 62 of 2008 (NEMA) aims to make provision for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision-making on factors that affect the environment. The Hazardous Substances Act 15 of 1973 (HSA) makes provisions for the control of substances which may injure or cause death, due to their toxic characteristics, and prescribes rules for manufacturing, usage and disposal of these hazardous materials. The Compulsory Specification for Chemical Disinfectants (VC8054) looks at what is required for chemical disinfectants for all disinfecting surfaces.
Committed to making a difference
‘Voluntary compliance standards, on the other hand, are those standards that make a company stand out among its competitors. They demonstrate the commitment of its executive management to ensure improvement and regulatory compliance,’ Corder adds.
‘There are many voluntary certifications, which provide assurance to customers that the products they purchase are compliant. The voluntary certifications we comply to are the South African National Standards (SANS) 1828: Cleaning chemicals for the use in food industry and South African National Standards (SANS) 1853: Disinfectants and Detergent Disinfectants for use in the food industry. A lot of work is currently going into developing and revising standards with the SABS for our industry.’
An honest and compliant business
Acts and regulations are critical to ensure the safety of employees, users of our products and the environment.
‘They provide the framework of how our industry produces, stores and transports the products we offer. It’s true there are companies that disregard acts and regulations. Yet Industroclean chooses to act with integrity, as stipulated in our code of ethics.’
Corder says that businesses have a legal obligation to establish and meet health, safety and environmental standards.
‘Being compliant shows your customers and suppliers you are being responsible,’ she adds.
Training, education & relevant industry standards
The standards relevant to the detergent manufacturing industry are the ISO 11014:2010 Safety Data Sheets for Chemical Products or the SANS 10234 Globally Harmonised Systems of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.
SANS 1828:2017 Cleaning Chemicals for Use in the Food Industry and SANS 1853:2017 Disinfectants, Detergent-Disinfectants and Antiseptics for use in the Food Industry have proven to be critical standards for the detergent manufacturing industry.
‘It is advisable that businesses sign up with a compliance specialist relevant to their industry, who would play an expert advisory role,’ Corder advises. ‘Because we supply the pharmaceutical and food industries, it is expected, as far as reasonably possible, that we implement or support our customers with compliance.’
Companies must ensure their employees are aware of the required SHEQ standards. ‘Training staff can be quite challenging. You need to explain the regulations clearly, so that everyone understands. It’s definitely important for all staff to be up to date.’